Dominick Calsolaro

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The reasons I wrote the legislation to create the gun violence task force

Published on 12/4/2007

----- Original Message -----
From: Dominick Calsolaro
To: Malloy, Kaitlyn
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 9:10 PM
Subject: Re: Gun Violence Task Force

Ms. Malloy,

The reasons I wrote the legislation to create the gun violence task force were:

1. I felt, as did many others, that there was (is) too much violent crime in Albany where a firearm, in most cases a handgun, was used in the violent act. I want to find out where these guns are coming from and how the perpetrators, specifically youth, are able to get their hands on guns so easily.

2. Many people in the community had similar concerns as mine, and I felt it would be advantageous for the city to offer these concerned citizens an avenue to become officially involved with working on solutions to the gun violence problem in Albany. In doing research on how to get the citizens involved I noticed that some federal anti-crime initiatives, specifically, Weed & Seed and Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), required the establishment of citizen-based task forces in order to receive the federal grant funds. So, I based my idea for the gun violence task force on these federal grant programs.

3. In following the incidents of crimes where a firearm was used or displayed, I became aware that younger and younger people were using guns. So I wanted a way to do research into the reasons the youth today grab a gun to settle disputes rather than fists or other non-lethal means of settling a dispute. I also found during my research that, at least in Albany, up until the second half of 1990, guns were hardly mentioned in newspaper articles on local crime. But, beginning in the second half of 1990, guns became more prevalent in the commission of a crime (in fact, the Times Union did a story about this in December of 1990. One of their writers had noticed the up-tick of crimes involving a firearm beginning in late 1990).

The techniques and/or tactics that we going to use to aid in the decrease of gun violence is one of the tasks assigned to the gun violence task force. The task force is charged with looking at least 5 other cities of similar size to Albany and investigating Best practices used by them, or other municipalities to stem the gun violence epidemic. One thing that has already come out of the initial gun violence task force is the need for early intervention with our youth to educate them on the dangers and consequences of using firearms.

The prevalence of guns in our society, despite the decrease over the past decade of households which legally own a firearm, is alarming. As an example, in the past four weeks, just in my neighborhood (Second Avenue), two neighbors of mine were arrested for drug possession and taken in the raid was a pistol-handled rifle. Just today, a young man who lives around the corner from me (I can see his backyard from my front yard) was arrested for a home invasion and for possession of a handgun - he used to play Little League baseball with my son. This past summer, a women who lives a block away from me, directly behind Bishop Maginn High School was shot through her front window and another constituent of mine, about a week after this incident, who lives a block east of me, had her car shot up right on Second Avenue.

I have lived in this neighborhood for 20 years (1987 to present), and I have personally experienced the increase of gun violence just in my own neighborhood. In the first 18 years of living on Clare Avenue, I don't recall any incidents involving guns in my neighborhood, but just in the past five months there has been at least four, none of which were more than a block from my home. This is very frightening, and something needed to be done to find ways to stem the tide of this ever-increasing epidemic of gun violence in the Albany community. Thus, I decided that a task force on gun violence was the best way to attact the problem and to include members of the community who felt that they needed to do something on this issue.

Dominick Calsolaro
Common Council Member - First Ward


----- Original Message -----
From: Malloy, Kaitlyn
To: Dominick Calsolaro
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 6:51 PM
Subject: RE: Gun Violence Task Force

Mr. Calsolaro,
I am finishing up my investigative story on the Gun Violence Task Force for my journalism class at the College of Saint Rose. In order to complete this, I would like to know what techniques and tactics you are using to aid in the decrease of gun violence and why you think the city of Albany needs this. If you could get back to me with your answer, that would be greatly appreciated in order to complete my story with more reason behind the task force.
Thank You
Kaitlyn Malloy

-----Original Message-----
From: Dominick Calsolaro [mailto:dcalsolaro@nycap.rr.com]
Sent: Thu 11/29/2007 7:21 AM
To: Malloy, Kaitlyn
Subject: Re: Gun Violence Task Force

Gun Violence Task ForceYes, it's OK. I have a lot of info, so we may need to talk so I know what you're looking for.
Dominick Calsolaro
859-5219
----- Original Message -----
From: Malloy, Kaitlyn
To: dcalsolaro@nycap.rr.com
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 2:18 PM
Subject: Gun Violence Task Force



This is Kaitlyn Malloy from the College of Saint Rose. For journalism this semester, I have been doing research on the gun violence task force in order to develop an investigative story. Before I email you some questions regarding this, I would like to make sure that would be okay and if you had any other information that would help me develop this story.
Thank you
Kaitlyn Malloy