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2012: 15 GR killings – 12 used handguns


THE FOCUS SINCE THE CONNECTICUT MASSACRE HAS BEEN ON WHETHER TO BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS, BUT FAMILIES OF LOCAL VICTIMS SAY THAT WILL DO LITTLE TO STOP THE VIOLENCE THAT REGULARLY SHATTERS NEIGHBORHOODS HERE. THEY TOLD “24-HOUR NEWS 8” THAT VIOLENCE OFTEN COMES BY WAY OF MUCH SMALLER WEAPONS. KEN KOLKER IS HOAR WITH THAT STORY. BRIAN AND SUE, LOCAL POLICE SAY THEY RARELY COME ACROSS ASSAULT WEAPONS LIKE THE AR-15. MORE OFTEN, IT’S A HANDGUN TUCKED IN A WAISTBAND. ANY TYPE OF HANDGUN THEY CAN GET. DON’T MAKE NO DIFFERENCE. FOR THE MAN WHO KILLED VINCENT LONG’S DAUGHTER AND STEPDAUGHTER MONDAY IN A DOUBLE-MURDER SUICIDE, IT WAS A 9 mm HANDGUN. DETECTIVES ARE INVESTIGATING HOW MARVIN GOT IT. GRAND RAPIDS POLICE DENIED HIM A PERMIT TO LEGALLY BUY A HANDGUN FOUR YEARS AGO BASED ON QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS MENTAL STABILITY, QUESTIONS RAISED IN EARLIER INVESTIGATIONS INCLUDING A MISDEMEANOR DOMESTIC ASSAULT, A CONCEALED WEAPONS CONVICTION IN 2009 SEALED THE DEAL. HE WAS A CONVICTED FELON WHO COULD NOT LEGALLY CARRY A GUN. THAT SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN IN HIS POSSESSION IN THE FIRST PLACE. SO FAR THIS YEAR, THE KILLERS IN 12 OF GRAND RAPIDS 15 HOMICIDES USED FIREARMS, ALL HANDGUNS. THEY GOT THE HANDGUNS IN THEIR POCKET THEY CAN WALK AROUND WITH EVERY DAY. JUST UP AND DOWN THE STREET CASUALLY EVERY DAY. LIKE ME AND YOU. BUT THEY’VE GOT GUNS. POLICE RECOVERED THE GUNS IN ONLY TWO OF THE CASES INCLUDING MONDAY’S DOUBLE MURDER SUICIDE OUTSIDE A COUNSELING CENTER. IT COULD HAVE BEEN 100% DIFFERENT. YOU KNOW, IF YOU HAD HAD A KNIFE OR ANYTHING, HE COULD HAVE — THEY COULD HAVE FOUGHT BACK. IN GRAND RAPIDS, IT’S MORE THAN JUST HOMICIDES THAT TELL THE STORY. CRIMES INVOLVING HANDGUNS JUMPED TO MORE THAN 370 THIS YEAR, MORE THAN ONE A DAY.

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