Boundaries

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Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Column by Andrew Klaven, whom I do not normally read, but I love this line: “We’re pretending we’re having a debate about gun control but we’re really having a debate about the nature of evil and whether big enough government can control it.”

Can we talk? I mean talk honestly, about the difference between gun violence in Las Vegas versus Chicago? Here’s the difference: it’s all about risk.

Everybody knows there are certain neighborhoods in Chicago where shootings occur. People who can afford to avoid those neighborhoods employ a risk-avoidance strategy of private red-lining. We don’t go into bad neighborhoods, especially not at night. We live elsewhere, shop elsewhere, send our kids to school elsewhere. As long as ghetto thugs stay home to kill each other, we don’t care. That’s why statistics on violent crime in Chicago leave us unmoved. It’s NIMBY-ism, pure and simple.

Las Vegas was different. The victims didn’t take the risk of gun violence by going into a bad neighborhood, the concert-goers stayed in a decent neighborhood with plenty of security. That’s what causes the outrage – this should have been a safe place to be. Think back to other mass shootings: school, movie theatre, night club, Christmas party, military base, softball field. We followed the rules, we stayed within the lines, we should have been safe but we weren’t. We’re angry because we’ve been cheated.

Can government prevent cheating? Can government eliminate risk? How big, how intrusive, how domineering must government become to have the power to keep everyone perfectly safe at all times? Is it even possible? If not, what’s the alternative? How much risk do we live with and what are the appropriate private risk-avoidance strategies? That’s what we’re really discussing. If we’re honest about it.

Joe Doakes

The difference between expectations and reality is behind a lot of outrage in many areas – this foremost among them.

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The heads of both the Minneapolis and Saint Paul police unions went on the record with their views on gun control…

…and suffice to say, I don’t think either of them will get getting invites to lunch with their cities’ DFL elites. But their statements were heartening; someone involved in the city’s political class gets it:

“Stricter gun laws are not the solution for officers on the street, or the general public, because the bad guys will find new ways to get those weapons anyhow,” Kroll said.

Kroll said the officers his union represents are frustrated because they are making arrests for illegal guns and gun-related crimes, but the offenders are often back on the street committing the same crime in a matter of months.

This jibes with what I’ve heard; the Cities’ DFL leadership plead away gun charges partly out of convenience, and partly to avoid giving gun rights groups a win to point to.

“We need to put these habitual offenders away for a long time and not give them chance after chance after chance, which just puts officers and the public at risk,” he said.

But we’re not. As we noted a few years ago.

The whole article is worth a read.