Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Reaping what we sow

David Frum exposes the hollow pontificating of politicians over Toronto's crime problems.


America's crime problem has dramatically improved, while Canada's is becoming seriously worse. Toronto's 78 homicides in 2005 appears to compare favorably to the homicide totals of the three American cities cited by the Star. But those 78 Toronto homicides in 2005 represent a 28% increase over the 61 homicides recorded in Toronto in 1995. Meanwhile, the three U.S. cities cited by the Star each achieved dramatic decreases over the past decade: Chicago down 46% from 823, Washington down 46% from 365, Baltimore down 17% from 322.

More broadly: Canada's overall crime rate is now 50% higher than the crime rate in the United States. Read that again slowly--it seems incredible, but it's true. It's true too that you are now more likely to be mugged in Toronto than in New York City.
.....

Over a decade of successful crime-fighting in the U.S., criminologists and police departments have learned some important lessons.

Bluntly: prison works. Criminals do not commit crimes while they are held in prison. Yet a Canadian criminal is 80% less likely to go to jail than his American counterpart.

Putting police on the streets works. Yet Canada employs 25% fewer police officers per capita than the United States.

Enforcing laws against vagrancy, prostitution and drug dealing works. Yet Canada is either decriminalizing or tolerating all three. The right kinds of gun laws work too: for example, extending the sentence of any criminal who commits any crime--down to jaywalking--while in possession of a gun.

Gun registries and gun bans on the other hand do not work. Youth programs do not work. Counseling does not work. Grants to community activists, peer counselors and after-school facilities do not work. The $50-million Paul Martin has just announced for local crime-prevention will be directed to individuals and groups connected to the Liberal party's patronage machine. That money will do nothing to enhance the safety of the City of Toronto. And if it finds its way to individuals or groups who lobby against effective law-enforcement, that money will actually make the problem worse.
This is a refreshing contrast to the Socialists at the Toronto Stalin, who appear to be pushing the idea that Toronto's gun violence is all the fault of Mike Harris. Linda McQuaig did so here (and her nonsense was well addressed by Bob Tarantino and MAW). Jim Coyle does so again here:


In fact, his government's first acts were to undo supports, and make circumstances more difficult, for the very communities that Lewis and others had identified as being most vulnerable. He repealed employment-equity legislation. He cut social assistance by 21 per cent. He abandoned social housing, eliminated social programs.

In the uproar that ensued, he declared (like another notable right-wing leader) that folks were either with him or against them. Those who took to the streets in protest were dismissed as ``Iraqis, Iranians or communists.'' With utter certainty, he led followers into what would become a quagmire of inequity, alienation and division.

It is not, of course, that the former premier put a gun in anyone's hands. It is just that, if one were bent on creating a roiling underclass of the neglected, marginalized, hopeless, desperate, demeaned, emotionally deformed, spiritually corrupted and indiscriminately raging, they could hardly have done better than to do as he did.
This is the usual dribble by the collectivist crowd. The idea of people having personal responsibility for their actions is completely absent. Criminals commit their crimes because they are "neglected, marginalized, demeaned" etc etc ad nauseum, not because they are immoral crooks with no respect for the individual rights of others. People are somehow entitled to "social assistance" and need ever more government to control their lives and dish up a constantly increasing free lunch.

As is usual with the liberal mindset, the criminals are the victims, and the law abiding who actually want to be responsible for themselves without being taxed into poverty by the government and having their lives controlled by Socialist elitists are selfish and divisive.

Well, as America has found, tackling the problem of crime requires getting tough on criminals, not in bleeding heart social programmes that have these gun-toting thugs laughing all the way to bank while letting them spend their time peddling drugs, shooting innocent teenagers and mugging the law-abiding instead of getting and keeping proper jobs.

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