Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gun Laws vs. Gun Crimes

According to the most recent FBI stats, gun control laws have risen to their highest levels ever in the past two years. The FBI as seen an abundant increase in gun application background checks between 2009 - 2010 for the entire country. This means that not only have gun shops become more vigilant in following the laws but also that more individuals are seeking to purchase weapons across the nation.

The highest rates of gun crimes is known to occur in their primary states, Texas being one of them. Of course, in Texas we have always treasured our outlaw roots and have been one of several states that find it difficult to press forward with such stringent requirements of gun purchases, because if we are being realistic, this is Texas! We are known for gun toting, cattle rustling and an amazingly rapid death penalty system. Some may contribute the lax gun laws and our crime stats to one another, however, in the DC Gun Crime article, New York and California are also listed with Texas as having the highest gun crimes in the nation. Still New York and California also have the strongest gun control laws in the country and have been working to tighten the noose even more in this area.
So my concern is, if stricter laws are meant to control gun related crimes then why are New York and California's gun crimes at the same rate, if not a bit higher, than those in Texas?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

When is murder for murder acceptable?

After reading Ross Byrd's poignant message about his father and how he felt that taking one man's life would not change the fact that his father is never coming back, I realized just how blood thirsty our criminal justice system and government can be. James Byrd, Jr. was brutally tortured and killed by white supremacists Lawrence Russell Brewer, along with two others, in June of 1998.
Brewer's actions, while reprehensible, should have garnered him the pleasure of spending all his days and nights on a life sentence in solitary confinement with only his thoughts and conscious to keep him company. However, our state has an accelerated death sentence that requires the swift "murder" of anyone deemed worthy of being removed from breathing the same air as the rest of us fine Texans. Yet, Mr. Byrd's opinions, as a victim, were not a factor in the sentencing of Brewer and thus the state has enforced this with lethal injection.
As Mr. Byrd has stated, in regards to his father's memory, "you can't fight murder with murder". So is the young Byrd correct in believing that lethal injection murder sentences are not a deterrent or even an appropriate act of revenge for criminals in the state of Texas?

Monday, September 19, 2011

H.B. 867 Council on Sex Offender Treatment Texas Sex Offender Laws - Deregistration

Sex Offender De-Registration, see this link for updates on de-registration criteria and prospective laws.