Issue: Violence and its Prevention
A problem that we face as a nation is violence in our communities. It is the position of the NewUSA Issues Forum® that no one has the right to threaten, harm, disable or kill someone through an act of violence. There is nothing inherently wrong with competition, and the instillation of the desire to succeed and "win." However, the demonstration of violence, the glorification of violent behaviors, and the demonstration of the ability of anyone to "get away with" violent behaviors, is detrimental to our public health. It is the position of the Forum that it is the responsibility of every leader of every organization, both religious and secular, to regularly advocate against violence, and against the demonstration of gratuitous violence. It is also the position of the Forum that any person parenting or supervising any child, in any situation where it can be appropriately addressed, should point out the appropriate and non-violent means to succeed in any endeavor. It is the purpose of this Issue Area to solicit input on how, when and where this can be achieved.
- Mandatory Incarceration for the Use of Weapons (including guns) in Crimes
- Jobs for Youth Through Infrastructure Renewal
- Violence and Weapon Use
- Mandatory Incarceration for Use of Weapons (including guns) While Under the Influence
It is the position of the Forum that no one has the right to use a weapon of any kind to threaten, harm, disable or kill any other person in the commission of a crime. It is therefore proposed that when a person is convicted of a crime, and has used an identifiable weapon in the undertaking of that crime, mandatory and non-pardonable periods of incarceration shall be assigned for the use of the weapon (of any kind). Incarceration for commission of the crime itself can be adjusted, and a probation for that time can be judicially administered. If one or more persons is threatened during the commission of a crime with a weapon, or testifies to feeling threatened (supported by a counselor), a jail term of one (1) year per person threatened shall be mandatory (maximum of 5 years for multiple persons). If one or more persons is harmed during the commission of a crime with a weapon, a jail term of three (3) years per person harmed shall be mandatory (maximum of 9 years). If one or more persons is permanently physically disabled in any manner during the commission of a crime, a prison term of seven (7) years per person shall be mandatory (maximum of 21 years). If a person is killed in the Commission of a crime with a weapon, a prison term of 45 years shall be mandatory. If more than one person is killed, then the mandatory sentence shall be life in prison, with no allowance for parole. If the person is convicted of killing one or more persons, in the commission of two separate crimes, that person can receive the death penalty from the jurisdiction in which the second crime occurred (if legally allowed).
A potential major solution is available to generate employment opportunities for young people. It is to develop jobs across the country via a major investment by government and the private sector in infrastructure renewal and development. This will result in the creation and expansion of small local businesses that will hire people at all levels of education and experience, and which will either provide direct services to the major infrastructure projects, or indirect services to the employees of those projects.
Everyone has the right to defend themselves, and those for whom they have responsibility, against violence and the threat of violence. Everyone therefore has the right to prepare themselves to do so. This includes the ownership and use of weapons. At the same time, it is the position of the NewUSA Issues Forum® that no one has the right to threaten, harm, disable or kill someone with a weapon. An underlying problem with misuse of weapons, legally obtained or otherwise, is the propensity for violence in our society. This can potentially lead to a decision by an individual to use a weapon to threaten, harm, disable or kill other persons. This topic area proposes that crimes of violence with weapons lead to mandatory jail sentences, and confiscation of all weapons available to the criminal at any level of judicial decision.
The use of a weapon by a person under the influence of a behavior altering substance, in a manner that can threaten or result in harm, disability or death of another person, can be a difficult situation to adjudicate. However, if there is verifiable evidence of intent to threaten, harm, disable or kill another person, while under the influence, then the use of any weapon that is decided by the judicial system to be such (be it a stone, brick, gun, hand, fork, car, etc.) upon conviction of any crime shall be subject to the schedule of mandatory incarceration sentences proposed for any crime performed with a weapon present.