War wounds

July 23, 2008

Here’s a first. I find myself agreeing with part of a Dan Carpenter column:

Knowing there’s little risk of ruining that going concern, mayors and other elected officials nevertheless join with business leaders, clergy, sports figures and such to declare war on crime once and for all, as if it might form itself into a single giant Satanic entity that could be driven out of town by combined moral force. Or perhaps a hill to be taken by the Marines.

As we have seen to our continuing horror in recent weeks, the violence strikes where it’s going to strike, heedless of speeches and prayers, fearless of bold new policing strategies. Common decency and common sense have less effect on the phenomenon than cold weather.

But then he blames the usual suspects. More police would help, but taxpayers are too stingy to pay for them. “Less availability of guns” is a nice idea, but that would mean testing “the gun lobby.” Not that more cops or fewer weapons would have “a profound effect” on crime, but they would make “a strronger statement than the commendable tub token gestures our leaders painfully execute these days.” The residents of high-crime areas can be exhorted to “rise up and say no” to the thugs, but who can blame them if they decline to take that risk?

But authorities and residents can and do work together to make neighborhoods safer. Evil can’t be stopped, but it can be made to feel unwelcome. That’s not a “war” on crime, just one battle at a time.


One Response to “War wounds”

  1. Bob G. Says:

    And in some cities Leo, it’s barely a “skirmish”, let alone a battle.

    Been saying the same thing all along (regarding working with the police), and after TEN years, it’s getting worse, in spite of “everything” the police are supposed to be doing (at whatever the cost to the public in dollars).

    Then again, you only have to ask Phil Marx about this.

    (proud south side skirmisher member)

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