Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Barrios Shows His True Colors

OK, realize this is yet another news item that's a few weeks old, but, in my defense, if I were to blog every time some rancid blather like this dribbled out of Senator Barrios' mouth, I'd have worn my fingers to the bone by now.

After Setback in the Senate, Ban On Pre-1994 Assault Weapons Pushed Again

By Amy Lambiaso for the State House News Service

Lawmakers are renewing their effort this year to ban the sale of all assault weapons in the state, a controversial move that was narrowly defeated in the Senate last year and is likely to face similar opposition this session.

The state last year adopted a law tying certain definitions of assault weapons to federal definitions and extending a ban on the sale of assault weapons, such as AK-47s and UZIs, made after Sept. 13, 1994. Sen. Jarrett Barrios (D-Cambridge) and Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick) led the effort last year to ban the sale of all assault weapons, arguing that guns are equally dangerous regardless of the year they were made.

But opposition to the bill, who argued it would primarily punish law-abiding gun owners, won out last year and gun owners who legally purchased their weapons before the 1994 deadline may continue to sell, rent or transfer the weapons in Massachusetts.

Linsky and Barrios are again sponsoring separate legislation to extend the ban the pre-1994 weapons, and the Legislature’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee heard their bill today.

Did you catch that?

"...guns are equally dangerous regardless of the year they were made."

Now ask yourself, if guns, in the hands of criminals, are also equally dangerous regardless of whether or not they have a pistol grip, or a folding stock, or a bayonet lug, what is the Senator's real agenda here? If you think it's anything other than a total ban on private firearm ownership in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, then you have not been paying attention.

Meanwhile, in fields of idyllic bliss across the river in the Senator's gun-free Utopia of Cambridge:

Two choked with rope and robbed in E. Cambridge

Two residents reported being approached by multiple individuals in East Cambridge, strangled with a rope and beaten in attempted and actual armed robberies last Sunday.

Clearly a statewide, scratch that, nationwide program of rope licensing needs to be implemented...immediately! What kind of world do we live in where we can allow any sweet, innocent child to march into any hardware store and walk out with a deadly weapon such as clothesline (or a hammer, screwdriver, monkey wrench, axe, steak knife, etc.) - without any kind of background check or permit required?

The first incident occurred at 2 a.m. at Berkshire and Marcella streets. The victim reported being approached by four suspects, one of whom threw a rope around his neck and choked him. The suspects then allegedly pushed the man to the ground, kicked him in the head and stole his wallet and keys.

At 2:10 a.m. at Cambridge and Sixth streets, another victim reported a similar incident, saying two individuals approached him from behind, hung a rope around his neck, punched him in the face and then fled when he told them he had no money.

Yep...more unarmed citizens finding themselves at the mercy of violent thugs who have no regard for the lives of their victims - stop me if you've heard that one before. Explain to me again, Senator Barrios, how depriving the law-abiding citizenry of their right to self-defense helps to lower the crime rate. I must be a slow learner, 'cause I'm not gettin' it.

Because, nationwide, violent crime rates are down, despite more and more states allowing their citizenry to carry concealed handguns for the purpose of self-defense.

FBI: Murders, Other Violent Crime Down

WASHINGTON -- The number of murders fell last year for the first time since 1999, according to FBI data released Monday.

It's part of a nationwide decline in all types of violent crime.

Cities with more than 1 million people had the greatest decrease in violent crime, 5.4 percent, while cities under 10,000 saw the greatest decrease in murder, 12.2 percent.

Overall, murders fell by 3.6 percent from the 16,500 reported in 2003. Chicago was largely responsible for the drop.

Criminal justice experts said the decline in violent crime is something of a surprise since gang-related activity is increasing in some parts of the country, the economy is sputtering in some areas, the number of at-risk youth is rising and law enforcement budgets are experiencing cuts.

Granted, you can spin these numbers until the proverbial cows come home, Senator, but it seems to put a few holes in the old "poverty causes crime" theory or the oft-proposed "higher taxes = more cops" solution - not to mention the utter impotence of pimping your so-called "assault weapons" ban as a crime-fighting measure.

Now consider this - since 1986 there has been a steady increase in the number of states that allow their residents to carry concealed weapons for defensive purposes (see HERE for a animated timeline of CCW laws by state). It seems at first glance, that as more and more law-abiding citizens have been afforded the choice of whether to carry a firearm or not, the national crime rate has gone down.

I realize you could use the same logic to "determine" that the increase in the number of FM radio stations over the last 50 years is responsible for the increase in the number of cancer cases reported over that same time period, but the fact that this relationship between CCW laws and the rate of violent crime is entirely ignored by the gun control lobby speaks volumes.

I'll see you all tomorrow. Disc #4 from Season 2 of "24" arrived in the mail today from Netflix. I'll be busy.