(From WhiteHouse Web page)The Clinton Administration's Youth
Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative

July 8, 1996

"In my State of the Union address I challenged our country to focus on the problem of youth violence.... We're fighting with a strategy that is coordinated and unrelenting, that does rely upon national, state and local prosecutors and politicians and, above all, on citizens working with us."

-President Bill Clinton,
May 13, 1996

From NRA web page

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           NRA Public Affairs
July 8, 1996                                        (703) 267-3820

      Breaking News: Clinton Sees Merit in Enforcing the Law

But the Best-Kept Secret of the Boston Gun Project Remains...Secret
Almost four years into his presidency, Bill Clinton sees the
merit of enforcing existing laws, the National Rifle Association
of America observed today.  

"The purpose of today's presidential press conference is
politics," said NRA Institute for Legislative Action Executive
Director Tanya K. Metaksa.  "The answer to youth crime is
prosecutions, not press conferences."

PRESIDENTIAL LAG.  "For decades, NRA has called for enforcing
existing laws, and we've urged that the power of police and
prosecutors be brought to bear on illegal gun traffickers.  
Clinton's 'initiative' lags behind NRA and federal agencies as
well.  It was sixteen months ago -- February 1995 -- when John
Magaw, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms director,
testified before Congress on Project LEAD: 'We have initiated a
high-priority study to trace firearms recovered from ...
juveniles who use firearms to commit violent crimes,' Magaw
testified.  'The principal purpose of this initiative is to ...
identify and stem the illegal flow of firearms to juveniles ...
and apprehend and prosecute adults who violate firearms laws by
trafficking to juveniles.'"

PRESIDENTIAL PERFORMANCE.  The President correctly noted that
gun-related youth crime is up.  Why, then, according to the U.S.
Sentencing Commission, are prosecutions of federal gun crimes
down 16 percent since President Clinton took office?   

STILL SECRET: THE KENNEDY PLAN.  In today's ceremony, Vice
President Al Gore was "honored" to introduce "Professor David
Kennedy, who's worked very hard to make this initiative a
success."  Said Mrs. Metaksa: "The Clinton initiative is not a
shadow of the Kennedy plan, a creative, comprehensive plan that
focuses on offenders."

A Research Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government,
Kennedy spoke at the National Youth Gang Symposium sponsored by
the U.S. Department of Justice in Dallas June 17-20 and attended
by NRA CrimeStrike.  In the plenary session titled "Firearms:
What Can Be Done?" Kennedy presented the recommendations of
the Boston Gun Project.  In addition to overhauling gun trace
practices, Kennedy also recommended strategies like deterrence. 
An example:

    - Control violent gangs by letting them know in advance and
    in no uncertain terms   even by posting flyers   that the
    level of gang-related gun crime will determine which gang is
    subjected to the most severe police crackdown, and institute
    a community-wide program in which police and probation
    officers announce that because of gang use of guns in crime,
    there will be zero-tolerance for any infraction of the law
    and then enforce all laws and ordinances vigorously
     including probation violations, vagrancy and public

Project's findings reported at the Department of Justice
symposium:  "The largest source state of kid's guns in Boston is
Massachusetts."  Of the guns used in crime by juveniles:  41.7%
were acquired in-state, compared to 29.0% acquired out-of-state,
leading Kennedy to recommend that authorities "focus on the local

Juveniles who used guns to murder were "well known to local
authorities."  Of the known 64 juvenile murderers, before the
murder:  95% had been arraigned in Massachusetts courts; 50% had
been sentenced to probation; 25% had been committed to a youth
correctional facility; and 23% were actually on probation when
they committed the last murder.  Collectively, these juvenile
murderers had been charged with the following crimes before the
latest murder:  3 prior homicides;  68 armed violent offenses; 
63 unarmed violent offenses;  33 firearms offenses;  7 offenses
involving other weapons;  72 drug offenses;  133 property
offenses;  and, 66 disorder offenses for an "average of more than
seven offenses per killer" before the latest murder.

"It's clear that the Clinton approach to gun-related crime is a
whimsical supply-side approach.  It's also clear from the experts
that youth violent crime can be reduced only by a demand-side
approach.  Target young offenders who are, as Professor Kennedy
puts it, 'well known to local authorities,' and you'll see
results.  You'll also see prosecutions, not press conferences."
              -- the nra: people preventing crime --

This information is provided as a service of the National Rifle
Association Institute for Legislative Action, Fairfax, VA.

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