The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 15, 2013

Violence-Plagued Urban Neighborhood Feels Ignored in Gun Debate


Young and his parishioners said anger management courses, job training and tougher penalties for illegal possession of guns would do more than banning assault weapons. "Two nines [9mm guns] can do just as much damage as an assault weapon," Young said.

In a survey of urban police officials, PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler said, solutions for tamping down urban gun violence included tough prosecution of felons caught with guns, focusing on gang prevention and targeting known gun offenders with surveillance. Mentoring programs have also proven effective, he said.

"It was a horrible tragedy in Newtown, but if it has provided anything — it has provided an opportunity to take a big picture look at how gun violence affects cities across the country," he said.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., a longtime advocate of tougher gun laws, is so hopeful about the possibility of tougher restrictions on guns that she took along with her to the State of the Union Nardyne Jefferies, whose 16-year-old daughter, Brishell, was killed with two other teens in a drive-by shooting on South Capitol Street in 2010.

"We will not turn around this time," Norton said. She sees a real chance for Congress to enact the universal background checks, which she said could cut down on the ability of criminals to buy guns and make resale more difficult.

On the streets of Capitol View, Williams, the young man whose 22-year-old brother was shot last year, said he wonders whether Congress is dealing with the wrong issue. Can a law keep a gun off the streets? Would a background check have saved his brother from a bullet?

His brother was caught up with a "bad crowd, " said Williams, who added that he leads a comparatively quiet life. He isn't sure whether tougher gun laws would have saved his sibling — or, for that matter, that they can protect him.

"Jobs, that's what we need," Williams said.

Text Only
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video