Important steps

There are now 509 fewer guns on the streets.

That means 509 fewer opportunities for violence, bloodshed and death.

We applaud the DA and all the elected officials who organized this past weekend’s gun buyback program – the first since 2009 – that netted, among others, an AK 47, tec-9, 245 revolvers, 168 semi-automatic pistols and a Calico 9mm with a 50 round capacity magazine.

Just the day before, DA Richard A. Brown unveiled his nine-point plan targeting gun violence.

These include: sending the message that possession of and carrying guns and insinuating violence is unacceptable; informing residents that guns can be turned in at any precinct for $100 cash at any time; a campaign to encourage people to report illegal weapons and strengthen “If You See Something, Say Something”; backing legislation to limit criminals and the mentally ill access to assault weapons and handguns; enforcing existing gun laws; bettering dialogue between police and residents; upping police resources in areas where violence has increased; making efforts to shutter illegal businesses and limit night hours of establishments where crime is prominent; and giving more information to residents about existing programs.

We say these efforts come just in the nick of time.

Homicides were up this year nearly 29 percent in Queens South from 2011, according to data provided by the DA’s office; shooting incidents in the area were up more than 22 percent, with 121 this year.

Though we know there is no way to quell all the violence, we feel we are taking “steps” in the right direction, and we urge our leaders to continue the war on guns.


Did they not know they’re not alone?

The parents who abandoned their newborn baby girl – wrapped in towels and sheets at the Woodside Houses were probably desperate, overwhelmed – and very scared.

It’s a shame that they weren’t aware of the resources out there to help.

The Safe Haven program allows anyone to surrender an infant to a healthy and safe environment – a hospital, police station or firehouse – without fear of prosecution.

Luckily, for this little girl, the story had a happy ending, as she was found, and in good health.

We can only hope that other parents in a similar situation avail themselves of the help they need – for them and the baby.


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