Mean streets once again: Gang activity surging
A decade after police crackdowns on drug gangs helped lead to historically low crime rates in cities across the nation, gangs suddenly are re-emerging in waves of violence that have jolted officials in Tulsa, the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and many other communities well beyond the groups' traditional big-city bases....
Nationwide, gang-related homicides jumped by 50% from 1999 to 2002, according to a report commissioned by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a coalition of big-city police chiefs. In 2002, the most recent year analyzed in the study by Northeastern University professor James Alan Fox, 1,034 of the 16,204 homicides across the nation were linked to gangs — the most since 1995, when there were 1,237 gang-related slayings....
You don't suppose this is in any way related, do you?
ATF Inspects Few Licensed Gun Dealers
Only about 4.5 percent of the nation's federally licensed gun dealers are checked each year to ensure they comply with firearms laws, far below the goals set by the agency that does the exams, the Justice Department said Monday....
The review ... found ATF rarely revokes federal firearms licenses -- only 30 such revocations occurred in 2002 out of more than 1,900 violations, and 54 notifications were issued in 2003 out of some 1,800 violations -- and it often takes more than a year for the agency to successfully take away a dealer's license.
(And what a swell time to let the assault weapons ban expire, hunh?)