Rooting around for the root causes of violence

Oh, joy. There's another call for finding the "root causes" of urban violence.

This one comes from Democrats from both chambers of the Illinois Legislature during a joint committee hearing on focusing  "on efforts to reduce violence and help those affected by it."

Ruled out, of course, are safer streets. State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago), chair of the Senate Special Committee on Public Safety. explained, sort of:

The "tough on crime" policies that have existed for decades simply do not work and prove that the only way for us to truly win real safety and justice in our communities is to expand violence prevention funding. It must be rooted in relationship building, trauma processing, and most importantly, healing, along with communities that have quality goods and services. This is the only way for us to root out systemic injustices and to make our state whole. Rural and suburban areas, and cities desperately need us to reimagine community in the 21st century.

Um, what also hasn't worked is the agenda that the Democrats who have controlled the city of Chicago since the 1930s. Obviously, the Republicans are to blame for not coughing up every last cent to fund the assorted "programs" that spring full blown out of college sociology classes.

To use favorite progressive lingo, why is ending the violence a "binary" choice? Seems to me that polls show that the people who are victims of the violence aren't in favor of defunding the police. The police--not social workers--are the only force standing between the gangs and the people who just want to live their lives.

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  • Why is this always so hard for the right to figure out? Ignore mountains of evidence in favor of what makes them feel good. People who are afraid of the violence outside their doors want and need police. Programs that reduce violence take time. So, even if you implement them all, that doesn't do the people with bullets whizzing by their homes any good in the short term. So, of course, they want more police, not less. We shouldn't do things that make them feel less secure. But, that doesn't make them experts in policy. It just makes them unfortunate people who suffer through crime. Dennis, are you really suggesting that their fear makes them the best people to decide the most efficient crime reducing policies?

    And of course, this all ignores the evidence that the 'tough on crime' policies don't do anything to reduce crime. Violent crime started falling all over the country in roughly 1990. San Diego, Houston, New York, the northwest, the southeast... Everywhere. It's been falling everywhere since 1990. Ask the right, why is it dropping? Well, you'll probably get an answer that involves Rudy Giuliani and the 'stop-talk-frisk' policies that he started. Of course, this completely ignores the fact that crime started dropping years before he was even elected, much less able to start the policy in the first place. But, no. Acknowledging this would require a tiny bit of imagination on the part of the Right.

    And just look at the simpletons who keep repeating 'defund the police' without any idea of what it means. The effort involved in doing a Google search for something like "Camden New Jersey defund police" would get in the way of the things they want to mutter under their breath.

    Thanks again, Dennis, for posting something misleading about a subject you are not only ignorant about, but you appear to have gone out of your way to avoid learning anything about...

  • "The police--not social workers--are the only force standing between the gangs and the people who just want to live their lives."

    If this is true, the police are not doing a very good job.

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