Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bullets Fly in Indy Leaving Behind Few Answers

Indianapolis had a bad weekend.

Several shootings have left questions that the next Mayor will have to answer, and those answers are just not very clear.

How do you strike a balance between the Second Amendment and the proliferation of legal guns in our city?  What is the first step in solving a crime issue that only seems to be getting worse?  These questions will confound our city leaders.

To me, it's unacceptable to have innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire of violence.  That's what happened in at least one case this weekend.  Some in our city pretend on one hand that the violence is ok because it's just criminals killing criminals.  In the very next sentence, they will say that violence is not ok and that we need to take extreme measures to stop it.

You can't have a city with a wild west mentality, but you also can't have Tombstone where Wyatt Earp takes all the guns.  So, we're stuck in the middle.

Ten Point Coalition leader and local Pastor Charles Harrison believes it's time in Indianapolis to try new policing methods such as stop and frisk.  That makes many concerned about the Fourth Amendment implications as well as the possibility that stop and frisk can be used to profile.  Plus, I just don't know if IMPD has the staff to pull off stop and frisk operations.

That's not the answer, in my opinion.  I still think the answer lies in going to every youth center, school, school function, neighborhood, street corner, park, and anywhere else in the city and spreading the message that solving differences with a firearm just isn't a smart thing.  Once you shoot at someone, those bullets don't come back, and they can devastate lives.

Some don't care about the consequences, and, for them, we need to keep getting them off the streets and hopefully keeping them behind bars.  Maybe it is time to explore reasonably tougher sentencing for gun crimes.

The thing is that we need a crime fighter who is ready to declare war on illegal guns in our streets.  So far, we haven't heard much from Chuck Brewer.  The next Mayor will need to have credibility on this issue, and that's Joe Hogsett.


Anonymous said...

"Profiling"...I love it. Lets take a look at this pragmatically. First, nearly all of the the violence (at least 80% of it) is occurring in neighborhoods with primarily minority residents, visitors, etc. Most victims (and perpetrators) are minorities. So, if we police a primarily minority neighborhood, inhabited by minority residents, visitors etc, then there is nearly a 100% statistical chance that the police, when called or observant of suspicious activities, will be encountering those people of a minority. So please, let's get rid of this uneducated notion about "profiling". As long as your police department is well-trained and well-versed in the Fourth Amendment, Terry v Ohio, reasonable suspicion vs probable cause etc, it is very likely that increased vigilance can discover the guns in that area. Couple this with the fact that there is a dynamic relationship with the minority religious community, you have a fairly good recipe for success versus the doom and gloom juvenile prophecy or "profiling". Add the fact that this particular PD has made tremendous strides for community outreach and you can see how ridiculous the "profiling" argument actually is.

Eric L. Mayer said...

There is nothing to "balance" with the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment guarantees gun ownership to "the militia", nothing more. The proliferation of guns is killing America, and is not tolerated in any of the other Western democracies, all of which have a fraction of our violence. In Great Britain, you can go to prison for ten years just for being in possession of a handgun! I would ban all handguns; if we started today, it would take years to round them all up, and melt them down. I respect the tradition of hunting, so would allow provision for hunting rifles, but they would be strictly regulated, to insure safety and use only for what they are intended.

Indy Student said...

Greg Garrison bought up a point about gun specific sentencing/enhancement that does trouble me a bit, and I guess it needs to be addressed when/if the law is written. His hypothetical is a kid who is caught with an ounce of weed and has an unloaded pistol. He isn't using that gun in the execution of his crime, but it could really rack up the time he spends behind bars if that sentence enhancement is tacked on.

Anonymous said...

Our wonderful news media (tabloid) which has NO clue about investigative journalism has totally glossed over the fact that the state had about $20 million for the "Second Chance" federal funding. I believe either the monies were squandered or misspent...no one seems to hold our government accountable for anything.