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Archive for the ‘gun violence’ tag

Gun Violence Seen by Some as Public Health Concern

July 10th, 2014 at 7:43 am

gun violence, mental health, mental health system, public health crisis, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, fatal shootings, felony, Christopher M. CosleyIn light of the many recent fatal shootings in the media, not to mention the countless mass shootings marring our nation’s recent past, it is perhaps not surprising that many are trying to pinpoint the true root of the problem of gun violence, and attempt to come up with ways to address it. A prior blog post discussed the treatment of the gun problem as more of a mental health issue. Now, according to an article published by CBS News, experts are suggesting the mass violence is more properly considered and treated as a public health crisis.

Gun Violence as a Disease

The article suggests that it is essentially a waste of time to continue debates about gun reform and a flawed mental health system. Rather, a more effective way of ending the cycle of gun violence is to treat it as a disease and enlist the help of healthcare workers in fighting it. Experts say that a health-based system is necessary for gun violence prevention.

Research from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health shows that violent behavior usually exhibits the characteristics of an epidemic disease in that it clusters and spreads. It not only directly impacts the health of those involved, but also negatively impacts the well-being of those exposed to it. Many medical organizations agree that the healthcare community is imperative to treating the issue of gun violence.

Getting Physicians Involved

Some groups who are advocating treating gun violence like a disease are even encouraging physicians to counsel patients in gun safety and to join efforts to restrict the sale and ownership of guns. This idea has been met with some resistance, however. The prospect of including a gun violence prevention course in the American Medical Association’s Continuing Medical Education program was met with mixed opinions and an ensuing debate. Some support the idea of integrating medical professionals into combatting violence, while others say it puts too much of a social worker role on doctors who should be focused on attending to patients. There is also ongoing debate about how involved a physician should get in asking a patient background questions regarding firearms.

Federal Health Agencies

These groups are also encouraging federal health agencies to join in on tackling the issue. This includes the Surgeon General and the CDC, among others. Supporters of treating gun violence like a disease say that these agencies and others should be working to protect the public from deaths and injuries from gun, just as they do from other dangers. Many gun rights activists are opposed to this, as it would involve federal health officials in gun control efforts.

Criminal Defense Attorney

While the specific ways to address this issue from a disease perspective are continuing to be argued, some are simply pointing out that those healthcare workers with access to the population should be part of the effort in educating communities about the dangers of gun violence. However, in many ways, the problem of gun violence continues despite the efforts aimed at curtailing it.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony crime involving a firearm in the state of Illinois, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley for a consultation.

Gun Crime in Chicago

June 12th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Chicago criminal defense attorney, Chicago Police Department, Cook County criminal attorney, Cook County criminal defense lawyer, gun crime, gun violence, Illinois gun controlA recent news article discussed the overwhelming problem of gun crime in the city of Chicago, especially in light of the violence that occurred throughout the city over Easter weekend. That weekend, nine people were killed and at least 36 were wounded. Among the 36 wounded were six children. Now, Chicago law enforcement officials are taking a closer look at the problem.

Gun Violence

Representatives from the Chicago Police Department are saying that part of the problem of overwhelming gun violence is that there is a new trend among young men who believe the only way to solve conflict is to use a gun. They are likening the problem to a social disease and health issue, particularly in communities where the problem is especially prevalent and results in a high number of lives being lost. In addition, the authorities have reason to believe at least some of the shootings were gang related, or in retaliation for previous shooting incidents. Investigations are ongoing.

Perhaps most troubling is the number of young people involved in the violent crimes as victims. Five of the child victims were shot while walking home from a park. They suffered injuries that varied in severity. That same shooting took place not even one mile from the home where a 17-year-old girl was fatally shot the weekend beforehand. Those who were shot and killed Easter weekend included a 16 and 18-year-old who were both found dead in an apartment on Chicago’s south side.

Solutions

Authorities are trying to take action to improve the situation of gun violence in the city, but they feel it is mostly a losing battle until there is a change in gun laws in Illinois. The fact remains, however, that the law in Illinois has actually moved toward less strict gun control, as is evidenced by the state’s new law on concealed carry permits, which went into effect at the beginning of this year. Other measures that would go a long way in reducing gun violence include a denunciation of gang violence by the rap and hip-hop industry as part of a larger problem, since there is also speculation that a portion of the shootings that recently occurred in Chicago may be linked to a feud between local rival rappers.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Crimes involving guns and other weapons offenses are serious charges often involving felonies, the most serious types of crimes. These cases require immediate attention. If you have been charged with a gun crime, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help you obtain the result you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your matter. We serve clients in Cook, DuPage, and surrounding counties.

Father Faces Charges after Accidently Shooting Son

November 13th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

CBS Chicago reports that Charles Johnson faces charges of unlawful use of a weapon after his 17 year old son was accidentally shot on October 20th.

Johnson was apparently arguing with his son and they were struggling for control of the weapon when the gun discharged and the son was shot in the head. The dispute came about after Johnson found the gun in his son’s room. Johnson confronted his son about having the weapon and was trying to take it from him and that is when the argument ensued. The 17 year old is reported to be in critical condition at Saint Francis Hospital which is located in Evanston.

It is currently undetermined if Johnson will face additional charges because he is a convicted felon and is therefore legally disallowed from being in possession of a handgun. The penalty for a felon possessing a handgun can be up to ten years’ imprisonment.

Gun violence is not a new thing in the Chicago area. In fact, it has been a problem that has plagued the city and surrounding areas for decades. For this reason, the courts can be especially hard on cases involving firearms. If you find yourself in a situation where you are charged with a firearm offence, you need to have an aggressive and knowledgeable Illinois criminal defense attorney by your side to defend you. All cases are not open and shut cases and the outcome cannot be easily predicted. Your attorney can assist you from the bond hearing all the way to the trial, if there is one. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove the case against you. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty and your attorney will make sure that all of your rights are protected through the judicial process.

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