Daily Archives: January 21, 2013

William Bratton on reducing gun violence: enforce the law

It worked in New York and it would work in other cities too, he says – we just need the will.

Mr. Bratton predicts that “the most successful focus is going to be on the licensing and background checks. Because that’s the heart of the problem—who gets access to the guns?” he says. “Clearly a large number of people who shouldn’t have firearms actually apply through the process and obtain firearms.” He also argues that Congress ought to confirm a permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for the first time since 2006.

But the gun reform that truly gets Mr. Bratton fired up is one you don’t hear much about these days. It is what he calls “certainty of punishment,” or stricter gun-crime sentences.

“People are out on the streets who should be in jail. Jail is appropriate for anyone who uses a gun in the commission of an act of violence. Some cities have a deplorable lack of attention to this issue,” he says, citing Philadelphia.

In Chicago, where the murder rate rose 16% last year, “to try to put someone in jail for gun-related activity you really have to go the extra mile,” he says. “If there’s one crime for which there has to be a certainty of punishment, it is gun violence.” He ticks off other places where help is needed: “Oakland, Chicago, D.C., Baltimore—all have gangs whose members have no capacity for caring about life and respect for life. Someone like that? Put ‘em in jail. Get ‘em off the streets. Keep people safe.

[When appointed NYC Police Commissioner]  Mr. Bratton publicly promised to cut crime by 10% in his first year and 15% in his second. Privately he told Mr. Giuliani that crime would drop 40% in three years.

And down it went. In two years, murders fell 39%, robbery 31%, burglary 25% and car theft 36%. By 1998, two years after he left the job but with his programs firmly in place, murders had fallen 70%, robbery 55%, burglary 53% and car theft 61%.

Another innovation was the almost obsessive use of timely crime data to drive tactics and accountability. Police began questioning every person arrested with a gun about where, when and how it was obtained. Detectives were instructed to investigate all shootings as if they were murders.

All of this went on under a legal architecture that had existed for years, including a 1974 state gun-control law considered the strictest in the nation. The tide turned so dramatically only in 1994, says Mr. Bratton, because finally the police enforced the law “fairly, compassionately and consistently” across all neighborhoods.

… Another part of the anti-violence solution was the 1968 Supreme Court ruling Terry v. Ohio, which held that a police officer is allowed to stop, question and frisk a person on the street if the officer has “reasonable suspicion” that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. “Stop-and-frisk” became a central feature of policing—and now, in a transformed New York two decades later, it has become a matter of controversy. Liberals want it banned.

Critics of stop-and-frisk argue that it discriminates against blacks and Hispanics, who are the subjects of a majority of stops. Proponents say this simply reflects the demographic realities of crime. Although blacks make up only 23% of New York’s population, for example, they accounted for more than 60% of all murder victims in 2011 and committed some 80% of all shootings. The issue is now in the federal courts, where for the first time a judge last week ruled a part of the program unconstitutional.

 

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It’s already been done, in New Jersey

 

One and done - next idea

One and done – next idea

Harvard prof seeks “brave mother” to give birth to a Neanderthal. 

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Quinoa is for the little people

White House, White Castle, who gives a fig?

White House, White Castle, who gives a fig?

White House inauguration lunch: 3,000 calories per diner. Lobster, bison and pie a la mode, but no calorie count signs, even though ObamaKare requires them. Michelle was too busy gorging on bison tenderloin to explain this departure from recommended dietary procedure.

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Dull sermon or just chomping at the bit to resume savaging the nation?

 

10 more seconds of posing and this photo-ops history, guys

10 more seconds of posing and this photo-op’s history, guys

Nation’s First Church Goer tweets his supporters from the pew.

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When guns are outlawed, only outlaw legislators will have guns

Senator Feinstein gives in to her inner woman

Senator Feinstein gets in touch with her inner woman

Democrat Virginia lawmaker who brandished AK-47 on floor of Senate previously convicted of violent crime. Psychiatrists call this sort of thing “projection”.

A Virginia lawmaker who drew gasps from his colleagues when he brandished a borrowed AK-47 during an anti-gun speech Thursday was found guilty in 2002 of committing a vicious 1999 assault, was sanctioned for legal misconduct while prosecuting a rape case, spent six months in jail for contempt of a federal court, and saw his law license revoked in 2003.

Democratic Delegate Joseph Morrissey brought the rifle to the floor of the House of Delegates to demonstrate how easy it is to carry firearms in Virginia. Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert interrupted Morrissey’s speech to ask him to remove his finger from inside the gun’s trigger-guard — a basic gun-safety practice.

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In Ireland, truth is a defense

Man gets his job back after being sacked for calling his boss a “f***king moron”. “After hearing both witnesses, EU Human Rights Commissioner [should have] said, “we are convinced that the supervisor is indeed a fucking moron and frequently farts, too.”

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Hmm, no guns, no knives, no prosecutions, how could England have such a high rate of violent crime?

Transportation Day

Transportation Day

Criminal receives 113 “cautions” after crime spree. Australia would never have been settled were this the norm back in the good old days.

A burglar was let off with more than 100 cautions after raiding homes in south-east England.

The thief, who has not been identified, was issued 113 reprimands but escaped further punishment when he confessed in prison to the one-man looting spree.

A previous report showed in the same year, 2011, thousands of criminals, including arsonists, robbers and violent thugs were being let off with a ‘slap on the wrist’.

In 2011 one in five sex offenders and more than one in four violent thugs were given a caution.

In 2011 cautions were handed out to 269 robbers, 3,359 burglars and 461 arsonists. One in four violent offenders was given one.

Cautions were given to 1,532 sex offenders along with 128 criminals who made murder threats.

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