If the guns weren’t available, the shootings wouldn’t be occurring at the rates that they’re occurring. It’s a lot harder to kill somebody with a golf club than it is with a gun. ” He was compelled to make his pronouncement after the execution-style killing of three Newark college students last August 4 where six Latin American immigrants were arrested, three of whom where minors and one had no legal status (Katel, 2008). The situation prompted some police chiefs and other anti-gun advocates to again resort to what William J.
Bratton, the New York police chief, had implemented in 1994: the “stop and frisk” policing technique aimed at ferreting out illegal gun carriers. The Street Crime Unit of New York, which had 400 personnel, started stopping suspicious young men on the streets (most of whom belonged to the minority groups) and searched them for guns. Their effort netted them 4,899 guns in 1977 after conducting 18,023 searches and 4,647 guns after 27,061 searches the following year. The campaign resulted to a 72% drop in homicide cases (376 from a high of 1,330 cases) during the ten-year period from 1988-1998.
The mayor of New York at the time, Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, even went to the extent of hauling gun makers and distributors to court for failing to keep guns out of the hands of criminal elements (Katel, 2008). Some criminologists seconded this idea. They argued that this technique would be particularly effective in places where procuring replacement guns are difficult because of stricter gun laws. They believe that these are situations where the “ends justify [such] aggressive means.
” Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist from Pittsburgh who works as a professor of urban systems and operations research at the School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University was quoted as saying that “Gun carrying in those neighborhoods where violence is endemic provides an incentive for a preemptive strike. If the other guy is going to get you, you’re going to get him first. ” He acknowledged, however, that such an aggressive policing method tends to result to civil rights violations (Katel. 2008). Residents of Philadelphia were of the same mind.
When Michael Nutter promised them that he would implement the New York “stop and frisk” method, they elected him mayor. After getting elected, Nutter said that the election results showed that “the public would rather have safety than an avoidance of stop-and-frisk. ” He was, however, contradicted by some of his constituents who argued that the practice smacked of racial profiling. Jubilee School founder Karen Falcon demanded that tougher laws against ownership of guns be enacted because “As long as guns are so available, you can take the guns away all you want; they’re just going to be replaced.
” She said that she doubted whether it was the “stop-and-frisk” method which reduced gun ownership in New York. The strict gun law was more responsible for it, she added. Over in Minnesota, the Chief of Police of Minneapolis, Tim Dolan, rejected the idea. He believed that the police would not get the support of the populace if they would just be “stopping and frisking” without a reasonable suspicion of some crimes being committed or about to be committed.
He said that not like in New York, guns could be seized but they are easier to replace in Minneapolis because they are easily purchased even in flea markets. Pro-gun advocates, meanwhile, reiterated what they have been crying all along: that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. ” John Jay Karmen opined that crime can be suppressed to some degree but the real solution to the problem should be education and job trainings that could provide people with decent jobs with living wages.
Productive recreational facilities and activities coupled with the extension of meaningful assistance to dysfunctional families would also be a great help. Executive director Sheila Bedi of the Justice Policy Institute, meanwhile, said that “Effective public-safety strategies include proven, evidence-based practices that reduce …crime and lower barriers to the reintegration into society of former [inmates]. Such policies promote jobs and education and create safer, healthier communities. ” In my opinion, the two schools of thought should be brought together into an integrated approach to crime.
While reducing gun-ownership should be implemented, albeit according to due process, the positive approach to crime prevention should also be resorted to. Higher education, decent jobs, and healthy living environments should be made available to every resident regardless of their national origin, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or gender. . Reference Katel, P. (2008). Fighting Crime: Can inner-city crime be significantly reduced? CQ Researcher, Volume 18, Issue 6. Retrieved March 8, 2008 from