11th murder puts Anchorage ahead of pace - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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11th murder puts Anchorage ahead of pace

A man’s dead body found in East Anchorage overnight brings the number of murders to 11 in the 15 weeks of 2019. If Anchorage keeps up this pace, there would be 38 homicide deaths by the end of the year. And summertime, when more tend to occur, is still weeks away.

The count may actually be higher. Some deaths are still under investigation, such as the individual who died in a house fire in South Anchorage on Sunday.

There were 28 homicides in Anchorage in 2018. Anchorage set a record of 37 homicides in 2017, 34 homicides in 2016, and 26 homicides in 2015.

At 10:40 p.m. on April 8, Anchorage police received a report of shots fired in the 5400 block of Taku Drive, in the Wonder Park neighborhood. Patrol officers found a man dead near the road. The location of the shooting was right alongside the Glenn Highway, where Taku Drive makes a sharp curve.

The department’s crime team is investigating and detectives are seeking witnesses. (APD Case: 19-12432).

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I am all for supporting our 2nd Ammendment rights in America, but Alaskans should understand that background checks on ALL firearm sales & transfers could help keep guns out of the hands of felons in AK…especially stolen guns that may be sold online or at gun shows or pawn shops in Alaska.
    “In the U.S. in 2011, 67 percent of homicide victims were killed using a firearm: 66 percent of single-victim homicides and 79 percent of multiple-victim homicides.”
    “About 48 percent of state prison inmates surveyed said they got the gun they used from a family member, friend, gun store, pawn shop, flea market, or gun show.”
    Most states only require a background check if the purchase happens at a gun store, according to the Giffords Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
    If Alaskans wish to make AK a safer place then background checks on ALL firearm sales and transfers is a reasonable place to start.

    • The background checks can’t work. We’ve now established equality among firearms with the proven ‘Black Rifles Matter’ campaign. And thank God for that.

      So I’m afraid all your background check idea will do is to start some sort of discrimination against firearms groups, and limit them. We just can’t have that.

    • well true but lot of guns are private sales its rather easy for those who want one to get one most of what am reading is drug and alcohol related . more laws are not going to work if they did Chicago LA DC Detroit and others would be very safe .

      • Randy,

        The cities you mention have the strictest anti-gun laws in the nation. How’s that working out for them? Simply put, anti-gun laws do not work. Guns aren’t the criminals. People are. No matter what kind of anti-gun laws you propagate, criminals will find a way to obtain them. Fact.

    • How’s all that “Gun Control” working for Chicago?

      • “Tracing nearly 15,000 weapons recovered from 2013 to 2016, Chicago police discovered about 40 percent originated from Illinois firearms dealers, while the remaining 60 percent came from out of state.
        Indiana, which borders Illinois, supplied most of the outside guns — about 20 percent, according to the report. Indiana is also home to gun shows where no background checks are required for firearms purchased from private sellers.” This isn’t a city problem, but a national one. Although the Supreme Court validated much of the thinking of the of gun enthusiasts, it did not say regulations can’t be placed on ownership. Like all rights, it is not unlimited.

    • And where do these numbers come from? If you are going to loosely throw out numbers please identify the sources. “The Gifford’s Center to Prevent Gun Violence” has an extremely liberal agenda and is not a reliable source for this data as far as I am concerned. Your statement from the Gifford’s Center about “most states only require a background check if the purchase happens at a gun store” is NOT accurate. First of all, the Federal government requires a background check on ALL sales of firearms to the public on the first transaction not transferring to a federally licensed dealer (FFL) after the firearm leaves the manufacturer. I am a FFL dealer and I work out of my home. Any transaction I process gets a background check performed. Your opening statement “I am for supporting 2nd Amendment rights in America” immediately rang hollow with me when you added the “but”. If you had ever read and/or really believed in the 2nd Amendment you would have no “ifs, ands, OR BUTS” because you would live by the last 4 words…..SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

      • Well Gary,
        That is your opinion.
        “Eleven states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia require universal background checks at the point of sale for all sales and transfers of all classes of firearms, whether they are purchased from a licensed dealer or an unlicensed seller.”
        Many of these states have a much lower rate of violent crimes and homicides committed with firearms.
        “Two more states, Maryland and Pennsylvania, require point of sale background checks for handguns but not for long guns, like rifles and shotguns.”
        Everyone should notice that Illinois is not on the list of states who require background checks on all sales and transfers…yet all NRA folks love to cite Chicago as the reason “background checks” will not work?
        Remember it is also very easy for felons in Chicago to drive to a neighboring state and purchase firearms from private sellers or at gunshows.
        I have lived in several states that require background checks on all sales and transfers of firearms yet I NEVER felt like my 2nd amendment rights were infringed upon?
        “A 2017 study estimated that 22% of US gun owners acquired their most recent firearm without a background check—that translates to millions of Americans acquiring millions of guns, no questions asked, each year…
        Individuals prohibited by law from possessing guns can easily obtain them from private sellers and do so without any federal records of the transactions.”
        https://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/background-checks/universal-background-checks/

        • Alaska has one of the highest firearm suicide in the nation, accounting for a large percentage of the death by firearm. I researched a couple of years ago and would have to revisit but actual violence against another person with a firearm put Alaska far lower. We have overall one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, via by gun or other means.

    • after the sale of guns from the store, the resale is not being checked. when I got out of the Army and started living outside the base, I went to a police station and I said I want to register my rifle, the cop said they don’t register firearms. so there you go with the loose firearms

    • Can’t a firearm be altered, a serial number be removed, parts used to construct another firearm? Cars being registered has not stopped them from being stolen and even never seen again. Registration of all firearms likely would only keep closer track of the law abiding owners, with potential for abuse of rights down the road. Criminals would still find a way to acquire guns.

      • There’s no such thing as a perfect solution. Restrictions are meant to make it harder to break the law, not impossible. Sure, some criminals will always find a way, but what matters is how many of them you can stop by making it harder to circumvent the law. Law-abiding citizens should be able to follow measures like these, and the added effort to do so should be worth the change if it means it’s no longer absurdly easy for the bad guy to do the bad thing.

  • more focus on education. a recent study indicated that stupid people are 1,000,000x more likely than non-stupid people to commit crimes.

  • I guess all the new police officers are having a measurable effect on the crime rate. Just sayin’.

  • Steve Stine, I am likely not supposed to tell you how clueless you are about gun sales so I will just say your ideas are just so much baloney.
    Pawn shops are “in the business of” selling firearms. If they buy and sell guns they have a Federal Firearms License (FFL). They have to conduct a background check to sell a firearm.
    Have you ever been to a gun show? All the guys and galls there that are selling, and sometimes buying, firearms are also”in the business of” selling firearms and have to conduct the BG check. There may be an individual or 2 who have one or two guns to sell and thus are not “in the business of” selling firearms and not required to do the BG check.
    Almost all guns for sale online are also offered by dealers who have an FFL. If you order a gun online it has to be sent to an FFL holder who conducts the BG check before letting you wander off with your newly purchased gun. There places for individuals to advertise guns they wish to sell. Newspapers, Alaskaslist, a few others maybe. These are private sales by people who ARE NOT “in the business of” selling firearms and thus not required to conduct a BG check.
    Are you really stupid enough to think that the instant check system could handle 10 times it’s current load of BG checks if all private sales were to start using that system? Are you really stupid enough to believe that all of us who value our 2nd amendment rights would obey that law? Some states have carried there BG check law to “transfers”. Meaning if you GIVE the gun to your adult child, friend, etc. a BG check is required.
    Lastly, are you really stupid enough to think CRIMINALS would obey that law?

    • MQ…
      Yes,
      I have been to many gun shows in several states and I have never seen back ground checks performed by the sellers that I have dealt with ( I am not saying there are not licensed dealers there…just not the guys I have dealt with)
      “More than half a million firearms are stolen each year in the United States and more than half of stolen firearms are handguns, many of which are subsequently sold illegally.”
      There are many ways to sell illegal weapons, but many of these 500,000 stolen guns each year wind up sold at guns shows, flee markets and through private unlicensed sellers. (This is the background check loophole in our system)
      “David “Big Dave” Lewisbey was a former high school football player from the south suburbs of Chicago who attended several Illinois colleges from 2008 to 2012. During that time, prosecutors claimed, he routinely traveled to Indiana gun shows and bought duffel bags full of guns, which he then brought back to Chicago and sold on the street.
      On his trips to Indiana, Lewisbey acquired his inventory from other unlicensed sellers who set up tables at gun shows offering firearms they had purchased over the Internet or at flea markets.”

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thetrace.org/2016/01/unlicensed-gun-dealer-convicted/amp/

  • Obviously, more cops and more tax expenditures is ‘not’ working to solve this epidemic. AND, more gun control won’t do it either, as evidenced in other parts of the country! Maybe, more rigorous focus needs to be placed on implementing harsher and more severe punishment, helping to drive down these senseless homicides?

  • Universal background checks are not enforceable without universal registration.

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