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What's Behind America's Love Affair With Guns?

The verdict is in: Bed-Stuy residents choose to "stand their ground"

In our Hot Topic story last week, “,” we asked readers how they felt about the Stand Your Ground Law and similar laws that allow for the use of protective gun force by private citizens?

Well, the verdict is in: Out of 90 people who took the poll, 63 respondents – 71 percent – said that the Stand Your Ground Laws should either stay or stay and be amended. Only 29 percent felt the Stand Your Ground Law should be abolished.

It looks like Bed-Stuy residents are in love... with guns. But they are not alone.

According to FBI crime statistics, In 2010 - the latest year for which detailed statistics are available - there were 12,996 murders in the US. Of those, 8,775 were caused by firearms.

And while gun crime over the past five years is down in the vast majority of states, it is up in New York, Virginia, New Jersey, Mississippi, Missouri, Arizona, Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Connecticut and several of the smaller states

Most of the guns used to commit crime in New York City are illegal weapons, brought in from other states. Most recently, on Sunday, four NYPD officers were wounded by firearms as they tried to rescue a woman taken hostage with a four-month-old baby. Mayor Bloomberg has waged an all-out campaign against illegal guns, seeking federal help to stop the online sale of the firearms.

Two weeks ago, while on the campaign trail, Rick Santorum visited a shooting range in Louisiana. Just as he began to fire two clips from his semiautomatic into his target, a woman in the audience called out, “Pretend it’s Obama!” Apparently, he had on earmuffs, and didn’t hear the comment. But plenty of people standing around, including the press, certainly did.

So what is behind America’s love affair with guns? And why does such a majority of those polled – even in a largely liberal community, such as Bed-Stuy – believe in the right to own at least one?

Is it a firm belief in the U.S. Consitution's Second Amendment right to bear arms? Or perhaps, the desire to own a gun stems from a fear of violent crime? (Ah, the irony).

Or maybe, as it concerns the Stand Your Ground Law, there's a belief that most of the cases where the law could be useful – such as in domestic violence cases – far outweigh those where the law is abused. Or perhaps there is another reason.

Bed-Stuy Patch would love to know what it is. Take our poll, and/or tell us in the comments.

Joe Gonzalez April 11, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Just because there has been a failure of BedStuy's political leadership for decades doesn't means folks have to take this. It's time we the people confront the banks about their longstanding policy to take our collective bank accounts and make business loans to the gun companies. We need to identify those banks and pull our money out of those banks. Real quick they'd get the message that we don't wish to finance our own destruction. WANTED NOTICE; The people of BedStuy are LOOKING for elected politicians to lead us against the banks who are funding the gun lobby.
Albert C. Thompson April 15, 2012 at 09:42 AM
The US Constitution does not guarantee all citizens the right to bear arms. That doesn't make people who exercise that constitutional right gun lovers maybe just believers in self preservaion. People have a right to defend themselves against bodily harm. There are some compelling arguments why restrictions on gun ownership are placed in densely populated areas by some States and municipal government. Gun ownership wouldn't work in urban quarters though arguably home invasions (on the increase in Bed Stuy) might be less likely to occur if law abiding residents had legitimate access to guns. There are tens of thousands of americans who belong to citizen militias and gun clubs throughout the U.S. preparing for what they perceive is the "inevitable" showdown when government will no longer protect their interest whether favoring either rich or poor. In NYC you can own a firearm legally if you can prove a need related to protecting a commercial business. Protecting one's self or family from criminals who break into our homes and/or mug and rape women, kids or seniors with impunity is not considered justification. As the Nation continues to transform economically pray that our government can effectively protect the unarmed against right wing fringe groups as well as the criminal predators who live among us. In the meantime we better strategically partner with our neighbors and those sworn to uphold the law and protect us. Insist they be held accountable.
Brendan Grimestad April 19, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Just FYI, the police have NO duty to protect individuals from crime. Zero, zip, nada. This has been upheld consistently in several Supreme Court decisions. Their job is to protect SOCIETY at large - NOT you, or your loved ones. It is within the right of the police to come toodling along 3 hours after your frantic 911 call begging for rescue from the 250-pound, machete-wielding meth-head busting down your front door. It is also their right to stop for doughnuts and coffee on the way to your house, while said meth-head is killing you. Indeed, it is their right not to come at all, because they had more pressing business elsewhere. Until that situation changes (and cops can teleport to my location when I call 911) I will pack my .357 snub... whether the anti-gun weenies like it or not!

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