Chris, I know that very few current and retired police happily go around shooting people for trivial reasons.
You're wrong that it is the responsibility of the feds to do something about gangs in a town; it is the responsibility of the police there.
And the assumption that all the guns owned by gangs are illegal guns is simply not true. It's so easy in the US to buy guns in many states that a lot of the guns are legal. Since you can buy guns legally over the internet without a background check, the only reason to go to the trouble to get an illegal gun is because it is cheaper.
I told you about the gang gun fight in Tampa area where both gangs got off for shooting at each other since both invoked Stand Your Ground and the guns were legal did I not? And they had concealed carry permits as well as legal guns.
Here's another one:
Another bad case in Florida, invoking Stand Your GroundElsewhere in the state, drug dealers have successfully invoked "stand your ground" even though they were in the middle of a deal when the shooting started.
In Daytona Beach, for example, police Chief Mike Chitwood used the "stand your ground" law as the rationale for not filing charges in two drug deals that ended in deaths. He said he was prevented from going forward because the accused shooters had permits to carry concealed weapons and they claimed they were defending themselves at the time.
"We're seeing a good law that's being abused," Chitwood told a local paper.
While many have argued the law does not allow someone to pick a fight and claim immunity, it has been used to do just that. It is broad enough that one judge complained that in a Wild West-type shootout, where everybody is armed, everyone might go free.
"Each individual on each side of the exchange of gunfire can claim self-defense," Leon County Circuit Judge Terry P. Lewis wrote in 2010, saying it "could conceivably result in all persons who exchanged gunfire on a public street being immune from prosecution."
Lewis was considering immunity motions stemming from a Tallahassee gang shooting that resulted in the death of one of the participants, a 15-year-old boy.
The judge said he had no choice but to grant immunity to two men who fired the AK-47 responsible for the death even though they fired 25 to 30 times outside an apartment complex. The reason: It could not be proved they fired first.
(note: they analyzed over 200 cases)In nearly a third of the cases the Times analyzed, defendants initiated the fight, shot an unarmed person or pursued their victim — and still went free.
You are absolutely right about this country doing very little about mental health. One of the most shocking things is the difficulty that people have getting their meds because the meds are expensive, and even if you have insurance, it doesn't pay for the meds.
You'd think that society would want to be sure that any schizophrenic willing to take his meds can get meds very easily, but it doesn't happen that way very much.
Meanwhile, today's paper had a story about a Florida 3 year old who took a pistol from underneath one of his parent's pillows & shot a family friend in the head. Fortunately, the friend lived, because the 3 year old's aim was not very good.The American Psychiatric Association’s Paul Appelbaum told Vice President Joe Biden’s gun violence task force that 96 percent of all violence in the United States is committed by people with no mental illness
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/0...#ixzz2Lzs0jF3o
And my gun collector friend in CT assures me that it is not all that difficult to purchase a real machine gun legally in CT, although the paperwork is a mild pest. It isn't illegal, despite what I had thought. He reports that shooting it is a real blast too. (He's a lawyer, and undaunted by paperwork.)
For the record, what I'd like to see are:
Background checks for all gun and ammunition sales.
Banning selling guns & ammunition over the internet.
Repeal of Stand Your Ground laws.