Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Who Will Bell The Cat?

What Black Americans Say About ‘Black-on-Black’ Gun Violence | The Nation:

For example, community residents recommended limiting access to guns by the small group of people at high risk of engaging in violence—sometimes no more than 0.25 to 1 percent of a city’s population. Rather than looking to greater penalties for handgun possession that could increase mass incarceration, community members emphasized universal background checks, mandatory reporting for lost and stolen firearms, and increased oversight of licensed firearm dealers. Each proposal was supported by over 86 percent of African Americans and Latinos in the survey research. These restrictions are seen as reducing rather than fueling mass incarceration. About three-quarters of both African Americans and Latinos agreed that “if we keep guns out of the wrong hands, we can also help decrease the number of people who are in prison.”
[emphasis added]

"That looks good on the video", as the saying goes but the question remains:  what are 'community residents" doing to help limit access to guns?

Historically, members of  'at risk' communities are quick to decry the violence in their neighborhoods, but are not willing to step up and act as witnesses.    Quotes from investigating officers typically sound like this:

"Everybody knows who has a gun. Everybody knows who did it.   
But nobody will talk to us."

And so, lacking information from the people who could point a finger at the assailants who have just left another trail of blood on their streets, the police are helpless.  They know, too often, who the 'worst kids on the block' are.  But the police need reliable information before they can make an arrest; the Attorneys need witnesses before they can prosecute; and the judge needs to see a community involvement in cleaning up those streets.

Maybe the tiger will eat someone else first
In a neighborhood which sees and hears violence almost every day, it's difficult to blame the (usually unarmed) citizens who fear retribution from armed felons who may live next door .. often literally.   Especially in the highest-crime areas of the highest-crime communities:

  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • DC
  • Detroit
  • New Orleans
  • Saint Louis AND "East Saint Louis"
... just to name a few of the most obvious.   And this list isn't ranked according to latest statistics.

The residents and the cops know that "squealers" may be the next victim (or the next 'doer') of firearms violence in the street.   But there are usually more than one candidate, and without solid information the cops can't just arrest someone because the subject gang-banger of choice seems "Most Likely".   It's Constitutional Thing.

Bricks Without Straw
It's impossible for police to act without local information, and it's impossible for the 'locals' to provide information to the police without risking serious consequences.

Which is particularly heart-breaking, when one realizes that the biggest generators of "Firearms Violence" are those communities where private ownership of firearms is either highly restricted ... or just flat-out denied to an honest citizen.

If Only ....

  • If only the political leaders and LEOs would understand that they're only denying the honest citizens the means of self defense when they regulate firearms so universally ... except for The Bad Guys!
  • If only these citizens could see that their elected officials are doing NOTHING to protect the people who vote for them ..
  • If only the politicians would understand that they need to protect the innocents more than the protect the criminals who keep their cities in a permanent state of fear
  • If only the state-level leadership where these bastions of bad-guys flourish would wake up and realize that their citizens would flourish if they didn't live in constant fear
  • If only.
But it's not going to happen.  The Political Machine is the only thing that flourishes there, because the voters have been cowed to the point where they are mere ciphers, who are only important during a campaign cycle.

Detroit COULD have found some way to survive.   The people there are not unaccustomed to hard work; but their political leaders have allowed industry to stagnate through a lack of leadership.

No, it's not just that .. it's a lack of will to provide leadership.   

The only way to survive in Detroit today is to be elected to public office, or to become a gang leader.  Which are, when you think of it, pretty much the same thing, except that the politicians have to wear neckties when they go to work.


Anonymous said...

The Mafia are not the only ones that observe a strict code of silence.

Mark said...

The problem is, of course, retaliation in neighborhoods controlled by the the thugs.