Sunday, October 2, 2011

Violent Crime In Detroit Could Skyrocket In Response To Cuts In Michigan's Cash Assistance Program

Just when we thought that the current level of violent crime in the city of Detroit was as bad as it could possibly get, a new law went into effect yesterday that could possibly usher in a new era of even higher rates of robberies, home invasions, and carjackings.

Yesterday the state of Michigan removed 21,000 Detroiters from its cash assistance program. In one fell swoop a huge number of people in Detroit, who had been in the program for the prior 48 months, were abruptly left with no income.

State cash assistance programs were never designed to support the lifestyle of the chronically unemployed for a lifetime. Rather, they served as an economic safety net for persons who may have experienced a drastic or catastrophic event: serious illness, sudden job loss, divorce, and etc. Accordingly, most people would agree that a 48 month limit for receiving benefits would be just.

However, those affected by the newly adopted change in the state's cash assistance program's eligibility rules had a very short notification period. As such, there is a very real possibility that a percentage of the aforementioned people may resort to violent crime due to desperation.

The city of Detroit, before Michigan's economic bombing, already had a serious violent crime problem. There's hardly a day when there isn't a news broadcast of a litany of serious crimes committed within the borders of our town.

Local law enforcement is doing the best job it can to fight violent crime with the few resources that it has at its disposal. The local police department has taken more officers off desk duty, increased overtime for street patrols, implemented a curfew for teens, stopped answering unverified house alarms, and ran a gun buyback at a local church.

However, the sad reality is that they are seriously under-manned and underfunded to make a difference. They routinely arrive at crime scenes well after the bad guys have left and have the worse crime closure rate of any major city in the country.

The most surprising development, in my opinion, about Detroit's crime problem is our city's leadership refusing to publicly recognize and alert the citizenry about the looming threat of increased violence. They seem all to willing to let the carnage begin in earnest without advising citizens to assume more responsibility for their safety.

The dirty little secret about personal protection that the local police department hopes you never discover is that safety is your responsibility. The role of law enforcement is to investigate crimes after they have occurred. In the meantime, someone has been victimized: raped, robbed, or murdered.

Furthermore, local police do nothing to discourage the fantasy that their job is to prevent citizens from being victims. They tell citizens to "sell-back" their guns and to call them when a crime happens. Well, what happens when you call the police and it takes hours - if not days - to respond to your plea for help?

Answer me this: How bad do things have to get before you make a credible and sensible plan to ensure the safety of your family? I am hereby informing you that the environment in Detroit is the worst shape it has been in decades. In short, it is a great time to be a violent criminal in the city of Detroit.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the police to tell you to buy a handgun. They never will. They don't trust you to be a responsible and a law-abiding citizen.

In closing, you have a choice to make: victim or non-victim. Not making a choice is selecting victimization by default. Buy a handgun, learn how to use it, and legally carry it wherever you go. Consider yourself officially warned.

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