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Maine Rates Low in Gun Crime See Why

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by satellite66, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

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    Don't hold your breath to see this story on the evening news or your local paper.

    Saturday, March 26, 2005

    Maine rates low in violent gun crimes


    By DAVID HENCH, Portland Press Herald Writer

    Copyright © 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.


    Maine has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the country, but when it comes to violent crime, those guns are seldom put to use.


    Figures published this week by the Muskie Institute show that guns were involved in 92 of the 1,067 murders, robberies and aggravated assaults recorded by the state in 2003. That means just 8.6 percent of violent crimes involved firearms in Maine, the lowest rate for any state in the country.

    Gun control opponents say Maine is a clear example that the availability of guns does not lead to more crime.

    "The problem isn't the firearm. The problem lies in the criminal element," said John Hohenwater, a state liaison with the National Rifle Association. "How do you stop criminals from being criminals?"

    Gun control supporters say the statistics don't capture the type of gun violence more prevalent in Maine.

    "We have a very different version of gun violence than most of the larger states. We don't have drive-bys and drug wars among gangs," said William Harwood, a founder of Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence. If suicide and criminal threatening by abusive partners are included, the numbers are less encouraging, he said.

    "We lose 100 citizens every year in Maine to gun violence. That is very close to the national average of how many people die of gun violence across the country," he said.

    In 2003, only North Dakota and Vermont recorded fewer than 92 violent crimes involving guns. Maine's 8.6 percent rate was one-third the national average and far below states like Mississippi and Georgia, where guns were used in 41 percent and 39 percent of violent crimes, according to numbers compiled by the Muskie Institute's Maine Statistical Analysis Center.

    U.S. Attorney Paula Silsby offered two possible factors contributing to the state's low rate of gun violence.

    "We don't have the density of population. As a result of that you don't have anonymity," she said. She also said that Maine is at the end point in the drug distribution chain and so doesn't tend to have rival drug distribution groups competing violently for market share.

    Of the state's gun crimes in 2003, 64 percent were committed with a handgun and 42 percent involved drugs or alcohol.

    The comparative statistics do not include suicide as a gun-related violent crime; suicide accounted for 91 gun-related deaths in Maine between 2000 and 2002.

    Gun control supporters cited the relationship between guns and suicide when lobbying this year for new restrictions on young people buying guns. They failed to win support for a 10-day waiting period for gun buyers under 21 but did get committee support for requiring people under 18 to get their parents' permission before buying a gun.

    Maine's low rate of gun crime might be related to relatively low levels of crimes that are linked in other states to a high number of shootings.

    "Overall, violent crime is on the way down, yet in those cities that have experienced real firearm-related violence, what has gone up has been drastic changes in the use of drugs - methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine," said Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion.

    Federal budget reductions that could cut the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency need to be re-examined, he said.

    "That might in fact be opening the door to future gun violence," Dion said. "Addicts may make incredibly poor choices about acquiring money and the quickest way of acquiring that money may be at the barrel of a gun or the point of a knife and that's when you may get some of that sporadic, mindless violence."
  2. rjjrwi

    rjjrwi New Member

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    very interesting , could your post a link to the story ?
    I would like to post this on a local forum in my area but they don't allow C&P you have to post a link to the story
  3. Neil

    Neil New Member

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    not that I dout your post at all I would just also like to read the article. This is Great "an armed society is a polite society" really is true.
  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
  5. rjjrwi

    rjjrwi New Member

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  6. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

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    Sorry thought I posted the link. It was early this morning before work when I posted it.
  7. rosierita

    rosierita Active Member

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    :) thanks for the post satellite!
  8. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

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    Good ammo for our side.
    Thanks.
  9. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 New Member

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    This may or may not make the TV news up here. Not much goes on so on a slow day, a cat stuck in a tree is news. However, with a fairly large Democrap population (all the yuppies M@$$holes coming up) it'll get covered up if they can. They have Portland police Chitwood (media mike) spout off about how dangerous guns are and about gangs and crime but only suggest to ban the guns and not doing anything about the perps. Still too many gun owners that are voting and have thier voices heard to have any negative rules put into place. thankfully, we're still one of the "good" states.
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