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.