Advocates Say Urban Gun Violence Also Must Be Addressed

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While politicians in Washington were holding a hearing on an assault weapon ban Wednesday morning, lawmakers and gun control activists in Hartford were focused on handguns.

\”We can talk about long guns, AR-15, extended magazines. We can talk about all of that stuff and we should,\’\’ said state Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, D-New Haven.

But Holder-Winfield and other urban lawmakers said the scourge of violence that unfolds almost daily in the state\’s big cities, is committed by criminals with handguns, almost all of which were illegally obtained.

\”The urban problem is a handgun problem for the most part,\’\’ Ron Pinciaro, director of Connecticut Against Handgun Violence, said at a press conference at the state Capitol complex. \”It\’s just as urgent…We need to address it with the same speed.\”

The group is calling for a new law requiring handgun owners to renew their pistol permits each year. This would ensure that the legal owner of the gun is still in possession of the weapon. The group also backs restricting handgun purchases to one per month as a way to deter gun traffickers.

Kim Mozell, a New Haven resident whose 19-year-old son, Thomas Mozell Jr., was shot and killed last year, said she hopes the pain of parents such as herself will not be forgotten in the national debate over guns that was sparked by December\’s mass shooting in Newtown.

\”What happened in Newtown is just sad…but we have that happen every day in New Haven, Connecticut,\’\’ Mozell said. \”This has been going on for decades. When is enough enough?\”

Mozell was one of several family members of shooting victims who attended the press conference. They clutched large framed photographs of their lost children.

Also in attendance was Bridgeport police Chief Joe Gaudett, a resident of Newtown. Gaudett said Bridgeport averages about 25 homicides annually, the overwhelming majority committed with handguns.

Pinciaro said urban gun violence has been forgotten in the ongoing debate over guns. \”Certainly the Newtown incident understandably has grabbed the spotlight as it has for the entire country,\’\’ he said, \”but here is the problem that effects many people everyday…and [it] has not gotten enough attention in years past.\”

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15 thoughts on “Advocates Say Urban Gun Violence Also Must Be Addressed

  1. yaya

    Its not up to Lawmakers to change social issues and problems, it starts with parents and families to teach their kids morals and respect for others. These social issues can not be fixed with laws, society as a whole needs to fix these problems. Greed and no responsibility for our actions have got us here, banning a 30 round magazine isn’t going to do anything. Really do people believe that’s the answer? Tell me if 20 kids were too many to die at once, what is the acceptable number then, 15 or 10. What about only one? Is that acceptable? Get to the real problems here, not how many bullets we should be allowed to shoot from one magazine.

  2. johngaltwhereru


    I agree with almost everything you said.

    However, Legislators are at fault, and therefore, are responsible for fixing errors they have made which have resulted in urban poverty and the violence associated with that poverty.

    Single motherhood, the single greatest contributor to poverty, has sky rocketed since the start of The Great Society. When government entitlement policy rewards mothers with more benefits if they remain unmarried than if they married the father of their child, the current results should be expected.

    When government drug policy results in incarceration of non-violent perpetrators of victimless crimes, that results in more single motherhood, more poverty and more crime.

    But there is no chance that legislators will do anything that will lessen poverty through reforming the laws that contribute to that poverty. There are way too many legislators who’s job depends upon keeping those benefits flowing, and keeping their constituents ignorant and misinformed.

    1. Bill

      I agree that single (teenage) motherhood and over reproduction coupled with poverty contributes to breakdown of the family structure. I disagree that LBJs “Great Society” anti poverty programs contributed to poverty. Your expected statement is in line with your Libertarian views of lazzie fair government. The anti poverty campaign of the 1960s was begun as a result of poverty caused by our own apartide and institutional racism.

      1. Johngaltwhereru

        The Great Society led to increased single motherhood, which led to increased poverty.

        I never said poverty failed to exist prior to The Great Society, but poverty has definitely expanded and perpetuated poverty.

        I do not think it is a simple coincidence that in 1965, 24% of black children were born to single mothers, and now, 73% of black children are born out of wedlock.

        Obviously multiple factors are involved, but to deny that Government financially rewarding single motherhood had no effect, when there are directly congruent timelines that suggest otherwise is living in denial.

        1. Bill

          Before I go further, define for me “The Great Society.” I am sure you are planning a few curve balls. Bear in mind that the 1960s didn’t suddenly provide job opportunities for minorities. training yes but perhaps the job training was I’ll suited for the individual’s.

          The problem that I have is that we over simplify data to fit the opinion.

  3. peter

    Let the urban people find their own solutions, God knows they’ve been given many opportunities and direction to do so. Let’s start with family values, or lack of, a strong work ethic, or lack of, and lastly education. Anyone’s who has made it out rarely looks back from the sewer they crawled out of.

    1. Bill

      Peter; First, try correcting your language. If I were to judge you based on you sentence structure, I would judge that you haven’t quite climbed out of the sewer.

        1. Bill

          West Hartford? You’re living in the 1960s.

          I said what I said because of a distinct condescension on “urban” and “they.”

          So who do you mean by “they?” do you really understand issues in such simple terms?

  4. justme

    I wonder when the politicians will address violence in movies and games as well as mental health. Instead they and the media seem to address tangential issues like guns.

  5. enness

    Not that I have a problem with those specific proposals per se, but you can already see the creep…you see how the stage is set.

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