"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
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 drinking. BAD NEWS FOR GUN CONTROL ENTHUSIASTS. From Kennedy's Boston Gun 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 market." 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. This and other information on the Second Amendment and the NRA is available at: http://WWW.NRA.Org