Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gunning for action

It’s rare that I post about an issue like this, but it’s getting to the point that I feel I must comment.

Every day we’re learning of an increase in gun violence in Pittsburgh. This is affecting many innocent by standers, often women and children. I live in the city and know that every neighbor should be able to go to work, walk their dogs or stroll with their kids, in safety. That even goes for the neighbors I don’t like! (Please, people, that's a joke, don't send me angry emails.)

Last week 3 Pittsburgh city council members proposed a law to find and penalize gun owners who don’t report their weapons missing (whether the weapon’s been lost or stolen).

Why in the world does our city council have to enact this legislation?

Because, once again, our State Legislature refused to approve of the proposed hand gun reporting law - leaving the issue in the hands of PA’s cities & towns. Thanks Harrisburg

*** Important to note: All 9 of our city council members supported the proposed law that failed passage by the legislature.

Stepping into the breach left by the state legislature, 3 council members: Bruce Kraus, Bill Peduto and Doug Shields, drafted a law for the city to employ.

The law would require that anyone whose loses/gets their weapon stolen has to tell police within 24 hours, or they could get slapped with a $500 fine.

The law’s consequences would only apply if the weapon was used in a crime, found by police and traced back to the person who originally bought it. Kind of narrows it down, doesn’t it?

*** What a difference a few days makes:

2 of our 9 council members do not support the Kraus/Peduto/Shields legislation, they are:

Ricky Burgess, ricky.burgess@city.pittsburgh.pa.us and Patrick Dowd, patrick.dowd@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

If one of the “Unsupportive 2” is your representative, please inform him that this is an important step to take to curb rising violence in our streets.

It’s also worthwhile to let the 3 who drafted & proposed the legislation that you appreciate their efforts: bruce.kraus@city.pittsburgh.pa.us, bill.peduto@city.pittsburgh.pa.us, doug.shields@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

***Finally, our mayor has remained silent & uncommitted on the issue. Perhaps an email to him would also be in order: luke.ravenstahl@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

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