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FC EE FR PRESORTED STANDARD MAIL U.S. POSTAGE PAID DAYTONA BEACH, FL PERMIT #189 Read us online Like us on flcourier The life and death of Jimmy Jackson B1 Follow us on Twitter@flcourier DECEMBER 21 - DECEMBER 27, 2012 VOLUME 20 NO. 51 OUR CROSS TO BEAR BY CHARLES W. CHERRY II FLORIDA COURIER PUBLISHER GENARO MOLINA/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT The casket carrying the body of Sandy Hook Elementary School student Jessica Rekos, 6, waits to be carried into the St. Rose of Lima Church for funeral services in Newtown, Conn. • On May 7, 2007, after the Virginia Tech massacre, I wrote, “Millions of guns in America; billions of bullets. Thousands will die. All we can do is try to reduce the numbers, and pray it’s not us or someone we know.” Gun control provisions I proposed then included criminally prosecuting everyone in the gun’s “chain of custody.’’ “The owner of any gun used to maim or kill someone, even in cases of suicide, should be prosecuted for negligent possession of a deadly weapon, no questions asked. If the injury is slight, it’s a misdemeanor. If the injury is serious, it’s a felony. If someone is killed, it’s manslaughter. This is similar to ‘felony mur- Last week’s massacre of first-graders, their teachers and administrators was just the latest violent atrocity in a country awash in more than 310 million guns. Where do we go from here? der’ laws. If someone is killed in the commission of a felony, for example if two thieves rob a bank and one shoots and kills a teller, the accomplice can be convicted of ‘felony murder,’’ even though he CHRISTMAS 2012 Receiving ‘hope for the holidays’ This young Dania (Broward County) resident is all smiles after receiving a free toy at St. Ruth Missionary Baptist Church’s annual “Hope for the Holidays” celebration. The church gives away free toys, food and clothing. Bishop Victor T. Curry is the pastor. didn’t fire the shot,” I wrote then. Other ideas: Mandatory gun insurance allowing victims to get paid; and controlling ammunition. “Comedian Chris Rock is correct,” I wrote. “We need bullet control, not gun control. If a single bullet cost $500, most people couldn’t afford to buy them. Fine by me.” • On Aug. 7, 2009, I wrote, “On Tuesday, 48-year-old George Sodini, a man who (according to him) had been rejected by ‘30 million women,’ shot up an L.A. Fitness Center. He wounded nine women and killed three women before killing himself. His guns were properly licensed under Pennsylvania law. “For every homeowner who defends him/herself with a See CONTROL, Page A2 No. 1 in gun licenses No new gun laws coming, legislators say COMPILED FROM STAFF REPORTS This week – just days after the Newtown shooting – the number of licensed concealed weapons holders in Florida topped 1 million, according to state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “Clearly it is a popular law and has been taken advantage of by a large number of Floridians who have acted responsibly,” Putnam said. Florida has been licensing concealed weapons since 1987, when state officials took over authority from counties that had a patchwork of requirements regarding who could carry and what was needed to qualify for a license. Since then, more than 2 million licenses have been issued. License holders are predominantly male and most are over 31 years old, with more than 219,000 at least 65 years old. While still a relative minority, representing about 20 percent of all license holders, more than 200,000 women also have licenses to carry. Sales up Overall gun sales are also up. Last week, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, said the agency processed more criminal background checks for firearms on the Black Friday shopping day than any single day in the agency’s history. LISA ROGERSCHERRY / FLORIDA COURIER See GUNS, Page A2 SNAPSHOTS FLORIDA | A3 Trial in Rilya Wilson case continues White House task force to tackle gun violence BY KATHLEEN HENNESSEY TRIBUNE WASHINGTON BUREAU / MCT FLORIDA | A6 Historic selection: Scott makes one Black in US Senate FINEST | B5 Meet Natasha ALSO INSIDE Announcing his first steps in response to the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, President Obama on Wednesday charged a task force with drawing up a list of proposals to reduce gun violence across the nation and urged Congress to hold votes on gun control legislation early in the new year. Obama ordered the task force to return its recommendations “no later than January” and vowed to use the full force of his office to push for the proposals. Vice President Joe Biden will lead the group, which includes members of Obama’s Cabinet, representatives of pertinent What is an assault weapon? Some semiautomatic rifles, which fire and load another round each time the trigger is pulled, are considered assault weapons. Generally speaking, they share one or more of these characteristics: Flash suppresso A folding or telescoping stock Bayonet mount Detachable, highcapacity ammunition magazines of more than 10 rounds interest groups, law enforcement officials and gun rights advocates. “We may never know all the reasons why this tragedy happened,” Obama said as he announced the effort in the White House briefing room. “We do know that every day since, © 2012 MC Source: Assau Weapons Ban an Law Enforceme Protection A Graphi Tom Reinken an Raoul Rano Los Angeles Time more Americans have died of gun violence. We know such violence has terrible consequences for our society. If there is even one thing we can do to prevent these events, we have a deep obligation to try.” COMMENTARY: NICK CHILES: WILL AMERICA FINALLY TAKE A STAND AGAINST GUNS? | A4 COMMENTARY: MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: DEAR GOD! WHEN WILL IT STOP? | A4 See WEAPONS, Page A2

Florida Courier - December 21, 2012

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