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Thread: Don't forget Bahhston. Police launch a scaled-back gun search program. Boston Globe

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    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA

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    Police launch a scaled-back gun search program Address criticism, fears at conference The Rev. Jeffrey L. Brown and other community leaders spoke yesterday in support of the controversial Safe Homes program.

    By Maria Cramer Globe Staff / March 28, 2008 Surrounded by a phalanx of religious and community leaders, Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis announced the start of a controversial program yesterday that would allow police to search homes for guns without a warrant.
    With the brick, high-rise buildings of the Bromley Heath housing complex as a backdrop, several ministers and a public housing advocate expressed their support for the plan, dubbed "Safe Homes."
    The press conference, which was held in the Jamaica Plain development once plagued by gun violence, was also an opportunity to rail against critics who have called the plan unconstitutional and have warned residents that they could be thrown out of their homes and schools or put in jail if a gun is found in the house.
    "It is a program that is designed to save lives and to brighten the lives of our young people," said the Rev. Jeffrey L. Brown, executive director of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, who has supported the plan since Davis introduced it in November.
    Under the program, police would go to homes where they believe that a juvenile, 17 years or younger, is storing an illegal gun. Police would ask for permission from the child's legal guardian or parent to search the house. If a weapon is found, the child would not be charged, unless the gun was used in a homicide or a shooting and the child is linked to the crime.
    The plan has sparked ferocious debate in the community, as police have sought to reassure residents that if guns are found the information would be kept confidential, unless a hit list or written plan to use the gun is found.
    Many residents and civil libertarians have said they are worried that families could be evicted or that children could be expelled if public housing authorities and school officials learned police found a gun.
    Earlier this week, a leader of the New Black Panther Party in Roxbury even compared police to vampires who would wreak havoc if they were let inside a home.
    In an apparent response to that statement, Brown said he wanted "to drive a stake into the heart of the negative criticism and misinformation of the Safe Homes initiative."
    The criticism, however, has forced police to delay and scale back the plan. Officers had planned to knock on doors in four neighborhoods, but now will focus only on the Egleston Square area in Jamaica Plain.
    Councilor at Large Michael F. Flaherty, an opponent of the program, said he doubts it will work.
    "Questions about effectiveness and widespread neighborhood opposition have never been the ingredients for a successful community policing program," he said. "Instead, let's look at year-round employment opportunities for youth. Let's look at extending the hours of operation at our community centers. Let's look at our gun laws."
    Police said they will continue to hold community meetings to explain the plan to residents who remain fearful about it.
    Yesterday officials handed reporters forest green fliers that described Safe Homes as "a search for peace." They also distributed pocket-sized cards that explained to parents how they could reach police if they wanted their home searched.
    The cards and fliers will be distributed to community centers around the city, officials said.
    If residents in Egleston Square are receptive to the plan as it gets underway, police will consider going into other neighborhoods.
    "We have to take every step that we can that is legal and constitutional to make a difference," Davis said. "I hope to be able to come back this time next year and tell you the program was successful."
    Not everyone who stood around Davis yesterday had unqualified support for the program. The Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III, pastor of Azusa Christian Community in Dorchester, stopped short of sanctioning the program, saying he wanted to learn more about it.
    Some other ministers oppose the program outright.
    "The intimidation factor with the police knocking on your door, that's going to cause people to unintelligently waive their rights," the Rev. Miniard Culpepper, pastor at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dorchester, said in a phone interview. "These are constitutional rights that folks fought for and died for."
    Police Deputy Superintendent Gary French said officers will immediately leave a home if a resident seems unsure about letting them search.
    "If someone said, 'I don't know,' we're going to take it as a no," he said. "We're not going to finesse them into letting us in."
    Maria Cramer can be reached at

  2. #2
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Newport News, Virginia, USA

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    "Safe homes program" Ha! Who feels safet with the police pounding on the door and asking if they can search your house? It makes me sick.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    The 'Dena, Mаяуlaпd

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    If someone said, 'I don't know,' we're going to take it as a no," he said. "We're not going to finesse them into letting us in."

    If they find and seize a gun from every home they search, it will still not do ****!!!
    The crackhead, alcoholic, ignorant, unlawful, morally bankrupt non parenting scum will still be crackhead, alcoholic, ignorant, unlawful, morally bankrupt non parenting scum. Taking a hoodlums illegal gun doesn't teach their parent/s how to be responsible parent's.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Anybody want to bet money whether homes that refuse consent get their address carefully noted down and their identities carefully looked up, then cross-referenced with the anti-gang unit and the anti-drug unit, and the....

    Somebody ought to drop the little bomb that to police a refusal = you must have something to hide.

    Oh, heck. Why stop there? Why not the beginning of the gun registration list? "You must have a gun if you don't want us to look."
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Thundar wrote:
    "Safe homes program" Ha! Who feels safet with the police pounding on the door and asking if they can search your house? It makes me sick.
    Just making sure there aren't any jews, I mean guns, in your house. It's for your own safety, what's the problem?

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    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA

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    After reading this, the first thing that came to my mind was the jewish ghetto clearing sequence in Shindlers List. I can't believe this is happening...I'm sickened. The Founding Fathers are doing backflips in their graves...

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