Sunday, August 20, 2006

Violent Crime

Let's see: illegal war of choice, that's a starter. Then we have the outing of a covert CIA agent by the Vice-President of the United States, not to mention the possible drunken shooting of a hunting partner. Good role modeling Dick. We also have Haditha & the murder of two dozen civilians. & the Marine in charge at the time thought the murders were just baseless. I could go on & on, but it gets harder & sadder to do so. This article in The Boston Globe tries to understand the rise in violent crime in the U.S. There is a growing frustration in the country, fueled, I believe, by leaders who don't lead, but do everything they can do to stay in power. Joe Loserman's refusal to accept the clear votes of the Democrats in CT is a prime example. If you don't win, well, figuratively just blow your opponents head off, then you can run in an uncontested race. I'm not sure where all of this is going, but a dark, unhappy future awaits us, an eye-patched future, rather than an exciting, cashless future, where using the human capacity for compassion, a lot of compassion, has wonderful outcomes. & wonderful outcomes doesn't necessarily mean you don't use force when it is needed.

The Boston Globe article points out more:
In a shift from trends of the past decade, violent crime is on the rise, fueling criticism of Bush administration policies as a wave of murders and shootings hits smaller cities and states with little experience with serious urban violence.
Explanations vary -- from softer gun laws to budget cuts, fewer police on the beat, more people in poverty and simple complacency. But many blame a national preoccupation with potential threats from abroad.

"Since September 11, much of the resources that were distributed to crime-fighting efforts in Boston and other major cities were redistributed to fight terrorism," said Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University.

"The feds had supported after-school programs. They had supported placing more police officers in crime hot spots in major cities. These federal efforts were reduced," he said.
"It isn't gang or drug violence, it's just people getting violent," said Mark Williams, an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "A lot of them are minor disagreements and people using guns to settle them."

From the expiration of a federal ban on assault rifles to tougher restrictions on databases that identify gun owners, gun laws have weakened in the past five years, said Daniel Vice, an attorney with the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence.

"The top five states with the highest gun death rates are five states with incredibly weak gun laws," he said, listing Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

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