Richardson: Glendale, Calif., has the answer - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

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Richardson: Glendale, Calif., has the answer

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Bill Richardson

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Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013 10:49 am

California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. In addition to the over 9,000 federal gun laws, California has also enacted many laws at the state level, including ban on high-capacity magazines, ban on “assault weapons,” waiting period on gun purchases, an approved handgun list — handguns must be certified by the state before they can cross the state line, private party sales require transfer via a licensed dealer, identification of “gun free zones” and many others.

These are, of course, in addition to the laws against assault, rape, murder, burglary, robbery, etc.

But none of these laws have helped to stem the tide of violence in the Golden State…. until now.

The brilliance of the Glendale City Council was at its peak on March 12 when it introduced an ordinance to ban gun shows from city property.

Yes, this is the one. None of the previous laws worked, but this one will. If only all of our elected federal, state, and local representatives were as enlightened.

And yet has anyone built the case that firearms obtained at gun shows contribute in any material way to our gun violence problem? Please, someone make the case.

When challenged by the citizens attending the meeting, the council stated that, “The government isn’t required to provide its property for the exercise of constitutional rights…”

I’m sorry, but isn’t the property of the city owned by the taxpayers? There is no “government” without us. So taxpayers can’t use their own buildings for lawful commerce?

It’s also irrelevant that these gun shows have been happening in this same auditorium for more than 20 years.

Glendale doesn’t need the tax revenues from the event. Merchants won’t be earning any income from those events, so say good-bye federal, state, and city income tax. Consumers won’t be buying anything, so say good-bye to sales tax revenue to the state and city.

The Glendale auditorium clearly doesn’t need the rental or parking revenue, which was $55,000 or 13 percent of the total auditorium income for 2012.

And of course, since the criminals won’t be able to buy their guns, ammo, and accessories at the Glendale Gun Show, they won’t commit the crimes they were planning.

What do you think happens at these gun shows? Most firearm transactions at gun shows are between licensed dealer and consumer. Almost all magazine and accessory transactions are between licensed merchant and consumer. Private party transfers happen, but they’re a small percentage of the total sales.

The Glendale City Council has set a new standard for governing excellence. But we in Phoenix have an opportunity to retake that honor.

The CDC Vital Statistics Report for 2011 shows that more than 11,000 people were killed with a firearm. It also shows that over 36,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents. We’re three times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than by a firearm.

The Phoenix City Council should immediately ban car shows.

But they need to hurry. I’ll bet San Francisco is considering the same thing.

• CPA Bill Richardson has lived in Ahwatukee for more than 17 years.

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