While Nick, Chris and Joe trip the night fantastic in Oregon’s high desert, the state’s low politicians are exploring new and creative ways to infringe gun owners’ Second Amendment rights. Last year, Mayor Sam Adams’ homies enacted legislation creating three no-go areas for felons convicted of firearms related offenses (a.k.a., Illegal Firearm Use Hotspots). As part of the deal, Portland’s Illegal Gun Ordinance Oversight Committee has submitted its report to the City Council. Surprise! They like it! Unfortunately for the PC police, there’s something of an “ethnic issue” with its implementation. African Americans account for 87 percent of 18 people subject to the extra-legal exclusion. Never mind. In true liberal fashion the Committee points out the Hotspots are for the minority community’s own good . . .
It is important to consider that gun violence disproportionately impacts African Americans in our community and nation-wide. In the first four months of 2012,303% of the victims in gun crimes in Portland were African American.54Yo of known offenders in these crimes were also African American. When compared with the African American population in Portland, which sits around six percent, it is clear that the impacts of gun crimes have a disproportionate impact on the African American community in Portland. The Committee views Hotspot exclusions as having the potential of preventing violence in our African American community.
So that’s that then. Only not quite. The report recommends a few changes. For one thing, the Committee doesn’t want to submit justification for the ordinance every six months (annual reports ought to do it). For another, they want to expand the existing Hotspots. And add two more. And possibly three after that. So it’s a hit! Criminals convicted of firearms offenses are staying out of Portland’s Hotspots, reducing gun crime. How do we know this? Uh . . .
To date, there have been zero violations of the exclusions. The committee was not able to determine the cause of this – whether excluded individuals are following their conditions of probation or, simply, not getting caught in Hotspots – but the Committee does expect both the violations of exclusions and demographics of excluded individuals to change in the future. Once the ordinance is implemented Bureau-wide, exclusions will be issued and enforced by officers outside of the Gang Enforcement Team. Therefore, the Committee has the expectation that Hotspot exclusion demographics will more closely match gun crime demographics in our city.
So naturally the Committee has decided that it’s time to increase the number of Hotspots AND the number of people whose constitutional rights are trampled by the system.
The Committee will work with the District Attorney’s Offlrce to implement a new Gang and Gun Conviction Package with Hotspot exclusions as part of the conditions of probation.
One more thing: the Committee reckons that the Failure to Report Theft of Loss of a Firearm portion of their Hoptspot-creating city ordinance isn’t working because A) people aren’t aware of it and B) it’s not proactive enough. To that end . . .
What our community really needs is a way to track guns back to their owners so that our public safety system can prosecute the people who burglarized community members even if the suspect is not caught for that specific burglary. The Committee explored the option of a voluntary registration for gun owTìers. While it is illegal in Oregon to force registration of firearm ownership, Portland City Council could provide a voluntary registry to community members who want to track serial numbers and other information about their firearms. The Committee will also continue to explore potential changes to state laws that prohibit a mandatory registration on every sale of a gun.
Anyone who believes that ALL gun control laws are NOT a slippery slope should read this and repent. Publicly. Anyone who faces similar measures within their community (Chicago’s decided to actually tear down its “hotspots”) should fight against it tooth and nail. And anyone who cherishes their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms should avoid Portland like the plague and send an email to Mr. Adams explaining their aversion.