Shockingly, FPC agress with the Chicago Tribune: A War on Guns is a terrible idea.
Via the Chicago Tribune:
Chicago has reached a crisis point for gun violence. Voices from various public officials have recently suggested that the solution is to increase the penalty for gun possession. They suggest that a “war on guns” needs to be launched, with longer prison terms providing victory. They are sadly mistaken.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon perceived a crisis in the rising use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other mind-altering substances. He declared a “war on drugs,” which was dramatically expanded in the 1980s by President Ronald Reagan. Penalties for drug possession and delivery were increased. The result was not a decrease in drug usage, however, but rather the demonization and incarceration of an entire generation of mostly young African-American and Latino men. Most responsible people now recognize that the war on drugs was a failure.
A war on guns that focuses solely on punishment sounds like an easy fix, but it will fail just as did the war on drugs. Increasing prison terms while failing to address the causes of gun violence will serve only to, once again, demonize and incarcerate another generation of mostly young African-American and Latino men. An old adage states that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Following the same failed path will have the same failed results.
In Illinois, killing someone with a firearm carries a minimum 45 years in prison, with no possible early release. A 20-year-old convicted of shooting someone to death will see freedom, at the earliest, when he is 65. This minimum 45-year punishment has been in effect since 2000. Did it prevent 90 people from being killed in August? Did it stop the nearly 500 homicides so far this year?
Read more here.