You Can't Solve the Problem if You Are Unwilling to Identify the Problem

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

We have previously noted that, according to The Washington Post, people in our inner cities are not being murdered, but are dying of “gun violence.” Guns, apparently, simply levitate off the shelves, hover in the air, and then shoot people.

In the City of Brotherly Love, those evil guns are doing so at a remarkable pace: as of 11:59 PM EDT on August 26th, the Philadelphia Police Department reported that 297 homicides have been reported in the city. That’s a 34.39% increase over the same day last year, and 2019 saw the most homicides in the city since 2007.

The math is pretty simple: August 26th was the 239th day of the year, with 127 days to follow. Philly is averaging 1.24 homicides per day. If that rate continues for the remaining 127 days of this miserable year, another 157 people will meet their deaths at the hands of another. 297 + 157 = 454, 454 homicides ‘projected’ for the City without much Brotherly Love.¹

The record for Philly is 505 homicides, in 1990, followed by 489 in 1989, 460 in 1988, and 450 in 1991. That puts this year’s ‘projected’ total above 1991 and threatening 1988’s numbers. We noted just eleven days ago that there had been more murders thus far this year than in all of 2013 (246) and 2014 (248). The yearly totals for 2015 (280) and 2016 (277) will be eclipsed shortly . . . and now those 2015 and 2016 totals are in Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw’s rear view mirror. The 315 killed in 2017 should be eclipsed on September 10th, and the 356 from last year’s numbers in just 48 more days, on October 13th.

Naturally, the editors of The Philadelphia Inquirer, just like those of the Post, prefer to blame inanimate guns rather than the bad people who pull the triggers:

As Philly’s violent summer continues, Pa. lawmakers could help by passing stricter gun laws | Opinion

Ruth Abaya, For The Inquirer | August 27, 2020 | 9:20 AM EDT

In the last few months, everything about our lives has changed. We greet our friends and neighbors with masks on, from a distance of six feet, for their safety as well as our own. This experience has taught us that when our neighbor survives and thrives, so do we. We are in the midst of one of the most significant pandemics in recent history. Since COVID-19 came to our city, tragically, many have lost their lives. But remarkably, not one child has died of the virus.

However, in 2020, so far, 10 children have died of gun violence.

No, they weren’t murdered, they weren’t shot by criminals, but by those apparently self-levitating guns got violent all by themselves.

This year in Philadelphia, more than 100 children have been shot. In total, over 1,200 individuals have been the victims of gun violence. This public health crisis has continued, unabated, disrupting the safety and health of families and communities. The time is now to implement evidence based, effective policies — such as permit-to-purchase or licensing law — in the state of Pennsylvania.

I cannot quote the entire OpEd piece; that would be plagiarism.² But a few paragraphs down is one more that I just have to cite:

We cannot fail to acknowledge the role that structural racism, and the lack of community trust that it produces, plays in violence throughout Pennsylvania. Now, we have an obligation to name our enemy with clarity. Though people of every race are deeply affected by gun violence, like many health conditions, it is fraught with racial disparities. If we claim to be committed to ending this legacy, we cannot ignore its effect on this public health crisis.

However, Dr Abaya does not name our enemy with clarity. Not one word of her OpEd piece mentions the actual people who pull the triggers, not one word mentions bad guys or gangs or drug dealers. She did mention a tragic accident which killed a nine-year-old boy, and an “intimate partner homicide” which left a “community grieving” in Susquehanna County, but not one single word about the gang bangers shooting other gang bangers.

More, she blames “structural racism, and the lack of community trust it produces,” as though somehow these killings are white guys killing black people and black people shooting whites. The vast majority of shootings in Philadelphia are within a single community, young black men shooting other young black men, over perceived slights, gang turf wars, drug deals, women or some other stupid reason. In 2019, black men were 73% of the victims of homicide in the city, and when black women are included in the numbers, 85% of murder victims in Philadelphia.

The population of the city is only 41.5% black.

While I have been thus far unable to locate the racial data on shootings in the city for this year, WHYY, the National Pubic Radio station in Philadelphia, reported:

Between March 9 and April 19, 187 people were shot in Philadelphia.

During that six-week span, nearly 20 of them were struck in the three zip codes of West Philadelphia that include the Overbrook Park and Mill Creek sections of the city. Those zip codes, where up to a third of residents live below the federal poverty line and roughly 90% of the population is Black, were also among the areas of the city with the highest rates of COVID-19.

By comparison, one person was shot in three zip codes of northwest Philadelphia that contain Roxborough, Manayunk and East Falls. The middle-class, majority-white neighborhoods were among the areas of the city with the lowest rates of COVID-19.

The ‘experts’ predicted that the shutdowns ordered by the government over COVID-19 would lower the violent crime rate, but, as we noted previously, the violent crime rate, particularly homicide, increased.

City officials are “extremely concerned about the level of violence that is taking place” while residents should be staying home because of the virus, Managing Director Brian Abernathy said Friday (March 20, 2020).

Just how stupid do you have to be to think that people who are willing to go out with guns and kill others are going to sit at home because Mayor Jim Kenney told them to? Must be the same people who think that criminals will obey gun control laws.

The reason that the crime rate has not plummeted during the shutdown is that the city’s entrenched criminal population is too large to be properly policed, said Terry Starks, founder and executive director of the Urban Crisis Response Center.

So, there’s an “entrenched criminal population” in Philly? How surprising that they have guns they are not legally allowed to own. Perhaps guns are an ‘essential tool’ for criminals? Perhaps Dr Abaya might have considered that her proposals for new gun control laws wouldn’t take guns out of the hands of criminals?

And, of course, selling drugs is an ‘essential’ business, because junkies don’t stop needing their fixes just because the Mayor told them to stay home.

It’s an old, old maxim that to solve a problem you must first identify the problem, and this Dr Abaya, and the editors of The Philadelphia Inquirer, refuse to do. Dr Abaya blamed it on “structural racism, and the lack of community trust that it produces,” but would go no further, because to blame murders on murderers would be to point out that most of the problem is perpetrated by young black males. To do that, even before #BlackLivesMatter became a rallying cry for the left, is to invite charges of racism.³

There is a solution, however, though it’s one the left do not want to hear. The problems are in local communities, primarily black communities, and that is the only place they can be solved. The local communities themselves have to get together and stop protecting the bad guys who live there!

The bad guys in Philly are like bad guys anywhere: they still need food, clothing and shelter, and they still want respect and sex. The communities around them know who they are, know what they are like, and know what they’ve done. The communities need to report them to the police, need to provide the evidence to get the bad guys out and locked up. The local communities need to stop feeding them, stop providing them with safe places to stay, and, to be very blunt, stop providing them with sex.4

A lot of people, including Dr Abaya, tried to compare the epidemic of violence with the pandemic of COVID-19, as though they are somehow related, because the more violent communities have also tended to have higher infection rates, but correlation does not prove causation. However, the solution to both is the same: those infected need to be quarantined away from the healthy. When it comes to the criminals in the neighborhood, communities need to quarantine them from the innocent, by helping to get them locked away in prison. Just like COVID-19, just because you haven’t been infected, or the victim of one of the criminals, yet does not mean that you will not be in the future if you allow the bad guys to roam around freely.
¹ – I have not been the only one to notice this. My numbers are simply later, and more complete, than others.
² – It would also require me to type the whole thing all over again! I have reached my ‘free’ article limit with the Inquirer on my desktop, had to access it again on my tablet, and am typing it in manually. Any typographical errors are mine, and not the Inquirer’s.
³ – That’s the great thing about being retired; I can’t be #CancelCultured out of my job for pointing out the uncomfortable.
4 – What is the number one concern for young males? Sex! If young women would stop rewarding the bad guys with sex, the bad guys would soon straighten up!
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