Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

March 25, 2013

Talk in Elkhart focuses on gun violence

ELKHART — What can we do about gun violence in this country and in our own back yards?

That question set the framework for an informal community discussion held Saturday evening in Elkhart on the topic of gun violence and trafficking in Elkhart County and beyond.

Hosted by Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes, the small event kicked off at 7 p.m. at the Hively Avenue Mennonite Church, 800 E. Hively Ave., Elkhart, and featured the Rev. Fred Kauffman, MCC Philadelphia program coordinator and gun violence specialist.

A strong advocate against gun violence for years, Kauffman shared personal stories regarding his past work on gun violence, most recently in the city of Philadelphia, where he currently resides. Kauffman also augmented his talk with a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation detailing some surprising statistics related to gun violence around the country.

During his talk, Kauffman pointed to the fact that in 2011, Philadelphia police confiscated more than 4,600 illegal guns. At a cost on the street of about $250 per gun, Kauffman noted that the total street value of those guns reached more than $1.1 million — one reason why the sales of stolen and illegal firearms remains a huge business in many communities.

While purchasing a gun legally in Indiana requires numerous steps to try and keep felons and other criminals from purchasing guns, Kauffman pointed to what he calls “straw purchasing”, or having someone who can legally purchase a gun purchase it for someone who cannot, as another big reason why illegal gun sales continue to be a problem in this country. Kauffman said it is very uncommon for gun shops known to sell guns to suspected straw purchasers to be held accountable for those sales.

Kauffman also pointed to the strength of gun advocacy organizations such as the National Rifle Association as a reason for lack of comprehensive gun laws in the United States.

As an example, Kauffman mentioned a defeated Pennsylvania law, the “Lost or Stolen Reporting” law, which would have required a person whose handgun is stolen to report it to police within a certain period of time or face possible liability if the gun is found to have been used in a crime.

A poll, taken in 2007, reportedly found that 96 percent of voters supported the bill. However, when the House of Representatives went to vote on the bill, two-thirds voted against it.

“Why?” Kauffman asked. “Because of the organized power of the gun lobby, in particular the NRA. So (the House) went with the four percent (who opposed the bill).”

In another statistic, Kauffman noted that typically just 15 percent of all gun shops account for all crime gun traces.

“A very small number of gun stores are the source of crime guns,” Kauffman said. “The vast majority of gun shops are really sporting shops.”

And according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, just 1 percent of gun shops make up 57 percent of crime gun sales.

In discussing what can be done to try to curb the growing gun violence in this country, Kauffman said his first suggestion is to get the illegal gun trafficking under control by getting gun shops on the right side of the issue.

“I really think the key is holding gun shops and managers accountable... so this kind of illegal trafficking doesn’t happen,” Kauffman said. “Someone is making a lot of money off of it. I think that’s the real issue.”

Kauffman said he feels it is incredibly important for religious institutions such as MCC to continue to recognize gun violence as one of the prevailing trials of society today, and to do what they can to stop it, whether that’s holding peace vigils at murder sites, contacting local politicians or even volunteering at local schools and youth organizations to try and spread the word that there are other options out there for solving problems than gun violence.

“I think the church recognizing gun violence as a peace and justice issue is just so important,” Kauffman said. “We’ve got junk in our backyard that we just have to take care of.”

Karen Hoover, a Goshen resident and attendee of Saturday’s meeting, agreed.

“I’m very against guns,” Hoover said. “I came tonight because I’m anti-gun, and anything that has a discussion of violence and guns I want to be involved in, because I’m very concerned. So I’m just here trying to absorb as much information as I can, because this is everybody’s problem, and I think people are finally starting to wake up to that fact.”

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Kulp is new Goshen softball coach Brent Kulp was hired as the new Goshen High School softball coach at Monday night’s school board meeting. He was a physical education and health teacher in the Baugo Community Schools for 18 years and head softball coach at Jimtown High School for 15 seasons. Under his direction, Jimtown earned five Northern State Conference championships, five sectional titles and two regional titles and his teams compiled an overall record of 285-133-1.

    July 28, 2014

  • Middlebury man burned in water heater blast 
 MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The

    July 26, 2014

  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cat beaten to death in burglary

    A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.

    July 21, 2014

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results