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By Paul Bendix

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About this blog: A 32-year resident of Menlo Park, I regularly make my way around downtown in a wheelchair. This gives me an unusual perspective on a town in which I have spent almost half of my life. I was educated at UC Berkeley, and permanentl...  (More)

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Reducing Gun Violence – One Small Step Forward

Uploaded: Jan 27, 2014
Menlo Park may seem a benign enough suburb – but look closer. As Martin Lamarque points out, we spend twice as much on policing as on community services. That's partly because areas of town experience crime, including gun violence, on a regular basis. Which is why we should all support new technology that helps law-enforcement track criminal firearms.

It's called micro-stamping. The technique has been around long enough to prove itself – which may be one of its problems. The gun industry knows it works. That's why they are challenging micro-stamping in court. In California, the technology has been law since early last year.

Basically, micro-stamping ensures that when someone fires a semiautomatic pistol, an identifying code gets physically stamped onto the cartridge casing. The result is ballistic evidence that could be a boon to law enforcement. A single cartridge found at a crime scene could easily reveal the weapon used.

Readily linking a cartridge casing to the gun that fired it – why not? This doesn't restrict weapons ownership. It simply makes it easier to identify a gun's make, model and serial number. While making it harder to traffic in firearms. It increases the chances that a gun used in a crime can be traced to its owner.

Naturally, the gun industry doesn't like it. But the American Bar Association does – and everyone else should. While not a panacea for gun crime, micro-stamping is a step in the right direction. In a town that spends 38% of its budget on law enforcement, this is a crime-solving technology that everyone should support.

Comments

Posted by Martin Lamarque, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:19 pm

There is that and a few other sensible ways to curb the carnage.
But as long as the Republicans have control of the votes, and in turn the gun industry, a.k.a. NRA, has the control the Republican Party, we won't see progress.
In the meantime this should not stop us from talking about, and pushing for it. We owe it to the children of this country.


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