Focus On Illegal Gun Trafficking & Culture Of Violence

By Anthony P Mauro, Sr

Anthony P. Mauro
Anthony P. Mauro

New Jersey –-(Ammoland.com)- There are many people working on gun control legislation in New Jersey.

I like the idea of enhanced penalties for gun crimes. I also like the emerging emphasis on mental-health treatment. But I think there are two critical areas being overlooked.

New Jersey has the second most restrictive gun laws in the nation. Therefore, creating additional laws should not be the focus of the state; it should instead be ensuring any new laws squarely make us safer, and that we do so without further eroding our second amendment rights in the process.

For example, research shows that 72% to 85% of firearms used in crimes in New Jersey were purchased out of state. Additionally, 97.2% of the murders caused by firearms are by handguns. It would seem from these statistics that we could make a substantive impact on murders caused by firearms if we directed new laws at stopping the practice of illegal gun trafficking and straw purchases of handguns. This aspect is not squarely addressed in pending legislation as of this writing.

Also, we are told that much of violent behavior is learned and that exposure to a culture of family violence and abuse is a basis for a cycle of family violence and abuse. The fact is that our society is saturated with gun violence as depicted in TV shows and movies, and we have new generations manipulating the controls of video games to create acts of gun violence that they experience in a world of virtual reality. If a culture of violence is a basis for violent behavior, and daily exposure to glorified violence is brought into our homes through televisions and video games, then it too should be squarely addressed in pending legislation.

Of course, a culture of violence caused by various forms of media does not bode well for the media industry. We are now seeing media outlets unearthing experts citing research about how a culture of media violence does not produce or encourage violent behavior. But the past actions of the media belie such assertions.

In the 1960s, the media understood its importance as educator and role model in portraying a society free of racial prejudice; and in response changed the images and messages being broadcasted into our homes. We began to see a diversity of races and genders being portrayed in films, and on TV; all in an effort to remove barriers and change a “culture” of prejudice or inequality.

So, why isn’t the media quick to change the images and messages it sends in violent media programing and in virtual violence in video games? Could profit motives and a script that doesn’t fit media agendas be a factor?

Similarly, the media understood its ability to change a culture of cigarette smoking that once existed in our nation. It wasn’t long ago when TV shows and movies were filled with scenes of cigarettes hanging from the mouths of actors and role models. There were also TV commercials promoting cigarette smoking.

Our society, experts, and researchers recognized that constant exposure to cigarette usage and scenes of cigarette smoking added to a culture of smoking, and the media acted responsibly to remove cigarette smoking from TV and movie scenes. Cigarette commercials were also banned.

The actions of the media, researchers, educators, and policy makers have proven that they believe exposure to images and portrayals of unwanted “cultures” (prejudice, smoking, etc.) perpetuate the unwanted culture. So, why aren’t they using this same understanding and proven effective approach as a means to change a culture of violence?

In my opinion, 100 pounds of research doesn’t equal one ounce of common sense. I don’t believe for a moment that saturating society with images of unwanted behavior doesn’t promote a culture of unwanted behavior. Plus, past actions by the media, educators, and policy makers, have proven they believe the same, and they have responded with censorship of these behaviors

Remember, New Jersey has the second most restrictive gun laws in the nation.

Therefore, in NJ, efforts to change a culture of violence that is promoted and endorsed by media and video game purveyors, and making laws targeting illegal gun trafficking and straw purchases of handguns (72% – 85% are used in murders) seem to me to have the potential of significantly reducing murders caused by firearms, while maintaining our second amendment rights.

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Anthony Mauro

PS – I also believe that “mental health treatment” is the best course of action for people with mental problems, whether it is depression, anxiety, etc. I think it should be encouraged to those that may need it. I understand that mental health treatment is less than perfect. I also understand there are people who do not benefit, but the big picture suggests it is the best option for improving mental health.

Anthony Mauro

To 5 war veteran and others Thank you for your respectful responses. More importantly, thank you to those who have served our country. I think there is confusion about what I am saying, so I’d like to explain further. A mental illness, under the terms I was referring to is not PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc. In my original comment I stated, “I also like the emerging emphasis on mental-health treatment”. I then clarified I was referring to: “Involuntary commitment”. Regarding “Involuntary commitment”, a medical professional must determine that the person meets the commitment requirements. This is a legal process with… Read more »

Buck

We no longer have a media in this country , we have a progressive state department of propaganda , and they will do everything they can to enhance the goal of the progressive state , including enabling a dismantling of the second amendment , or the whole constitution for that matter .

Becker

Millions of WWII, Korean, Viet Nam, and Gulf war Vets. have come home with PTSD, owned and used guns for many years and harmed no one. We are not criminals. No laws have been broken!

5 War Veteran

Dear Anthony Mauro, I agree with you that there should be greater sentencing for violent crimes whether guns are used or not. I also believe what the Attorney General, those who provide weapons illegally to criminals should also have increased sentencing. To that, I suggest the Attorney General be first for his responsibilities in Fast and Furious. Agreed? As for veterans “with PTSD” while on active duty they call PTSD “malingering”. While in Viet Nam at the age of 17 the exposure made me “hyper vigilant” a symptom of PTSD. That hyper vigilance saved my life as well as the… Read more »

Steve

Damn it, DRUGS, DRUGS AND DRUGS! Why can’t people get it in their dim witted heads! The vast majority of gun crime is in our large cities! Why? Can anyone guess why? DRUG ABUSE BOTH ILLEGAL AND PYSCHOTROPIC! The vast majority are done with ILLEGAL HAND GUNS, not by legitimate law abiding citizens THAT HAVE TO SUFFER BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENT INACTION! Until the destruction of DRUG probelm is accomplished tens of thousands will die and even more atrocities in Mexico. This point must be driven into the dull witted Americans calling for gun control! It’s the insidious Democratic Socialists that… Read more »

Daniel Roberts

Anthony Mauro. Before you put so much faith in the Govt ( Courts) to ensure due process regarding “mental illness” I would urge you in thr strongest possible terms to check out the rampant abuse of that process by NY State Officials under the SAFE ACT. I wrote the article for this site that first exposed what has now become a National Scandal.

Anthony Mauro

Hi Ben To my knowledge, in NJ pending legislation, the mental health component is one that that relies on due process. In other words, government agencies can’t determine whether a person is “mentally ill”, and mental illness in the forms that you’ve described are not a basis for determining whether a person should possess firearms. Instead, it is when a person is considered by medical professionals, and by due process (courts) that he/she is a harm to themselves and society, that they must be institutionalized. In my opinion, a person fitting the above criteria (insane and institutionalized), having gone through… Read more »

Ben

RE: Focus On Illegal Gun Trafficking & Culture Of Violence Dear Mr. Anthony P. Mauro, Sr. If you are an expert on hunting, that’s fine with me and I cannot talk about things that I am not familiar with. However, I am well familiar with blatant and purely satanic fraud associated with phony Mental Health, which you openly support in the first paragraph of your article. I suppose this forum would not allow me to say what I want to say about your mental faculties because if you don’t know a damn thing on the issue, then don’t talk about… Read more »