Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Guns, guns and cities and public space

There are many defects in the governance system in the U.S.  The biggest is how rural interests have been favored in the creation of legislative districts and concomitantly legislatures.  Access to guns is one of the many areas of policy where vastly different needs concerning gun access in urban areas vs. rural areas are subsumed within "the lowest common denominator" of policy favoring gobs of access.

-- "Why more than 100 gun control proposals in Congress since 2011 have failed," CNN
-- "Congress vs. the States on Guns," New York Times
-- "Open Carry for All: Heller and Our Nineteenth Century Second Amendment," Yale Law Journal, 123:5 (2014)
-- HeinOnline Second Amendment search term

At the very least, there should be a recognition for the need for differentiated laws between urban and rural areas.

And a limit on how many guns people "need" to express their Second Amendment Rights.

It's amazing to me that the Branch Davidians purchase of a large quantity of guns (300+) drew attention from the ATF ("Davidian Compound Had Huge Weapon Cache, Ranger Says," Los Angeles Times), but an average person can amass an arsenal of more than 40 high powered rifles and other weapons that can easily be converted to shoot "automatically" and this draws no notice.

Trump's campaign quote about "you Second Amendment people":
TRUMP: Hillary wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick -- if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know but. (CNN transcript of a Trump campaign event)
The Onion's fifth use of the same headline on a parody article about gun massacre in the U.S., "No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,"
In the hours following a violent rampage in Las Vegas in which a lone attacker killed more than 50 individuals and seriously injured 400 others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Monday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Iowa resident Kyle Rimmels, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep these individuals from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past eight years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”
-- "Another worst mass shooting in the United States," New Yorker
-- "Want Gun Control? Learn From the N.R.A.," op-ed New York Times
-- "Preventing Mass Shootings Like the Vegas Strip Attack, column by Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

Mass casualty events are becoming all too frequent in cities.  This is a public safety and freedom of assembly matter.

It's obvious that there need to be more restrictions on guns, but the privileging of rural interests in our political system seems to make this impossible ("Why the Majority Doesn't Rule on Guns," Washington Post).

-- Guns on the Roof, lyrics, The Clash

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At 7:49 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

policy paper from Johns Hopkins U

There is a poorly argued op-ed in the Post by AEI pundit Marc Thiessen, talking about how the left is putting politics into LV, gun control. Of course it's politics. It's foolish to not use examples of bad things happening to focus attention on what would be a reasonable response.

One of the points he made is that gun control didn't stop terrorists in France. True. But how many significant mass casualties does France have on a regular basis?

In the US it is roughly four/day.

The graphic editorial in the New York Times is very powerful.


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