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Home Crime and Disarmament

Crime and Disarmament

In Washington D.C., the office of the Honorable Joseph Biden was busy phoning up everyone from Mothers Against Pointy Things to the Gay Communist Gun Club of America to Wal-Mart to invite them down for a serious no-holds-barred discussion about doing to the Bill of Rights what his boss had done to the economy.

Meanwhile over in Chicago, the 13th corpse was being scraped off the sidewalk. In just nine days, Obama's hometown, one of them anyway, was already 15% ahead of last year's whopping murder rate. East of Second City, in the city that would be Chicago if it wasn't for a lot of money and a Republican mayor, one of the city's liberal judges gave civil rights activists a late Christmas present with a verdict against the NYPD's 'Stop and Frisk" program in the Bronx.

The Bronx is the part of New York City voted most likely to be Detroit. An ironic fate for a borough that built the city's biggest zoo and botanical garden as a way of keeping the riffraff out of what was once an exclusive area. It's the place where you are mostly likely to shoot or be shot at.  The Bronx is one of the smallest borough of the five, but it's number one in murders, rapes and robberies.

New York's Finest commute to work from Staten Island, where the homicide rate is less than half that of the Bronx. In the 40th Precinct (you may know its neighbor, the 41st Precinct from the movie, Fort Apache, The Bronx) last year there were 12 murders, 21 rapes, 476 robberies, 387 felony assaults, 1,337 misdemeanor assaults, 62 shooting victims and a partridge in a pear tree.

That's not too bad considering that there were 72 murders there in 1990. In 1998, after 4 years of Giuliani, 72 murders had become 15. The two forces that transformed the 40th from a really bad place to just a bad place were aggressive policework and gentrification. The aggressive policework wasn't pretty, but it made the gentrification possible and kept New York City from turning into Newark or Chicago.

Stop and Frisk, which is just what it sounds like, allowed police to stop suspects and frisk them just on suspicion that they might be up to something bad. It's one of those programs that upsets people on both sides of the aisle, but it happens to work because it lets police stop gangbangers before they bang and lowers the murder rate to something you can actually live through.

Civil rights groups have been protesting against Stop and Frisk for years because it's racist, in the sense that it tends to take place outside dilapidated Bronx apartment buildings rather than Upper East Side high rises. For the 40th Precinct, civil rights group statistics show that 17,690 stops were made, and of those stopped, 9.200 were black, 6,039 were Hispanic, 119 were white, 63 were Asian and 15 were American Indians. Considering the lack of major tribes in the five boroughs, it is a testament to the NYPD's dedication to diversity that they were able to find and frisk that many Native Americans.

Since the only white people in the 40th are hipsters who think Williamsburg is over and went looking for somewhere edgier to set up their metal working studios, these numbers are not too surprising. But to professional civil rights activists who wake up in the morning to the soothing sounds of WBAI's hosts screaming about racism and drones (and racist drones) in between commercials for send us money, this, like everything else, including the sun rising in the morning (followed by Al Jazeera English News on WBAI 5:30 to 6 AM Monday through Friday, on Sunday stay tuned instead for Cosmik Debris), is proof of racism.

Water dripping down eventually bores a hole in a rock. Civil rights lawyers suing and screaming long enough eventually dismantles a police force. Crime is rising again in New York City, which makes it more dangerous to move to some formerly dilapidated part of the city and set up shop in an abandoned warehouse while constructing giant jagged metal figurines as a protest against capitalism that will one day decorate the lawn of a corporate office park.

Bronx crime, like most urban crime, is driven by gangs. The Black Assassins, Majestic Warlocks and the Black Muslim Five Percenters are one of the 70 street gangs in New York's own Detroit. While civil rights activists call for fighting gang violence with peace treaties and afterschool programs, there are really only two things that work. Either a police state of the kind you will find in the Bronx where the cops monitor the Twitter and Facebook postings of gang members, and their text messages, or an armed population that is capable of defending itself against them.

Liberals invariably choose none of the above.

What goes on in the 40th isn't just a New York issue. It's nationwide. Even while Obama preps a new nationwide gun ban, as if the rest of the country were Chicago or the Bronx, his Justice Department has waged a private war against local law enforcement. The NYPD and its Stop and Frisk policy was just one of the targets.

In the 90s, the Democrats learned that they could be tough on crime or they wouldn't even be elected dogcatcher. It was a lesson that the humiliation of Michael Dukakis drove home, and no matter how often Democrats denounced the Willie Horton ad, they took its lesson to heart. At least until now.

While Obama pitches gun control, his Attorney General has undermined local law enforcement at every turn. It would seem that the only crime that Obama wants to fight is the crime of owning the type of rifle that those experienced hunters, Barack Obama and Diane Feinstein, have decided that no hunter needs. But the idea that gun control is a substitute for law enforcement is laughably insane, even by Chicago standards.

Urban mayors like to believe that cracking down on rural sporting goods stores will end the killing. It won't. The real gun culture isn't at gun shows and Wal-Marts, it's down in the 40th where kids grow up listening to 50 Cent and where pointing your own gun sideways is a rite of passage. There's no place in the United States where you can legally sell heroin, but heroin use is still off the charts in the Bronx. Gun control nationwide will be just as effective as heroin control in the Bronx.

Gang members go to school, deal drugs, step outside, recover a gun from an underage female groupie, shoot down a rival, and then the process repeats. You can crack down on it with a police state where cops make arrests to keep down reports and match a Compstat quota. Or you can shut down enforcement and hope that terrorizing rural gun owners will somehow fix what's wrong with the Bronx. That's Obama's Plan A. If there's a Plan B, we haven't heard it yet.

When you scuttle both law enforcement and gun ownership, then what remains is the hell that the country descended into in the seventies when civil rights lawyers got their way and major cities, including New York City, became unlivable. 

In 1965, there were 836 murders in New York at a rate of 4.5 per 100,000 people. In 1976, the number of murders had increased to a grisly 1,969 to a rate of 7.2. By 1993, the last year of David Dinkins, New York City's first black Democrat mayor, they peaked at 2,420 at a 13.3 rate. Only a little below Chicago's current 15.65 rate. By Giuliani's second year in office, the city was down to 1,550 murders, a low that it hadn't seen since 1970. By the time he left office, there had only been 960 murders at a rate of 5.0 per 100,000 people. Giuliani had taken the city back to 1965 and its murder rate today is, incredibly, at the national average for the northeast.

The New York City success story was the triumph of prosperity and the police state. With enough cops on the street, given a free hand, New York City could have the murder rate of liberal paradises like Austin or Seattle. Giuliani made it safe for liberals to move back to New York City and play artist, uptown banker with social justice commitments, aspiring actress, foodie, tech guru or random trendy urbanite. And once they were there, the golden fountain began to flow, crime rates continued falling and the city could be taken off life support.

Reagan cleaned up the economy and allowed liberals to begin safely getting rich again. Giuliani cleaned up the city and allowed liberals to safely walk its streets. Both men fulfilled the traditional function of the Republican as the paternal figure who steps in when baby makes a mess and cleans it up while allowing baby to believe that it was done by magic.

Liberals cannot come to terms with what happened in New York City, because it would force them to acknowledge that their lifestyle is made possible by either right wing suburban cops violating civil rights or by fleeing to sheltered cities with low minority populations. And with a new Carter in office, the cycle of the seventies is coming full circle again, not just militarily or economically, but also when it comes to crime rates.

Urban liberals like to believe that it was unthinking city planners and the automobile that destroyed the city, when it was actually them. The city planners are still unthinking and the automobiles are still motoring, but the cities are back only to the extent that law enforcement has undone some of their worst mistakes. Now with an urban liberal in the White House, the mistakes are being repeated again, backed once again by the power of the Federal government.

The rural area is protected by the 2nd Amendment and the urban area by the police state. The liberal, who is only interested in enforcing laws against real criminals like people who fill in swamps or make politically incorrect jokes, would like to take away the firearms of the rural gun owner and dismantle the law enforcement defenses of the urban area. Taking away the guns will not fix the problem. All it will do is allow the gangs, who will always have the guns, to dominate urban and rural areas.

Down in the 40th, the boys in blue still walk the streets as they do in so many other cities. It's a thin line here and everywhere else where everyone wants more cops, but can't afford to pay them. And you can't put a cop on every single block of every single city and town, not to mention farmhouse. Gangs, many of them even more dangerous than the ones you'll find in the Bronx, are spreading across the country. Stopping them will take more than the police state that Bloomberg still oversees.

The old urban lesson of the seventies is that the difference between civilization and the jungle is security. And there is no substitute for security, whether it's the security of one man with a gun, or a very expensive police department of men with guns carrying out the marching orders of statistical analysts.

The political left has forgotten the lesson of Willie Horton in its arrogance and its base of metal working artists in converted warehouses has forgotten the lessons of that old Times Square that they never visited, but still nostalgically pine for. And as they work to disarm the people and dismantle police forces, it is inevitable that it is a lesson that they will be forced to learn again.


  1. VA_Rancher10/1/13

    There is a phrase I'm thinking of...

    What is it?...

    Oh YES! Now I remember!

    Something about, "...From my cold, dead fingers..."

  2. " And as they work to disarm the people and dismantle police forces, it is inevitable that it is a lesson that they will be forced to learn again."

    WRONG Daniel. It is not a lesson THEY will be forced to learn. Because a leftist, being a miserable herd creature, is incapable of learning anything other than what out or in-selects it to the group.

    It is a lesson WE will be forced to learn. When WE suffer so much pain and grief that we finally decide not to put up with their ridiculous crap, we elect a Giulliani or a Laguardia, and get rid of the parasites.

  3. Anonymous10/1/13

    Great article Mr. Knish. It is sad that the yahoos in the Republican Party are so reflexively hostile towards Giuliani.

  4. In my media lie of the day, there is an article that states all the gun crime rate is caused by legal gun owners not locking their guns up. The person who wrote the article totally ignored Chicago and other big city gang crimes. That person should be given about six month shock treatment in a facility like on American Horror Story and then be relocated to a high crime area in Chicago. The anti-gun people are just totally nuts, and they will see you dead to prove they are not nuts.

  5. Anonymous10/1/13


  6. Anonymous10/1/13

    It is all about OSHA protection for career gangsters, making predation safe. How would deer hunters like it if the deer shot back? /sarc.

    One question, I lived and worked in New York 1973-76. At that time I thought Fort Apache was the 19ht Precinct in the Bronx, has it been renumbered? I worked a clinic by the Brooklyn Navy Yard, then the 88 Precinct, another place to depart by dusk. I actually saw more hostile action than in Viet Nam.

  7. Yup very true.

    It seems to be the 41st. Perhaps there was a renumbering at some point.


  8. Joe Wright10/1/13

    Stopping and frisking is a warrantless search that is prohibited by the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.

  9. Joe Wright: The TSA in principle and in practice is a violation of the 4th Amendment, too. We have the TSA and Stop and Frisk policies because our notion of "law and order" is becoming more and more totalitarian. In both instances, that is because our policymakers refuse to properly identify the enemy. The best of our policymakers are just not up to thinking in principles, but in terms of the quickest results with the least effort.

  10. Anonymous10/1/13

    Wow. Police precincts.

    My city is backward. Some moron came up with the brilliant idea of consolidating manpower and dismantled all of the neighborhood police precincts. If your city starts talking about consolidating police services fight against it.

    It doesn't work



  11. They already consolidated housing, school, traffic and subway cops into one police force. Makes for a lot of cop visibility, but less efficiency.

  12. Not only have they forgotten the lesson of Willie Horton, but lately they have ignorantly been using the name of Willie Horton as an example of Republican racism. When you dare to mention that Willie Horton was a convicted murderer who Dukakis let loose to kill again, you have just uttered a racist statement.

    In the same way they are trying to paint the pro 2nd Amendment discussion as also racist. Obviously this is the tactic they now use when they are severely loosing an argument. It's the "If you don't agree with me you are a racist" strategy.

    But thank G-d we have philosophers like Daniel to educate us.

  13. It is a typical day in the life of a leftist, clean up our cities, but take the cops off the street. Like the POTUS foreign policy his domestic policy is a total disaster. Four more years of total disharmony for the American people. Class warfare at its best; good luck we will all need it.

  14. Anonymous11/1/13

    Edward Cline
    As much as I dislike TSA searches I don't see how they can can compare to Stop and Frisk. The first is voluntary, the second is not.

  15. Gun control advocates like to drape themselves
    selfrighteously in the concept of saving lives.
    (Sorry about the mixed metaphor.)

    If they really wanted to save lives, they would turn from banning guns to ending the ban on drugs.

    At no time in this country's history has any ban by government on something people want ever worked. Witness Prohibition, a miserable destructive failure.

    Whatever the ban, prostitution, gambling, drugs, alcohol, immediately after its imposition, the price rises, followed closely by the entry into the now illegal
    marketplace of the most naturally vicious predatory criminals of that particular era, who
    slaughter each other and any innocent who gets in the way.

    DG discusses gangs in this country. They exist, outside prisons, to control the drug trade by the most violent means imaginable. Take away their profit motive in the illegal trade by making drugs legal and they will dwindle away as did the bootlegging gangs after the end of Prohibition.

    You save lives by making things legal. You start the slaughter by making them illegal.

    But for the Left wing, or our semi-Socialist Republican opposition, to acknowledge anything like that, their motives would have to be honest and they would have to recognize the value of freedom, individual rights, and limited government. No chance.

  16. @Doug Mayfield You save lives by making things legal. You start the slaughter by making them illegal.

    Nature's and civilization's limitations exist for a reason. Make hard drugs legal, and suddenly everything else is possible. At least in the drugs-altered mind.

  17. Leo

    I'm not recommending drugs since their effects are destructive (which is what I think you mean by 'nature's limitations') but you can't legislate personal morality. Some people choose to make self destructive decisions.

    The purpose of government is to allow us to live together. Make the penalties for the effects of using drugs, driving impaired, etc.
    severe, because in that case the drug abuser is potentially destroying the lives of others.

    Such penalties legally acknowledge 'nature's limitations' (that drugs imapir or destroy the individual) and put drug abusers on notice that we won't tolerate them allowing their self destructive nature to hurt other people.

    But assuming I am reading your use of the phrase correctly, 'civilization's limitations' don't work and never have. They just open the door for criminals who violently exploit them for the cash flow.

  18. @Doug Mayfield Take away their profit motive in the illegal trade by making drugs legal and they will dwindle away as did the bootlegging gangs after the end of Prohibition.

    Doug, another name for nature's limitations is "Natural Law", and another name for civilization's limitations is "The Rule of Law", I hope this clarifies my terminology. I am not sure what to make of your last comment, as logically one cannot be PRO something and AGAINST something at the same time. If the above quote is not about legalizing hard drugs, then what it is about?


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