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Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Drugs, Guns, or Both? Philadelphia to Target Crime Surge at its Core

Officials in Lancaster County, PA are meeting today to discuss the problems that led local newspapers to dub Philadelphia the "City of Blood."  In 2006, Philadelphia has seen 268 murders and more than 1,330 victims of gunfire. 

State House Speaker John Perzel, a Philadelphia Republican, wants the state to spend $225 million to help cities and towns across the state to hire 10,000 new police officers by 2010.  And Rep. Dwight Evans, a Democrat from Philadelphia, is seeking votes on bills that would limit the sale of handguns to one per month, per customer and ban military-style guns statewide. 

But Lancaster County District Attorney Don Totaro believes there are more effective ways of curbing violent crime than gun control laws.  He believes gun control laws only affect law abiding citizens. "Convicted felons who illegally possess guns and those who act as ‘straw purchasers’ to buy guns for felons present a clear danger to our community, yet state penalties are inadequate to deal with this serious problem."  The solution, he said, is tougher prison sentences. More from Lancaster Online. . . [Michele Berry]

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