February 14, 2003
It's been a few years since Pennsylvanians first told pollsters they supported a modest tightening of the rules for handgun sales - by a slam-dunk margin of more than two to one. Even so, that hasn't moved the needle among Harrisburg lawmakers. Now, though, citizens have reason to hope lawmakers will notice: Finally, they have a governor who agrees with them on this life-and-death gun safety initiative. There's also surprising new evidence from the firearms industry itself on the need to act. A former lobbyist has gone public with what he charges is the dirty secret that gun makers long have recognized: Some gun dealers knowingly sell to illegal gun traffickers.
November 27, 2002
'Smart gun' bill a ban in disguise Your editorial regarding a bill pending before the Assembly advocating "smart gun" technology ("Ready, aim, vote 'yes,' " Nov. 18) was as flawed as the legislation. Your nine-paragraph editorial used the word children (or variations of the word) nine times. This is often a technique used to inject emotion whenever an issue lacks merit. For example, you mentioned a "12-year-old son" of a Philadelphia police officer who was fatally shot with the officer's revolver.
October 21, 2002 |
Picture a handgun that knows the feel of its owner so intimately it won't let anyone else pull the trigger. New Jersey is homing in on legislating this image of a personalized handgun - a concept likely years away from going from lab research to the handgun stashed in someone's nightstand. The state would be the first to require this "smart gun" technology on gun purchases after it becomes commercially available. An Assembly committee is scheduled to take up the bill today in a hearing that could determine whether the state will pioneer a new period in gun-control laws.
July 3, 2002 |
A well-dressed robber armed with a rifle escaped with an estimated $4,000 from a bank branch near the Liberty Bell yesterday, disappearing into a crowd of tourists and pedestrians near the Bourse building, authorities said. Clem Cizewski, 49, was one of the customers in line about 1:45 p.m. at the PNC branch on the southwest corner of Fourth and Market Streets. More than a half-dozen customers waited for two tellers. "It happened so fast, I thought it was a toy at first," said Cizewski, describing the small-caliber rifle.
June 11, 2002
After Friday, low-income parents who would have been eligible to enroll in the state's FamilyCare medical program will be out of luck. New applications, which can be handed in at any county Board of Social Services office will not be accepted after Friday. Thousands of eligible parents won't be able to apply. Many low-income parents hold jobs that do not include health insurance, and with the high cost of health care and prescription medicines, this means they will not get the medical care they need.
June 6, 2002 |
Let's face it, guns are a permanent fixture on the American landscape. Fortunately, most American voters believe that substantial responsibilities go hand in hand with the right of law-abiding citizens to own a gun. That includes the voters of New Jersey. Despite this, the debate about gun rights continues to paralyze the search for public-policy solutions to the real issue - gun violence and the guns that make their way into the hands of criminals or, sadly, adults and children who are so troubled that they take out their frustrations and despair on those around them.
May 11, 2002
The U.S. Constitution guarantees even the harshest government critic the right to gripe about a legislative decision. It gives citizens the right to worship the religion of their choice and the press the right to publish without government constraint. But it doesn't confer upon Americans an equally clear-cut right to own or pack a pistol. Or does it? The Justice Department this week formally adopted the controversial and troubling view of Attorney General John D. Ashcroft - arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court that the Second Amendment "broadly protects the rights of individuals" to own guns.
June 19, 2001
TELLING KIDS THE FACTS won't hurt them; in fact, it could make a big difference in their lives. We have known this to be true when it comes to sex education - and now believe the same is true with guns and gun safety. Straight talk about sex, no matter how uncomfortable it makes adults, helps prevent teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. This belief was confirmed recently by a national review of teen pregnancy prevention programs conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a non-profit, non-partisan group.
June 4, 2001 |
LET US, FOR a moment, take the sex-education pushers at their word: If you teach a child how to use a condom, they say, you're promoting safety - not usage. That's what a new review of sex-ed curricula claims. "The overwhelming weight of evidence shows that sex education that discusses contraception does not increase sexual activity," concludes Douglas Kirby, a senior researcher at ETR Associates in Scotts Valley, Calif., in a report titled "Emerging Answers. " Of some 250 programs, Kirby identified eight (a whopping 3 percent)
April 10, 2001 |
The littlest was 9-year-old Adam Keating, a first-timer whose legs splayed out behind him as he propped himself on his elbows, steadying his aim. Adam's father, Matt, knelt at his shoulder, murmuring advice. Nearby, Renee Mentzer, 14, waited confidently. John Flynn, the senior range officer, strode back and forth behind the group. "Line ready on the left? Ready on the right?" He paused. "Commence fire. " All was silent for a moment, then came the spit of .22-caliber rifles as six children pulled their triggers.