Bush Vows To Fight Gun Crimes In America's Neighborhoods
(CNSNews.com) - President Bush is proposing a "project safe neighborhoods" program to reduce gun crime in America's neighborhoods. He said too many teenagers are dying from gunshot wounds.
"We must send this message: that if you illegally carry or use a gun, there is one consequence in America -- arrest and jail," the president said Thursday in a speech before U.S. attorneys in Washington.
The president vowed the administration would help U.S. attorneys vigorously enforce existing gun laws as well as improve data-sharing and criminal record-keeping in hopes of keeping guns away from criminals.
"The best way to make sure our neighborhoods are safe is to enforce the laws on the books," the president said. "And to the best of our ability we will give you (U.S. attorneys) more tools to do that."
"I've proposed a program called project safe neighborhoods," the president said. "You have a clear charge to fight gun violence in America. U.S. attorneys will work with state and local authorities in a focused and vigorous effort to cut gun crime."
Bush expressed hope that by September of next year, 200 new U.S. attorneys will be hired to fight gun crimes and to focus on "the safety of our citizens."
Bush said investigators will have the best training and the best technology available. "We want to enhance the technology so we can bring people to justice who commit a crime with a gun," said the president.
The president said the U.S. attorneys have an important charge in the fight against gun crime. "On one hand I want you to be tough, but on the other hand, I want you to rally the compassionate, loving souls in neighborhoods who can teach children...right from wrong. This is an important calling."
Brady Law anniversary
Friday marks the eighth anniversary of the signing of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, better known as the Brady Law, named for former White House
Press Secretary Jim Brady. He was seriously wounded in the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence hailed the eight-year anniversary.
"Since the law went into effect, gun deaths in the United States have dropped a remarkable 27 percent, from 39,595 in 1993 to 28,874 in 1999, the latest year for which statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the anti-gun group said in a statement.
"The decline in gun deaths is proof that gun control laws work," said Sarah Brady, wife of Jim Brady and chairperson of the Brady Campaign.
"It took us seven years to get the Brady Law passed and now we are observing its eighth birthday. Look where we are today: crime is down to record levels and gun crimes have fallen even faster than crime overall."
Sarah Brady admitted, "We don't know exactly how many lives have been saved or how many crimes were prevented because these felons couldn't get a handgun. But we do know that criminal background checks work. That's why background checks should be
required for all handgun sales, not just those sold by licensed dealers. Until we have the right gun laws, too many Americans will still die from gunfire."
The Brady Campaign is pushing legislation that would require background checks on all transactions at gun shows, even those from one private individual to another.