Stop Gun Violence: Strengthen Families

Americans hear tragic stories every day involving guns! However, we must discuss community change if we are going to stop gun violence! With limited success, government, police, schools and nonprofit groups try to reduce violence with educational programs on child abuse, bullying, drug abuse, domestic violence and gangs as politicians write new gun control laws. These approaches help, but to break the cycle of violence we must focus on the root cause for gun violence, the breakdown of the family.

Americans gave away their power to keep cities safe when family and neighborhood support decreased. Neighbors who used to take care of each other turned the responsibility over to police as city leaders hired more police and turned to technology to increase public safety!

Police became the new authority figure. With increasing police responsibilities, the healthy balance between police and citizens declined. In some areas, citizens feared police and stopped reporting criminal activities.

For decades, taxpayers funded the “war on drugs” and the “war on poverty.” Citizens grew increasingly dependent, as cities became crime ridden. We lost generations of youth to drugs, crime and gangs, as criminals with guns spread fear and destruction.

As society changed, self-image became the mission of the “me” generation. “Experts” fueled the sexual revolution with new values and role models. Divorce, domestic violence and infidelity became commonplace as children grew increasingly neglected and confused. They learned to fend for themselves. Angry young people discovered a false sense of power with gangs, guns, prostitution and other self-destructive behaviors.

Bully/victim behavior reflected home life. Many young people no longer valued themselves or others. Education was not a priority as thousands dropped out of school and created homelessness and blight.

Drug abuse and violence are signs of unmet needs and guns are power tools to feel important. The message is… Notice me! I need to belong, have guidance and support to feel good about myself!

Over the years, we ignored our spiritual roots. We accepted a new generation lacking emotional maturity and accepted anti-social behavior as police and government struggle to keep cities safe. Americans are paying a high price for neglected youth! Is it any wonder teens lacking emotional stability often turn to drugs and other addictions to escape?

Based on my experience as a crime and violence prevention specialist for 36 years, I see disconnected families and neighborhood isolation contributing to gun violence. City leaders, police and citizens must work together to reduce fear and stop criminal activity. Neighbors need to connect with each other and build trust. Connected neighbors become new role models for youth!

Today, with reduced budgets, politicians and police want citizens to work together. However, Americans do not hear a local or national mandate with recommended steps to help support families. Politicians and community leaders have the power and influence to create change!

We can save our kids, by focusing on faith, family and community to strengthen family support. Community leaders can help break the cycle of abuse, which threatens to bankrupt and destroy our American way of life. The annual cost of crime in the U.S. is $1.7 trillion a year. (Source: Univ. of Chicago – Journal of Law and Economics)

What city leaders can do:

Focus on community building for health and safety. Connected neighbors can restore the human touch so children feel safe and protected. Involved neighbors reduce fear and social isolation as they increase the check and balance on juvenile behavior before kids get out of control.

Appoint a planning committee of 8 to 10 volunteers, to focus on… strengthening families! The committee decides on an action plan and promotes a SAFE CITY campaign to get neighbors connected. Volunteers reach out into the community and promote community responsibility for neighborhood safety. (Based on city size, several groups can be formed.)

Ideas might include:

Encourage city employees such as police and firemen to be role models and host social gatherings to help build neighborhood trust.

Encourage leading city pastors to motivate other pastors to set the example of “Love thy Neighbor” to strengthen community bonds.

Invite civic and church groups to start projects to help neighbors’ work together on community gardens, safety fairs, clean up, etc. In cities, 1 in 5 children have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Offer neighbors a safe place to share concerns to reduce frustration and stress.

Involve and train youth, with adult support, to go door to door to conduct surveys and assist Seniors with home maintenance.

Invite existing neighborhood leaders and police to discuss ideas, strategies and how to overcome stumbling blocks.

Train Community Coaches in areas with language barriers.

Reward and publicize neighborhood successes.

Create a list of resources and volunteer opportunities.

Publicize, Publicize, Publicize for success!

We can make cities safe and reduce gun violence if we get organized for community change. Children need safe neighborhoods to play and grow so they can become contributing members of society.

Firearm Sale Laws

Firearms are weapons used most commonly for the protection of homes and recreational hunting purposes. But they can also be used to commit crimes, including tragic homicides. Because of this there are a number of laws in place to restrict who may buy, own, shoot, and sell a gun. These laws are decided from state to state but overall there are a number of common provisions that all firearm sale laws possess.

Laws on Firearm Sales

There are many restrictions on who can possess a gun. Convicted felons, drug addicts, and individuals on probation are just some of the many individuals who are unable to possess a firearm. But there are also a number of laws concerning the sales of firearms. These commonly include:

  • It is a crime to sell, barter, or give a gun or other dangerous weapon to an individual under the age of 18 without the permission of the minor’s parent(s).
  • It is illegal for a gun seller or manufacturer to sell a gun without utilizing the proper registration and confirmation procedures.
  • It is illegal to sell a gun without approval of the local government agency overseeing gun sales and firearm law enforcement.
  • In many cities and states there is a mandatory waiting period of a few days for any individual attempting to purchase a handgun. This waiting period is for the protection of the individual and the seller.

While these laws are common across the United States it is important to check with your local governance in order to avoid being involved in any accusations of illegal activity.

For More Information

It is important to be aware of your local firearm laws in order to protect yourself and your rights. If you would like to know more about gun laws, firearm sale laws, and criminal defense law, visit today.

Gun Safety Training Through Airsoft Style Firearm Replicas

This generation is growing up, the generation of kids who have grown up with increasingly violent movies and videos games involving realistic people killing other realistic people with realistic guns. Games such as Counter-Strike and Call of Duty both involve using guns that exist in real life to shoot and maim other players in online battles.

These kids are approaching, or have already approached and passed the age where they can legally own and possess a firearm. They grew up surrounded by these guns, have used them in computer games to kill others, and have come out of it with an ignorant familiarization towards firearms. Not to say that these movies and games cause this by making the afflicted more prone to aggression, but that they believe they know how to operate a gun when in reality, they do not. Your average teen aged Counter Strike player could probably tell you all about the various guns in the game, how much recoil they have, how good they are compared to other in game guns, but they are severely lacking in the knowledge of how to carry, clean, aim and in other words, actually use a gun. This can lead to problems when they buy a real gun after they have come of the legal age to own a firearm. Accidental deaths, hospital visits, disfigurement and loss of limbs/digits all occur because the owner of the gun was either too ignorant or careless with their gun.

The answer to this problem, as with most, is to educate children and young adults in a low risk environment where they can make mistakes that won’t blow their fingers or toes off. The solution; Airsoft guns or BB guns. They are realistic replicas of real guns that shoot low density plastic pellets, or BB’s. The benefits to Airsoft guns are multi faceted. Airsoft guns are much cheaper than real firearms, and a spring powered pistol can cost around 10% of what it’s real life counterpart would cost. Because they are so realistic, they often come with working slides, safeties, and magazine ejectors. They shoot BB’s, which means that an accidental misfire will at worst, result in a stinging welt, instead of a trip to the hospital.

The legal requirements for Airsoft guns are similar to those regarding real firearms. All crimes committed using an Airsoft gun are treated as a real gun. The law as it stands now regarding possession and purchase are rather simple, if a little restrictive. Currently, any one, at any age can have and use an Airsoft gun, but only can be purchased by an adult 18 years of age or older. While this is easily gotten around by purchasing online, it turns what should be a proud purchase into one seemingly shameful.

By lowering the minimum age to purchase Airsoft guns from 18 to 16, more children can become familiar with how to safely use a gun and avoid accidents in the future, while taking part in an enjoyable and satisfying activity unrivaled by computer shooting games.

Why Airsoft Guns in Law Enforcement and Self Defense Training?

Contrary to popular belief, Airsoft is not limited to game play and war reenactments. For many years now both law enforcement and military branches have used a variety of Airsoft guns to practice for emergency situations and train in realistic scenarios. Using Airsoft pistols in these situations allows for mistakes, corrections and necessary learning experiences for policemen and military personnel without the loss of life.

Airsoft blowback pistols are often used by policemen and law enforcement for practice as they match the dimensions and weight of the actual pistols used. In these scenarios, the policemen and women, and military personnel, have the opportunity to practice, test and evaluate their tactics, equipment, and physical and mental capabilities in a realistic and safe training situation.

The drills they practice involve engaging targets – as they would in a real situation – that may react and shoot or fight back. Training in such a realistically simulated environment allows those in law enforcement to be prepared so they react without hesitation, doubt or mistakes.

In an environment where law enforcement increasingly deals with violent crime and national security, it has become crucial for each officer to demonstrate proficiency and competency with regards to their weapons handling and situation control, and Airsoft presents a cost-effective method of training to ensure the highest standards of capability.

This situation-based training involves non-lethal weapons of the handgun and long gun variety, like Airsoft blowback guns which have a sliding top section similar to real pistols which further allow for the realism of the training scenario. Pistols like this use gas (propane or green gas usually) to power the gun and therefore, do not require cocking prior to firing. Additionally, since blowback pistols are typically automatic or semi-automatic and have a higher fps than spring loaded guns they have capabilities closer to those of the handguns used by law enforcement.

More recently, Airsoft shotguns have been incorporated into self defense and gun safety classes in order to better train people. Utilizing a replica of real guns prepares people in case they need to use the real thing someday – they feel more comfortable and are more familiar with the guns they need to handle as they have practiced with a similar model.

Since Airsoft replicas are 1:1 in scale, they are the best alternative for self defense and training classes and with correct eye and body protection (which is required for all Airsoft uses – including game play) the potential for any bodily injury is minimal. Airsoft is expanding beyond gameplay as more and more people see the value in using them for important law enforcement training and self defense classes.

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