With Tougher Gun-Use Penalties, MA Gangs Turn To Knives


Despite a touted reduction in shootings in Boston, police are confronting a troubling rise in the number of stabbings, which have jumped 10 percent over the same period last year and are on track to reach their highest point in four years, says the Boston Globe. Savvy criminals, aware of the tougher punishments levied for gun violations, have begun wielding blades instead. Gangs are instructing members to carry knives rather than risk an 18-month minimum sentence for possessing an unlawful firearm, Police Superintendent Daniel Linskey said. More young people are carrying the weapons for protection, then using them to hurt rivals during fights.

“Carrying a knife is not going to expose anyone to a minimum of 18 months or beyond,” said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley. “And they’re more easily accessible, too. You can pick up a knife at an army-navy store, or mom-and-pop variety store.” Police reported 350 stabbings from Jan. 1 to Sept. 10, 10 percent more than in the same period last year. Shootings dropped nearly 18 percent, from 283 to 233 for the same time period. The number of stabbings through Aug. 26 is at the highest level since 2004.

Link: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/09/18/with_shootings_declining_hub_sees_more_stabbings/

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