The Dangerous Disconnect In Gun Control

From America’s 1st Freedom:  https://www.americas1stfreedom.org/articles/2016/7/13/the-dangerous-disconnect-in-gun-control/

Look at Michael Bloomberg’s law in New York mandating years in prison for the unlicensed carrying of a firearm. Look at NYC’s knife laws and the hundreds of thousands of prosecutions, even as slashing attacks increase. And look at the stop-and-frisk policies of Michael Bloomberg, who told an audience at the Aspen Institute in 2015 that one way to fight crime is “throw them up a wall and frisk them.” Who’s the “them”? Young minority males. Bloomberg said, “One of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana. They’re all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do you do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.” Oddly enough, the media has seemed strangely uninterested in Bloomberg’s thoughts on policing and young men of color, even as reporters and pundits breathlessly wondered if the NRA would comment on the death of Philando Castile in Minnesota.

If the media covered the gun issue fairly, you’d see large numbers of talking heads on your TV screen explaining that Bloomberg’s comments miss the point that many who complain about excessive policing policies are making: It’s not the guy smoking a joint that they’re worried about. Or, at least, they’re not as worried about him as they are about the armed robber who never seems to get arrested, or the murders that go unsolved. Chicago’s homicide clearance rate is less than 20 percent as of June 30. As homicides spiked in Baltimore last year, the homicide clearance rates plummeted.

This isn’t because cops don’t care about the victims. It’s because the department’s resources (and those of the broader criminal justice system) and priorities are often aimed at high-profile, media-friendly sweeps and temporarily beefing up the police presence in high-crime neighborhoods. Meanwhile, as murders go unsolved, some turn to retaliation, and the cycle of violence continues. The recent book by Los Angeles Times reporter Jill Leovy, Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder In America, makes a strong case for a change, not in law, but in tactics to continue driving down the violent crime rate.

A key component of solving homicides involves having the trust of the community. We seem to be headed in the opposite direction, unfortunately. The trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve seems to be fraying, aided by bad actors; a media focused on covering, promoting and in some cases manufacturing controversy; those with political agendas; and lawmakers looking to score points with voters by “doing something” as opposed to doing something that works. Last year, reporter Lois Beckett pointed out in a piece for ProPublica that the Obama administration had the opportunity to push for meaningful reforms that have saved lives around the country, but chose to ignore programs that have demonstrated the ability to dramatically reduce homicide rates in violence-plagued communities in favor of pushing for so-called “universal” background checks, a renewed semi-auto ban, and other measures aimed at reducing the scope of the legal exercise of our Second Amendment rights. Beckett wrote, “Twenty years of government-funded research has shown there are several promising strategies to prevent murders of black men, including Ceasefire. They don’t require passing new gun laws, or an epic fight with the National Rifle Association. What they need—and often struggle to get—is political support and a bit of money.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.americas1stfreedom.org/articles/2016/7/13/the-dangerous-disconnect-in-gun-control/

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