Letter: Increase in gun violence is crime issue, not public health issue
This letter is in response to the letter by Nancy Spillane in the July 20 edition of Steamboat Pilot & Today. In her letter, Ms. Spillane repeats the assertion that the current increase in criminal violence using firearms is a public health issue. This increase in criminal activity is not a public health issue; it is a crime issue caused by a loss of respect for the rule of law and for the efforts of law enforcement. There has always been an element of criminal violence using the weapons of the time.
If gun control was the solution, Chicago would not have the number of murders it has seen; the city of Chicago and Cook County layer additional regulations on top of the regulations of the state of Illinois, which include the Firearms Owner Identification card. New York City adds regulations on top of the regulations of New York state, including the SAFE Act. Yet criminals continue to obtain any firearms they desire.
In Colorado, check how many criminals arrested for homicide or assault with a deadly weapon are prior felons who are prohibited persons per state and federal law; yet they go around the universal background checks.
Ms. Spillane mentions the sales by gun dealers to criminals. This is the latest talking point. There are very few federal firearm license dealers who will risk their business plus jail time to deal in illegal firearms.
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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
We can make a start by bringing back cooperative local, state and federal programs like Operation Exile, which emphasized arrest and prosecution of felons in possession and black marketers to get the criminals off the streets and disrupt the flow of illegal firearms; secure our borders to interrupt the flow of illegal firearms, narcotic and human trafficking; improve the National Instant Check System and the state programs by ensuring criminal convictions are put into the data bases not by making more offenses reasons for disqualification; give prosecutors the tools they require to prosecute violent firearm offenses. And finally, we need involvement by adults to educate youth that violence is not the solution to the problem.
Arthur St. John
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On Tuesday, Peak Health Alliance, a nonprofit, locally-led insurance purchasing alliance, gave a presentation to the Routt County commissioners. We attended the meeting (remotely), and this is what we learned: