November 7, 2018
The memorable 2018 mid-term elections are now behind us and some unexpected things did happen but overall I am rather happy with the cross-section of the electorate and the fact that the American Election Process is working. There is one notable statistic that came out that I would like to comment on, the 4 most important items in several exit poll interviews. They are:
1 - at 41% HEALTHCARE
2 - at 23% IMMIGRATION
3 - at 21% ECONOMY
4 - at 11% GUN POLICY (one network reported this at 10%)
Now I am very happy that GUNS made the list and #4 out of all the things the government has to do is good. It shows that people are still very concerned with this issue and much more needs to be done. The conundrum is that the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES will now to be DEMOCRATIC lead and their top agenda will be to GET THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT on some issue or other. Therefore the only way to get congress' attention is to redouble our efforts around EVERY LOCAL SHOOTING WE CAN to make them very aware of the tremendous loss of life each year. Each one has a unique story and quite simply, LIVES DO NOT NEED TO BE LOST THIS WAY WITH GUNS. My fear is that over the next 2 years many more people will die before we get the type of change required to measurable reduce Gun Violence.
Year 2017 is now past and what a year with some major cities seeing lower homicides and incidents by gun and others having an even worse year. The net change is really nothing much and then I read this article and the costs are staggering. Article title is;N.Y. gun violence costs state economy over $5.6B a year, study shows and the link is found in the news section post 1/22/18.
A terrible summer once again with some inTteresting differences. There is an elevated discussion around the political scene with a new President of the United states to be elected in November. The drum beat of ENOUGH IS ENOUGH is being heard louder each day as the gun violence continues and in some cities like Chicago is on the rise. THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.
There is a valid question of what should be done and a big part of all this is social justice and jobs. This will take time and H.E.G.I.C. believes we will eventually get there and the real issue is how many more lives are we as a society willing to lose? Race, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation and political views really have no play at all when lives, often innocent lives, are being lost and an alarming rate. The H.E.G.I.C. idea, if implemented in some form WILL reduce shootings and killings for sure in 2 years. The yet to be determined, SOCIAL JUSTICE REFORMS AND JOBS will take an unknown amount of years. The two, illegal gun use and correcting injustices, must be handled separately even though they are strongly connected and very important. We can't continue to kill and maim our people any longer. Which would you choose? H.E.G.I.C. wants to save lives NOW. Each of us individually must make a serious decision about your path forward. Be part of this effort or start your own efforts to bring change. What is going on with our society is not working and we must NEVER accept killing by gun a normal part of life in America. Don't wait for the injustices to be rectified, they never will be in everyones eyes. It is a human conundrum. Going to jail saves a life of the perpetrator and also educates and trains that individual for success at his release. HOPELESSNESS, JOBLESSNESS AND SOCIAL INJUSTICES breed a disrespect for law in general and thus is born a criminal. By implementation of an idea like H.E.G.I.C., we save two lives, the perpetrator and the potential victim. America needs real change NOW! while we formulate long term real changes to all the injustices that exist in society today. Each day we wait we all must accept that part of the burden is ours when a life is lost when we have ineffective current law as we do now.
4 Years Later
On one hand, it is sad to see our good people in government service just throw their hands up, and also great to have them recognize that much more needs to be done. A quote below and below that the link for the entire article.
"I can't face this problem. I just can't. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I can anymore, because I can't," said Councilman Samuel Prado, whose district included Tilton Park. "I'm walking away. I'll probably get criticized for that, but I don't care. Unless we have martial law in the city, I don't see how we're going to fix it."
It's not an issue of poverty or education, Prado said, because Delaware offers plenty in the line of services for the underprivileged. The problem is a culture of violence, one he said he isn't even going to try to understand.
"Nothing changes," Prado said.
THREE YEARS LATER and where do we go from here, or do we remain the same with the same costs to society and same results in unnecessary loss of life.
A couple of important thoughts need to be discussed here as we at H.E.G.I.C. continue to look for different and progressive thinking around the systemic and out of control gun crime rate in our nation. The deaths continue to mount and of course they will never reach zero but with arrest rates at an average of between 20 and 40 per cent across America, IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT SOMETHING BE DONE. Gun violence numbers can be reduced measurably with new approaches.
Lets review. Lots of great efforts have made real changes and they need to continue but we all must keep in mind the costs to our federal, state and local governments. It is tremendous compared to where it could be (lower) with some changes.
A recent PBS NEWSHOUR show shows that raising the price of a product through increased taxes DOES work to reduce consumption http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/vote-san-francisco-soda-tax-draws-near-officials-eye-consumer-benefits/
. The same results of reducing gun crime can come with stronger and simpler sentencing for those crimes.
First, we must re-evaluate how each of us feels about the "wrist slaps" current law often gives for many many illegal gun uses and practices. Take improper storage of a firearm by owners and a child shoots himself or herself. If a REMOTE KILLING DEVICE is permitted to be owned in our society, all aspects of its ownership and use must be governed by law. Many are not now including safe storage.
H.E.G.I.C. has also reviewed the BASTOY PRISON program (many sites on google) on Bastoy Island, Norway, and find the concept very interesting. Their success rate is remarkable and the consequences for failure are severe. One quick video explains briefly what happens here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgujwijPwxo (10/11/14). The H.E.G.I.C theory is that the exact same thing will result in reduction of gun crime by increasing the penalty for illegal gun behavior. The first step is establishing a mandatory sentence and sentence length, and the second step is a two year educational period (more detail in the position paper) which lets all the citizens know, MOST IMPORTANTLY THE "BAD PEOPLE", in a clear way, exactly what the price for bad behavior is before anyone is actually arrested under the new law.
We still have, three years later, in the United States too many shootings and inner cities completely destroyed because of gun violence. People are afraid to use their porches and many move to the basement after dark because of the gunfire on the streets. What a terrible way to have to live. We must as a society continue to evolve our laws so they truly act as a deterrent and not a "game" so many violent people play. When you measure the arrest rates to crimes, you begin to realize that what we have now does not deter at all. You can literally get away with gun crime. The police simply cannot and never will be able to manage "Drive By Shootings" which are becoming more prevalent. How many times have you heard, "NO SUSPECTS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED OR ARRESTED AND NO MOTIVE HAS BEEN DETERMINED". Our inner city communities live in constant terror and fear because of these statements. So many residents are sort of numb to all this ineffectiveness and JUST WANT THE SHOOTING TO STOP. Ask any mom or dad that has lost a loved one and you will see STRONG SUPPORT for the position H.E.G.I.C. has taken. We have interviewed many and their story is the same; "We need something like this that shows a serious consideration for the law abiding citizens. Our government officials are not doing all they can now. Hopefully they will read this idea." IT IS WAY PAST TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT ILLEGAL GUN USE!
We at H.E.G.I.C. have no interest in locking up people for excessive periods for any crimes outside of the gun issue and believe our position paper is a reasonable approach to gun crime. We do believe that everyone in government needs to rethink how gun law is written to better protect our citizens when it comes to firearms. When we think of justice we must consider the victims as well as the perpetrators. It is so sad when you think of all the times government asks the citizens to call in with tips, often with rewards attached, and people have been injured or died in the crime. That would not be so bad if we had the the type of law that truly deters gun crime but to date we do not.
Now, H.E.G.I.C. feels that after all this time and all these deaths in the past 3 years, it is time for progressive change in a big way. To not rally the general population and government officials for change, means that you, as a citizen, believe the current laws and policing are the right mix and the deaths and injuries are just part of doing business in a free and democratic society. H.E.G.I.C. does not feel that way. Gun injuries and deaths most often are not accidents but acts by individuals that actually cause these results. We believe much more needs to be done and we encourage everyone to volunteer some time each week to help move this project idea of reducing illegal gun crime further along in any way you can..
We, as a society get complacent when we see the numbers improving each year, which is great, but we have to consider the financial cost of all this. It is billions of dollars on a national level and with stronger law, you will have fewer people in prison and lower cost related to gun crime. An additional benefit is that you will have policing efforts move into much more constructive areas like community functions, PAL (police athletic leagues), and numerous other activities that build a stronger bond that makes people feel more safe.
Please re-read this entire sight, keeping in mind the BASTOY experiment and fairness to both the assailant and the private citizens. Hardened criminals, are not welcome in our society.