Long Island Police: Use of Illegal Guns Increasing
An article in New York's Newsday Magazine Friday detailed how one gun was used by as many as five criminals in at least four shootings, and on how the black market for such guns is alive and well in spite of the state's oppressive gun control laws.
- In a parking lot outside a club in Ronkonkoma, a Bay Shore man, Todd
Cincinnati, was shot in the buttocks after telling a stranger not to lean on his
car. It was the first in a series of shootings from March until July in Suffolk
County that involved as many as five gunmen and four victims - but just one gun.
During that spree, police said, the black .380 Hi-Point semiautomatic handgun
was used by a Bloods gang member, and later by a member of the Killer Thugs. It
left casings scattered at crime scenes from Ronkonkoma to Wyandanch, but was
only recovered in July, after the fifth time it was used, police say.
Until that day, the Hi-Point moved through a hidden market for illegal
weapons, where guns are bought anonymously and disposed of quickly, and where
traces of past ownership and evidence of crimes are wiped away clean.
"They go from hand to hand to hand," said former gang member Sergio Argueta,
founder of STRONG Youth, a Hempstead-based gang intervention organization. "For
a lot of kids, it's harder to get their hands on a pack of cigarettes than it is
to get a gun."
For police, the fear is simple: More illegal guns means more gun crimes, said
Insp. James Burke, commanding officer of the Suffolk District Attorney's Squad.
Note those words again: "...more illegal guns means more gun crimes." The article reports that reports of shootings and illegal gun activity is on the rise on Long Island, and then suggests a place to focus the blame.
Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.
- "Illegal firearms are a much more pervasive problem than they used to be,"
said Burke, whose unit tries to link "crime guns" in hopes of finding patterns
For the 70,000 registered handgun owners on Long Island, obtaining a license
means submitting to state and federal background checks. But hundreds of others
circumvent New York's tight gun laws by purchasing unregistered weapons from
people - criminals, traffickers, even college students - who buy, then sell
handguns for two or three times the purchase price.
"By the time we get them, these guns have been in hundreds of hands," said
Suffolk police Deputy Insp. Frank Stallone. "We try to get their history, but
like anything else, it's a history with holes, or no history at all."
The State of New York has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country, yet it is clear that gun control only controls law-abiding citizens.
The entire article is well-worth the read, especially for those who are convinced that gun control laws can be in any way successful at ending such violent behavior and access to weapons by people who wish to commit it.