Far too many guns are finding their way onto city streets when suburban kids steal a gun from their parents and then trade it for drugs.
We both shook our heads. It is, indeed, a crazy world. Amid all the talk of gun legislation in the wake of Newtown, no one is talking about what it will take to turn the killing fields on our city streets into places of peace.
We need handgun legislation with teeth. I say lawmakers should create a statutory fine scheme. Whenever a handgun in used in a murder, the manufacturer of the gun should be fined $200,000. Every dealer who put the weapon in the stream of commerce should be fined $10,000 in such cases. Every registered owner should be fined $5,000. I've a hunch that once these fines started adding up, fewer guns would find their way onto the streets and into the hands of young who use them to settle trifling grudges.
We're playing at gun reform just now, and ignoring the inner cities. I suspect that's because a lot of folks just don't care if one black man kills another. In too many circles, I suspect such crimes are twofers, getting two African Americans off the street, one by death, the other by prison. Deny it if you like, but only after soul-searching, ye white suburbanites.
We get the law enforcement we deserve. I say hit the gun lobby in the pocketbook, and hard. You want to own a gun. Fine. Pay for the consequences of their misuse.
Norm Pattis is a criminal defense lawyer and civil rights attorney in Bethany. Most days he blogs at www.pattisblog.com.