Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Real Solution To Detroit's Violent Crime Problem

There has been a lot of hand-wringing lately by the law enforcement community about what needs to be done to quell the violent crime problem in the city of Detroit. Currently, the city of Detroit is on pace to break a 10 year-old record for the most homicides.

The Detroit Police Department (DPD) is trying just about every tactic they know to prevent the city from registering more homicides on the record books. Within the last month, they have announced plans to do the following: pull officers off desk jobs to conduct patrols, force officers to work 12 hour shifts, stop pretending to respond to non-human verified house alarms, and adopt a curfew for teens to be off the streets after dark.

Regrettably, these actions alone will not stop the violence. The perfect storm of variables that create crime are outside of DPD's control and remain unaddressed: Michigan Dept. of Corrections releasing violent criminals early, lenient judges treating criminals with kid gloves, dismal police response times, poor economic climate, illiteracy, poor educational system, and sour police and community relations.

The solutions to these underlying problems are beyond the scope of the law enforcement community. Further, they are complex and will ultimately require an economic investment that we currently can't afford. The city has been dangerously close to being forced into receivership for quite some time. That fact alone explains why we have an underfunded and understaffed police force and provides insight as to how the city has decided not to cut and maintain the landscaping on public property.

The solution to the current root causes of violent crime in Detroit will not happen in the near future. In the interim, there is a remedy available to protect the residents of Detroit but you won't hear the law enforcement community endorse it. The solution is for every person to become responsible for their own personal safety and the welfare of their families.

Currently, the city of Detroit is a predator's paradise. The police here consistently arrive to crime scenes well after the criminal has left. To add insult to injury - pun not intended - the police have an atrociously poor case closure percentage.

Thus, if a bad guy is not caught in the act of committing a crime, he will likely not be caught and will be free to do more mayhem in the community. Moreover, in the very few cases where the bad guys are actually apprehended it is likely that they will receive a lenient sentence and soon be back to their illicit trade of violent crime.

Every so often in the city of Detroit, you will hear of a story in the media whereby a person, who was legally armed, stopped a bad guy. Maybe you heard about the citizens who thwarted a robbery in an east-side barber shop. Or perhaps, you heard about two separate incidents whereby retired cops fought back against armed thugs at a post office or at the McDonald's restaurant in the University District.

The solution to our violent crime problem in Detroit is to make raping, robbing, and carjacking bad decisions that carry harsh consequences. At present, it is a no-brainer for thugs to wave a gun at an unarmed citizen to satisfy their selfish desires and whims. There is virtually no down-side even if they, by a random stroke of bad luck, manage to get apprehended later by the authorities.

Currently, there aren't enough firearms being carried by law abiding citizens to stem the incidence of violent crime. If the number of citizens in Detroit who legally carried arms was to double, the outcome would be predictable. We would witness the arrival of a tipping point whereby crime would plummet due to a criminal's fear of being shot or killed by his intended victim.

I am mindful that toting a pistol is not for everybody but for those that can handle the responsibility, the results would be well worth the effort. Further, even the most die-hard anti-gun critic would also be shielded from crime, as bad guys might assume that he was armed and leave him alone.

Carrying a firearm is not the answer to everything that ails Detroit. However, it is the answer to our current out of control violent crime problem. We must remove the certainty of success that now exists within the vocations of robbery, sexual assault, and carjacking. Until then, we will only witness more well-intentioned hand-wringing from our city leaders who are clueless as to how our citizens should be protected.

Don't set yourself up for victimhood. Be proactive. Protect your family. Buy a firearm, learn how to use it, and be safe.

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