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Texas Police Detective: Gun Laws Can't Stop Shootings

Image: Texas Police Detective: Gun Laws Can't Stop Shootings
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By    |   Thursday, 14 Jul 2016 09:55 AM

After President Barack Obama's speech in Dallas Tuesday echoed calls to tighten access to firearms, a Texas police detective called for an alternative to gun control in The Washington Post.

In an op-ed, Dallas-area Det. Nick Selby, author of "In Context: Understanding Police Killings of Unarmed Civilians," first compliments Obama for his moving speech, but disagrees that added gun controls, which the president has pushed since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook, Conn., would reduce gun violence.

He points to a program introduced in Richmond, Calif., which had one of the country's highest homicide rates. In 2007, after 45 gun-related deaths in a city of barely over 100,000 people, Mother Jones reports, Devone Boggan founded the Office of Neighborhood Safety.

The experimental program has since become known for its unique approach to reducing violence and is run almost exclusively by ex-convicts.

Using police records and other data, the office initially identified the 50 city residents most likely to shoot someone or get shot themselves. They were then offered a place in the program, which includes training, education, and eventually a stipend, all to help turn their lives around.

"I'm not telling him how he should live his life," ONS staff member Sam Vaughn told The Guardian regarding one ex-con. "I'm just giving him some options."

By 2014, with only 11 homicides, the murder rate had fallen to Richmond's lowest since 1971.

 "While a number of factors including policy changes, policing efforts, an improving economic climate, and an overall decline in crime may have helped to facilitate this shift," reads a study by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

"Many individuals interviewed for this evaluation cite the work of the ONS, which began in late 2007, as a strong contributing factor in a collaborative effort to decrease violence in Richmond."

"Regardless of politics, I believe all Americans — from NRA lifetime members to Mayors Against Illegal Guns — truly want to reduce the number of people killed every year by guns," Selby says in his essay.

"So we should consider programs that are much easier for elected officials to pass, and have a much higher chance of success.

"We owe at least that to our children, and to the officers killed and wounded in Dallas."

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After President Barack Obama's speech in Dallas Tuesday echoed calls to tighten access to firearms, a Texas police detective called for an alternative to gun control in The Washington Post.
Texas, Cop, Gun Laws, Alternative, Gun Control, Shootings
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2016-55-14
Thursday, 14 Jul 2016 09:55 AM
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