Prosecutors from major cities across the United States announced the formation Wednesday of an alliance to combat gun violence, even as national gun control legislation is frozen on Capitol Hill.
An October summit of the prosecutors, which organizers say will be the first of its kind, is notable for both the range of cities represented—Milwaukee’s lead prosecutor will sit side by side with Los Angeles’—and for the cooperation among disparate offices.
“What I want to achieve at the end of the day is to have very smart, dedicated people get together and start to talk about gun violence, and put the voice of prosecutors into this debate,” New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., co-chair of the new Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, told TIME in an interview. “We want to share what’s working for us.”
Yes, pretty much is going to be a bunch of Mayors from different cities talking…and that’s it. I mean, it is important that there is a perception that they are doing something because:
Vance said American cities are facing an “epidemic” of gun violence that has become a “fact of life.” There were 11,068 firearm homicides in the United States in 2011, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with a homicide rate of 3.6 per 100,000 people. Many of the prosecutors, including Vance and co-chair Mike Feuer, the City Attorney in Los Angeles, have publicly supported stricter gun control. Vance supported the NY SAFE Act, which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the toughest gun control law in the country.
If they say it, it must be true! Not only that but they have the statistics to prove it, right?
Despite the sense of urgency among prosecutors, gun violence has fallen significantly in the United States since 1993, with firearm-related homicides dropping 39% by 2011, according to Pew Research.
And also according to that unimportant government entity called the FBI and its Unified Crime Report. But don’t mind that, we need that sense of urgency to pass more Gun Control Laws because elections!
Vance said the decline in gun violence was due to successful policing strategies and the increasing severity with which prosecutors treat gun cases. Community organizations, Vance said, have also put pressure on police and politicians to tamp down on neighborhood .
And I won’t deny that proper police work and other policies have helped bring crime down, but according to their own words, the liberalization of gun laws we had should have helped increase the crime rate by orders of magnitude, instead crime keeps dropping.
So why Manhattan Prosecutor Cyrus Vance, Jr. is so intent on this October meet? It would not have a thing to do with his working under the tutelage of one Michael Bloomberg when he was a mayor, would it?