Monday, July 24, 2017

High Crime Not "New Normal"; Defensive Gun Uses Up

A higher crime rate in the Las Vegas area is not a "new normal." Crime rates rise and fall. America is as peaceful as it was during the last major lull in homicide rates, the late 1930s through early 1960s. Review-Journal reporter Rachel Crosby wrote that she's glad she's leaving the crime beat. She bemoans the violence she's covered and recounts a few stories.

A man in a broken relationship snapped and killed his family before killing himself. A teenager who broke the law killed himself to avoid the consequences of his actions. Unarmed security guards were shot by a robber in a mall that bans firearms. Well, it's better than the Sun's examples callingfor gun control, at least. None of those examples are really outside the norm of the valley.

If blame is to be laid for rising crime rates, look to the failed administration of Sheriff Lombardo. Under Lombardo, homicide rates are up. Attorney General Sessions came to Las Vegas in regards to the Las Vegas sanctuary city policy. And everyone is afraid to point out the causes and solutions of crime. Crime to middle and upper class citizens of all races is not a problem. While homicides are up, defensive gun uses are also way up over the past few years. There have been 24 defensive gun uses so far in a year that's only a little more than half over, versus 18 last year.

The how, why, and who of local crime is far more important than the numbers. A man who murders his wife does not make me fear for my safety, it makes me feel sad. High violence in certain neighborhoods occurring between certain members of certain communities for particular reasons, none of which are common to me, means that I am not in danger, though violence is statistically up. Just as we cannot ignore the uncomfortable realities behind crime and violence, we can’t ignore the solutions of personal responsibility to help curtail violence and protect ourselves.

Perhaps it is the limitation of the print version of the newspaper (which shouldn't limit the online version) that the details and causes behind the crimes are left out. Many stories have no follow up and leave out many details, including race. Much of Las Vegas area homicide is among minorities who are often involved in drugs or gangs. The failure of inner city minority communities to end violence among themselves by no longer tolerating it does not exist. In the Old West, frontier violence did not decline until western communities became tough on crime and did not excuse easy killing.

My suggestion to newspaper owners: higher ex-cops to investigate and write crime stories. They can handle the heat, understand the cause, and communicate to the reader whether or not fear is merited. I do not have the resources (money and time) to go to crime scenes, talk to the PIOs, order police reports, talk to witnesses, etc. The newspaper "journalists" do, but they don't. They merely regurgitate press releases or press conferences, digging down to a Facebook account at the most. Within a few days, the story is forgotten.

Today's college kids that seem to populate newspaper offices need to read real newspapers from a hundred years ago. People who take the time to read news are on average smarter than TV news viewers and we want analysis and details.

We should never accept higher crime rates as normal. We each have the ability to safeguard ourselves from criminal attack by exercising our right to self-defense. Those in communities plagued with violence have the responsibility and the duty to reform their own communities by turning in criminals and setting the standard at home and in church that crime and violence is unacceptable. For the rest, we can start by getting handle on things by voting out Sheriff Lombardo in 2018 and by electing legislators and politicians who will be tough on crime and enforce immigration laws.

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