October 19, 2005
YOUR ARTICLE "In Philly, killers stick to their guns" (Oct. 17) finds Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson once again dodging his department's chronic inability to solve the problem of violent crime in Philadelphia's neighborhoods. Johnson says, "We have the most lenient gun laws in the entire nation. " Not true, commissioner. Many states have more lenient laws than Pennsylvania. Montana, for example, doesn't even regulate possession of handguns for those under 18. Even liberal Vermont doesn't require a permit for a concealed firearm.
September 22, 2011 |
In the light drizzle of a wet Wednesday, they gathered in mournful silence. Members of the interfaith group Heeding God's Call came to pray at 16th and Catharine Streets, where, on July 1, 20-year-old Benjamin Butcher died of a gunshot wound. As of Monday, he was among 186 whose lives were claimed by gun violence this year, said Linda Noonan, a coordinator of the event. "In Philadelphia, someone is murdered in our city every 28 hours," she said. "Eighty percent of those are due to guns, and we believe the bulk of those are due to illegally obtained guns.
April 22, 2007
"We create the world in which we live; if that world becomes unfit for human life, it is because we tire of our responsibility. " British author Cyril Connolly wrote those words in 1938. The harsh week just ended gives them fresh relevance - and offers a starting point for a national conversation on the role of responsibility in a society that prizes liberty and individualism. Cho Seung-Hui, 23, exploited those aspects of the American character to kill 32 others and himself last week at Virginia Tech.
June 30, 1998
How strong do you have to be to pull the trigger of a gun? According to pediatric researchers, 25 percent of the 3- and 4-year-olds they examined were strong enough to pull the trigger of 59 popular handguns. For 5- and 6-year-olds, the number who could pull a trigger jumped to 70 percent. For the sake of those children - and for the sake of despondent teenagers who feel the need to end their lives, the victims of robberies and murders committed with stolen guns, and others affected by gun violence, the Philadelphia Daily News last week made an usual offer.
March 18, 2005
This is madness. In the last 10 days, 22 people have lost their lives to violence in Philadelphia. Good police work has nabbed some suspects. Authorities yesterday announced an arrest in the Saturday evening shooting of 9-year-old Wander DeJesus, who was sitting with his sister in a van at a North Philadelphia intersection when he was shot in the chest. The criminal justice system must now do its job and deal severely with the guilty. But the urgency of protecting Philadelphians also demands more action from elected and appointed officials.
January 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Mark Kelly woke up in the middle of the night in his hotel room in China and looked at his BlackBerry: 20 children in Newtown, Conn., all shot to death. He called his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, who was thousands of miles away. "I said to her, 'Gabby, we can't just put out a statement anymore,' " Kelly recounted Tuesday. "Twenty first graders and their teachers, murdered in a classroom. If we just talk about it, things won't change. We need to try and help. " With that, a couple who survived their own episode of gun violence decided to make themselves the new faces of the push to toughen the country's gun laws.
June 15, 1992
Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and George Lundberg, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, think that if we look closely at death rates due to firearms, it will make gun-control advocates out of most of us. Consider a few of them: Between 1960 and 1980, the U.S. homicide rate due to guns increased 160 percent, while the population rose 26 percent. Nationally, gunshot wounds are the second biggest cause of death among Americans age 15 to 19. Among black teens, it is the No. 1 killer.
April 10, 2007 |
More than 100 murders so far this year, more than 80 percent of them involving handguns. More than 400 shootings, an average of five a day. A 40 percent increase in homicides since 2002. Almost 85 percent of shooters and victims have criminal records. More than $100 million in hospital charges for assault-related medical care. Not enough jobs or social services, and way too many guns. The litany yesterday became as depressingly numbing - almost - as the sirens outside an urban emergency room on a Saturday night.
September 20, 1999 |
Shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a man who was then one of America's most despised leaders had microphones shoved in his face as he was asked to give his reaction to the death of the president. Malcolm X would utter words that not only repulsed most of the country at the time, but would cause his own Nation of Islam leader to ban him to silence for months. Unlike most Americans, Malcolm seemed to show no sign of remorse, and unlike many politicians of the day, he did not utter the innocuous, overused phrase, "I'm shocked and saddened.