Monday, December 29, 2008

Murders Up Among Young Blacks reports on a study conducted by Northeastern University. Although violent crime and murder have decreased overall, the incidents among young black men have actually gone up.

Among their findings: an increase of more than 39 percent in the number of black males between ages 14-17 killed between 2000 and 2007 and an increase of 34 percent in the number of blacks that age who committed homicide. The increases for white male teens, meanwhile, were nearly 17 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

So, even for white teens there have been increases, but not nearly as much as among their black counterparts. As usual, a few simple statistics and you can go nuts drawing conclusions. For example, would it be fair to conclude that among young men in their twenties and thirties there have been significant decreases? That must have been the case to offset the teenagers' behavior.

What else can we conclude? All the teenagers' weapons would have to be illegal, right? That would bring us back to the same old question. Where are all those guns coming from?

I think there's another factor in all this. Inner city neighborhoods populated by blacks have been written off. The lawmakers, the voters, the average citizen moves away from there and stays away, if at all possible. A little speech from the Godfather comes to mind. After Don Corleone got out of the hospital and wanted to bring Michael back from Sicily, he convened a meeting of all the major dons. Don Zaluchi had this to say:

I also don't believe in drugs. For years I paid my people extra so they wouldn't do that kind of business. Somebody comes to them and says, "I have powders; if you put up three, four thousand dollar investment, we can make fifty thousand distributing." So they can't resist. I want to control it as a business, to keep it respectable.

[slams his hand on the table and shouts]

I don't want it near schools! I don't want it sold to children! That's an infamia. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people, the coloreds. They're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls.

The professors who published the report, James Alan Fox and Marc Swatt, have called for an infusion of government money to beef up police forces and restore mentor, sports, after-school and summer programs that withered as federal funds were redirected from cities to homeland security after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

What do you think? Is redirecting that money which was curtailed during the Bush Administration going to be enough? The article goes on to conclude that absentee fathers and the general breakdown of the family are to blame.

I say what about the guns? How can an article like this, which states that "guns are overwhelmingly the weapon of choice for young black offenders and are now used in nearly 85 percent of all homicides they commit, matching 1990s levels," not go on to question the provenance of all those guns? To me that's an infamia.


  1. Oh no! My last post was eaten!!!

    Here it goes again. First up, a good chunk of murders here are stabbings...I suspect those who used a gun aren't opposed to using a knife or something else...but we all agree, a gun is a decent tool...just sad the tool-user is evil.

    Also you seem to imply that somehow this increase in murders means MORE guns. Meanwhile it's well documented that guns the gangs use in Boston (our vast majority of murderers) are not individual's weapons but "Community Guns" stashed by the gangs in accessible places and borrowed by different members of the gang, and returned when not in use, much like library books.

    So an increase of murders with guns does not mean MORE guns, it means more USAGE. And these guns aren't going anywhere, as Boston PD only has a 30% conviction rate...that means 70% of all the murderers in Boston are still out there...and any guns used are still in criminal hands.

    That also means with an increase in murder, may not mean an increase in murders (maybe a decrease, as many of the gang-bangers killed this year likely have done their fair share)

    So more junk science supported by conclusions that require key facts to be ignored.

  2. Mike,

    There have been significant decreases in homicides by people in their 20s and 30s for a simple reason. The gangs and drug runners have the system figured out; they use teenagers to commit murders because they aren't usually tried as adults and the "kids" are released from juvenile detention at 18. Once released they have street cred as members of the gang.

    You say the inner cities have been written off, I say that people like you have forced people to move out. If the people who would live there do not have the means to defend themselves, why should they stay?
    The criminals have the guns and the good guys don't. I've said it before, it's not too many guns that is the problem; it is not enough guns in the hands of the good guys.

    As for as the money, no it won't be enough. One of the pieces of research I remember is that welfare is a leading cause of crime.

    I know that sounds incredible but think about it in context that you've already mentioned. With welfare checks, women don't need men to be husbands and fathers, just sperm donors. The disintegration of the family means there aren't any role models for the young men, the youths turn to gangs and criminals for mentoring-increasing crime.

    The gang/criminal mentality that pervades the neighborhoods is the culture that generations have grown up in, that is the problem. Not the guns, but the culture that says violence is an acceptable response to trivial issues. Being "dissed", encroaching on someone's street,fighting over spots to sell drugs; often all are met with the same level of violence. Isn't that more of an issue then what tool is used?

    When you and I were growing up, we could have gotten access to firearms easily. My dad's were locked in a glass front cabinet, how about your dad's?

    Did you ever think of using a firearm to settle an issue at school? I sure didn't but that was a different culture then what most of the violent teens are growing up in.

    Address the culture and guns become irrelevant.

  3. Give them many more and better arms and seal off the ghettos. Let them fight it out. It's mostly black on black crime anyway. Keep the stray bullets from hitting productive people. Let them Darwin themselves.

    The perpetually unemployed slum dwellers are already a shrinking minority compared to the Hispanics (who work hard, even if many are illegals). If they want to erase themselves off the cultural map of the US by letting school yard fights and lack of ambition turn into the decimation, let them have at it.

    The respectable working black population that see themselves as Americans not African-Americans live as far as they possibly can from these sorts and are an entirely different kettle of fish.

  4. understanding the inner-city ghettoes of the USA seems nearly impossible for us who don't live there. with my background, coming from a country that has nothing remotely like them, i really can't claim to personally know jack shit about them. all i know of them i've learned from a close family friend, who lived in a quite bad part of Flint, MI for several years a decade or so ago. as the only white person in that neighborhood for a good while, the way i understand it. so mine is all second-hand information, and old such at that, but i've got to go on what i have, right?

    the ghettoes are hopeless hellholes because the people in them largely lack any hope of making a decent life for themselves; no jobs, no way to get a decent education, no way to earn an honest living, and the only option for getting a leg up in life is to turn to crime. no way to get out of the ghetto, unless --- like my friend did --- you've got a decent education and some way to find shelter and employment elsewhere.

    in this country, being white really helps with that last. if you're a black former resident of the ghetto, it'd be a lot harder to pack up your car with what'll fit in it, drive upstate to a friend's place, and lodge with them until you can find a job on your suburban high school diploma and inner-city community college degree. those sorts of qualifications count for a lot more in the rural midwest if you're not obviously of a racial minority on top of it all.

    probably most of the folks who live in the ghettoes are law-abiding citizens, they just don't have any way out and are stuck living with the terror of the gangs and the criminals. probably most of the gangsters and criminals are folks who just wanted a better life than the ghetto could provide, and took to crime as their only way to get that. or took to the gangs as their only protection from the depredations of the gangs, since the cops don't give a shit about you when you live in the ghetto.

    if crime is getting worse in the ghetto, the most likely explanation is that the economy is getting even worse, to the point where even more people there lose their last hope of a lawful way to make a living.

    taking their guns away will not help, because their problems fundamentally are not caused by guns. we can debate what the real root causes are until the sun goes nova --- drugs, black culture, broken families, insufficient education, the economy, structural racism; i'm betting each of those plays its own part --- but lots of places in this country have far more guns than the ghettoes do, yet do not have the ghetto's problems. that tells me guns are not a significant cause of the problem.

  5. Amazing thing just happened mike. Had my regular Monday lunch with a couple friends. One Law Enforcement Officer (not uniformed as it's his day off this week) and one musician buddy.

    We ate in a place that serves alcohol and I'm sure they had plenty of big knives in the kitchen besides the ones we were carrying. So you've got three guys with at least 4 if not 5 guns, knowing my Deputy buddy's habits, and a plethora of knives, we likely weren't the only people carrying, and a plethora of alcohol available. Two of us had loaded AR-15s in our trucks and the LEO had a semi-automatic shotgun in his trunk.

    I'd like to report their was no foul language used, no arguing, no robberies, no rapes, no murders, no assaults, no domestic violence, nor any kidnapping during the full two hours we were there.

    I guess it's the guns and knives that cause crime mike. After a harrowing experience like my lunch today, I'm seriously frightened that people are allowed private arms! I was literally shaking and in terror as I calmly drove home at the posted 45mph on the back roads to my property, past the fellow that I sometimes do Pyrotechnics work for who has enough pyro around in most cases to do all the explosions you'd need for three Bruce Willis movies and a couple Rambos, and have serious doubts as to ever going out in public again with all those armed citizens out there. I may develop agoraphobia because of the trauma!

    Anybody got a valium?

  6. I don't think that "community gun" theory accounts for much percentage-wise. I'll admit it could lower the numbers a bit, but certainly not reverse them as Weer'd suggests.

    Bob's idea is interesting: that many criminals in their twenties are getting baby brother to do the shooting. Again, though I don't think it would significantly change the numbers.

    Tom, Thanks for the description of your lunch with the boys. One thing I can agree on for sure is this, I'd pity the two-bit stick up artist who wanders into your neighborhood. I can picture Bob and Weer'd and Nomen doing a citizen's arrest, but I can also picture what you'd do.

  7. I can picture Bob and Weer'd and Nomen doing a citizen's arrest

    Bob and Weerd, maybe, but i can't see myself in that picture. any badguy i had to face down, so long as they dropped their weapon and ran away, i'd be happy enough to let them run.

    (hmm, that leaves the question of what to do with the weapon they dropped. i need to think through this scenario better.)

  8. Are you implying I'd shoot them? Deadly use of force against somebody whether warranted or not will generally cause you large civil suit legal bills.

    Yesterday I wouldn't have had to make a citizen's arrest because I was sitting at a table with a LEO. If I was on my own, I'd hold the criminal at gunpoint until LEOs arrived provided he didn't make any threatening moves.

    Neighbor a decade back was one of the first area CHL oriented self-defense shootings. Cost him a couple hundred grand in legal fees and he lost his auto repair shop and wife during the 5 years that took.

    So if you think I'd be trigger happy, you're mistaken.

  9. Keep in mind though, any suspicious movement would be countered.

    Watch this film and see what happened when 2 Police Officers let their guard down.

    Movie here.

    Better in civil court than feeding flowers.

  10. I agree with Bob --the culture of fatherless ness --and criminals as fathers --makes for a culture that is dangerous possessing guns.

    And welfare (and even education and careers) have made women feel they don't need husbands --though the poverty just multiplies with the broken homes. And the lack of supervision of youth is made worse by single-parenting.

    We do need a revival of family values in the hearts of all --a realization that family needs to be traditional and strongly committed to itself. The demise in church attendance and faith has not been good for us. The shacking up and the childfree choice are going to do us in. We'll see decent-behaving people outnumbered by the criminal and immoral.

  11. Tom, You said, "So if you think I'd be trigger happy, you're mistaken."

    I sincerely apologize. I must have gotten the crazy idea from all your comments about "cleaning up the gene pool," and "Darwinism," and especially that little gem about Texas having the "instant death penalty." My mistake.

  12. Mike,

    Don't confuse a willingness to take the ultimate responsibility for our lives with an eagerness to shoot someone. There is a world of difference.

    For me a firearm is like my personal injury protection portion of my car insurance. I drive thousands of miles each year, drive nearly each day.

    For 99.9% of the time, I come any where near needing to use that part of the insurance.

    I drive defensively, avoid congestion spots if I can, will yield to the idiots instead of challenging them.

    About 0.9% of the time, I come close to having an accident, but again I stop short, pull off the road if needed to avoid other cars.

    About 0.09% of the time, I get involved in an accident. It, by the grace of god, so far has been minor fender benders, bumping into someone or being bumped at stoplight type of accidents. So, the personal injury part doesn't get used...I simply send in my money without needing it.

    I carry the insurance not because I think I'll need it every day...but for the day that I do need it I can't be without it. If, god forbid, I'm ever in an accident that injures someone....I want to be able to take care of my responsibilities. Don't you carry insurance for the same reasons?

    Carrying a firearm is just like the personal injury protection....we carry it hoping never to use it. But the stakes are too high to avoid taking responsibility for my protection and that of my family.

    To repeat, don't take that responsibility as an eagerness to hurt others.