Best Approach to 'Gun Problem' Is to Enforce the Law

RECEIVED Mon., Oct. 15, 2007

Dear Editor,
    I commend Jordan Smith for her piece "The Journey of a Gun," Oct. 5 [News]. Unlike most liberal/progressive publications, Ms. Smith has looked at the role of firearms in crime with a clear lens and found – voilá! – that the best approach to "gun crime" is enforcing the law. Surely, her experience writing the Chronicle's “Reefer Madness” column has served her well by disabusing her of the notion prohibition works.
    Jason Meador's remarks in his letter of Oct. 12 [“Postmarks”] are worth noting, when he says, "Those figures [10,000 guns confiscated annually by Chicago Police] don't differentiate between crack dealers and innocent citizens forced to illegally protect themselves from crack dealers." This is rather virgin territory for anyone interested in gun "trafficking" issues; frankly, I haven't come up with even a guesstimate from anyone as to how many guns "smuggled" into gun-prohibition locales were meeting the demand of otherwise law-abiding citizens who are tired of duck 'n' cover approaches to urban violence.
    Incidentally, according to the 13th annual "America's Safest (and Most Dangerous) Cities" report for 2005, Morgan Quitno Press,, Chicago ranks 48 out of 100 cities in terms of murders per 100,000 population (15.6). Houston ranks 46, Miami 58. No. 1? Compton (Calif.) with more than 60 murders. The national average is 5.6 murders per 100,000.
Stephen W. McGuire
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