Tag Archives: Crime

Economist Walter Williams explains how to not be poor

Economist Walter Williams
Economist Walter Williams

Here is his article on wealth and poverty on Creators.

First, there is no real poverty in the United States:

There is no material poverty in the U.S. Here are a few facts about people whom the Census Bureau labels as poor. Dr. Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, in their study “Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America’s Poor”, report that 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning; nearly three-quarters have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes. Poor Americans have more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France or the U.K. What we have in our nation are dependency and poverty of the spirit, with people making unwise choices and leading pathological lives aided and abetted by the welfare state.

Second, the “poverty” is not caused by racism, but by poor choices:

The Census Bureau pegs the poverty rate among blacks at 35 percent and among whites at 13 percent. The illegitimacy rate among blacks is 72 percent, and among whites it’s 30 percent. A statistic that one doesn’t hear much about is that the poverty rate among black married families has been in the single digits for more than two decades, currently at 8 percent. For married white families, it’s 5 percent. Now the politically incorrect questions: Whose fault is it to have children without the benefit of marriage and risk a life of dependency? Do people have free will, or are they governed by instincts?

There may be some pinhead sociologists who blame the weak black family structure on racial discrimination. But why was the black illegitimacy rate only 14 percent in 1940, and why, as Dr. Thomas Sowell reports, do we find that census data “going back a hundred years, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery … showed that a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. This fact remained true in every census from 1890 to 1940”? Is anyone willing to advance the argument that the reason the illegitimacy rate among blacks was lower and marriage rates higher in earlier periods was there was less racial discrimination and greater opportunity?

Third, avoiding poverty is the result of good choices:

No one can blame a person if he starts out in life poor, because how one starts out is not his fault.

If he stays poor, he is to blame because it is his fault. Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior. It turns out that a married couple, each earning the minimum wage, would earn an annual combined income of $30,000. The Census Bureau poverty line for a family of two is $15,500, and for a family of four, it’s $23,000. By the way, no adult who starts out earning the minimum wage does so for very long.

Fourth, what stops people from making good choices is big government:

Since President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty, the nation has spent about $18 trillion at the federal, state and local levels of government on programs justified by the “need” to deal with some aspect of poverty. In a column of mine in 1995, I pointed out that at that time, the nation had spent $5.4 trillion on the War on Poverty, and with that princely sum, “you could purchase every U.S. factory, all manufacturing equipment, and every office building. With what’s left over, one could buy every airline, trucking company and our commercial maritime fleet. If you’re still in the shopping mood, you could also buy every television, radio and power company, plus every retail and wholesale store in the entire nation”. Today’s total of $18 trillion spent on poverty means you could purchase everything produced in our country each year and then some.

Walter Williams is one of my two favorite economists, the other being Thomas Sowell. By sheer coincidence, they both happen to have grown up poor, and they both happen to be black. They understand what causes poverty very well. I recommend their books to you if you want to understand economics.

Trump administration ends 6-week law enforcement sweep with 1,378 arrests

Under new management, the police are back to law enforcement
Under new management, the police are back to law enforcement

This was reported by Fox News.

Excerpt:

The Trump administration has concluded a six-week nationwide sweep of suspected gang members with 1,378 arrests — the largest such gang sweep conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to date.

The operation, which ran from March 26 through May 6, targeted gang members and associates involved in transnational criminal activity, including drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human smuggling, sex trafficking, murder and racketeering.

[…]According to ICE, of the 1,378 total arrested, 933 were U.S. citizens, and 1,095 were confirmed as gang members or affiliates. Also, 104 of those arrested were affiliated with the dreaded MS-13 gang, eight of whom illegally crossed the border as unaccompanied minors.

[…]During the operation, HSI partnered with other law enforcement agencies to seize more than 200 firearms, narcotics like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana and $491,763 in U.S. currency.

Enforcement actions occurred across the nation, but the greatest activity took place in the Houston, New York City, Atlanta and Newark, N.J., areas.

Fox News also reports that illegal immigration is way down under Trump, even before construction of the new wall.

Excerpt:

After years of surging immigration from Central America, law enforcement in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley are finally seeing some relief, thanks in part to President Trump’s strong rhetoric.

[…]“Since January, we have seen a significant decrease in traffic to the point we’re averaging about 150 alien apprehensions a day,” down from as many as 1,000 a day, according to Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz of the Rio Grande Border Patrol Sector. “A big part of the decrease, I think, has to do with a lot of the discussion about the buildup of infrastructure on the southwest border, more agents along the border and some of the message making its way down to those host countries.”

[…]Previously, Central American immigrants turned themselves in, claimed asylum and were released. 

In most cases, the Obama Administration accommodated the claim by placing the applicant on a court docket with a two- to three-year waiting list. In the meantime, most illegal immigrants were free to work while living with relatives. Some set down roots by getting married or having American-born children.

President Trump promised to end that ’catch and release’ policy, saying “anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.”

Apparently that message got through thousands of miles away. 

Traditionally, the Republican party has been the party of law and order, whereas Democrats are the party of leniency and permissiveness. Republicans like self-defense, Democrats don’t. Republicans support victim’s rights, but Democrats want to shorten sentences and release criminals. Republicans think that punishing criminals deters future crime, and Democrats think that criminals are just not responsible for their criminal acts.

Here is a story from February 2013, when Obama was still President.

Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

The Department of Homeland Security has started releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants held in local jails in anticipation of automatic budget cuts, in a move one Arizona sheriff called politically motivated — and dangerous.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said Tuesday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement released more than 500 detainees in his county alone over the weekend. A spokesman for Babeu told FoxNews.com that ICE officials have said they plan to release a total of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants.

The numbers, though, are in dispute. ICE officials said that it’s unclear how many ultimately might be released and that only 303 have been released from four Arizona facilities so far, though all those are in Pinal County. According to ICE, 2,280 detainees are still in custody in those facilities.

Babeu described the move as a “mass budget pardon” and suggested the administration was going to unnecessary lengths to demonstrate the impact of the so-called sequester.

“President Obama would never release 500 criminal illegals to the streets of his hometown, yet he has no problem with releasing them in Arizona. The safety of the public is threatened and the rule of law discarded as a political tactic in this sequester battle,” he said.

An ICE spokeswoman confirmed the plans without specifying how many illegal immigrants might be released.

[…]In Arizona, Babeu slammed the move, painting his community as a victim of gridlock in Washington.

“Clearly, serious criminals are being released to the streets of our local communities by this mass budget pardon. These are illegals that even President Obama wants to deport. This is insane that public safety is sacrificed when it should be the budget priority that’s safeguarded,” he said.

Did any of those criminals who were released go on to commit crimes? Sure. But what do Democrats care about protecting taxpayers from criminals? They always blame the victims of crime, and stand against law-abiding taxpayers.

Ohio woman shoots intruder after he attacks her in her parents’ home

Guns are for self-defense against criminals
Guns are for self-defense against criminals

If people only ever read the mainstream media on crime and self-defense issues, they would never learn why people choose to get gun licenses and buy guns. The would only ever learn reasons to ban guns and to disarm law-abiding citizens.

This story was reported in the Washington Free Beacon:

An Ohio woman and her elderly parents are safe while the man who attacked her on Friday is in prison facing several pending charges.

Kim Sinnott of Hamilton, Ohio, was at her parents’ home in the early morning hours of Friday celebrating her father’s 75th birthday when the home’s alarm went off. She and her twin sister Tamie Lesher went to investigate the disturbance.

“About 1:30 a.m. the alarm went off in the house,” Sinnott told Pantagraph. “We noticed the light on in the garage. We saw somebody walking in the garage.”

That’s when the pair came across a man police later identified as 21-year-old Mykale B. Davis. Sinnott pointed her father’s .32 caliber pistol at the man.

“I told him that I had a gun,” she said. “I was standing there looking at him with the gun pointing at him. I told him a hundred times not to come out because I had a gun and that I would shoot and that we were waiting for the cops, that we had the cops on the line right now.”

That’s when the intruder lunged at Sinnott and attempted to wrestle the gun away from her.

“Anything could have happened by just the way he lunged at me, and I had the gun in his face and told him not to come out because I would shoot,” she told the paper. “He probably thought I wouldn’t shoot.”

But Sinnott did shoot the intruder.

“When he grabbed me and pulled me down I was fearing for my life,” she said. “I shot him just for him to let me go. I don’t know if it was in the leg or in the foot. I was scared to death.”

The shot caused the man to flee out of the garage and down the street where police later apprehended him.

[…]Sinnott said the incident has shaken her and her entire family. “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle, but I’m about done,” she said.

People who oppose guns typically oppose them because of feelings. Guns are loud and makes me feel scared, they say. But if you actually look at the scientific data, you’ll see that guns do reduce crime rates.

The peer-reviewed research

Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.

Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.

Excerpt:

Tracing the history of gun control in the United Kingdom since the late 19th century, this article details how the government has arrogated to itself a monopoly on the right to use force. The consequence has been a tremendous increase in violent crime, and harsh punishment for crime victims who dare to fight back. The article is based on the author’s most recent book, Guns and Violence: The English Experience (Harvard University Press, 2002). Joyce Malcom is professor of history at Bentley College, in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is also author of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an AngloAmerican Right (Harvard University Press, 1994).

Upon the passage of The Firearms Act (No. 2) in 1997, British Deputy Home Secretary Alun Michael boasted: “Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world.” The Act was second handgun control measure passed that year, imposed a near-complete ban on private ownership of handguns, capping nearly eighty years of increasing firearms restrictions. Driven by an intense public campaign in the wake of the shooting of schoolchildren in Dunblane, Scotland, Parliament had been so zealous to outlaw all privately owned handguns that it rejected proposals to exempt Britain’s Olympic target-shooting team and handicapped target-shooters from the ban.

And the result of the 1997 gun ban:

The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.

[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.

I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people. The book by economist John Lott, linked above,compares the crime rates of all U.S. states that have enacted concealed carry laws, and concludes that violent crime rates dropped after law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry legally-owned firearms. That’s the mirror image of Dr. Malcolm’s Harvard study, but both studies affirm the same conclusion – more legal firearm ownership means less crime.

If you still think that guns are somehow bad for reducing crime, why not check out a formal academic debate featuring 3 people on each side of the debate?

If you want to know why the Democrat parts of the United States have such high rates of violence, then you need to look at the enormously high out-of-wedlock birth rates in the Democrat parts of the United States. Having babies before marrying causes fatherless children, and fatherless children are more likely to commit crimes. When Democrats stop paying single mothers money to have fatherless kids, then the crime rates in the Democrat parts of the United States will go down. It’s a personal responsibility issue.

 

Border security union blames rape of teen by illegals on Obama policies

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

The Washington Examiner reports:

Open door immigration policies put in place by the Obama administration were cited a cause for the alleged rape of a 14-year-old student inside Maryland high school by two illegals, according to the head of the Border Patrol union.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, cited the former administration’s “catch and release” program for letting the two illegals charged in the rape into the United States.

In Senate testimony, he said, “Had we done our job that 14-year-old girl would never have been raped. Period. That’s all there is to it.”

Two illegal immigrants have been charged in the rape that occurred a week ago in the Rockville, Md., high school. A lawyer for the oldest, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez-Milian, of Guatemala, claimed that the sex was consensual, but police claim they have a “strong case” for rape. Jose Montano, 17 of El Salvador, was also charged. Because he is a minor, no other details of his case have been released.

Homeland Security officials said that Sanchez-Milian crossed the Texas border, was caught, and released. They have released little other information, including if the two were allowed in under the Obama unaccompanied minor program or why Sanchez-Milian was released.

Now, no one has been convicted yet in this case, so it’s premature to draw any conclusions. If this case does pan out, though, it will b e interesting for me to ask my evangelical friends what they think of the results of the open borders policies that they favor. Two of my open borders evangelical friends are university professors, and both of them are paid because of government grants and other redistributions of taxpayer money. It’s natural for them to think that taking money from taxpayers is fine and good. But they often haven’t thought far enough ahead about things like this rape. What would well meaning evangelical pastors and professors say about the victims of crime by illegal immigrants? After all, if those illegal immigrants had been deported after serving their convictions, then there would be fewer victims of crime here. I don’t think that pious pastors and erudite professors have much understanding about what taxpayer money is supposed to be for – it’s for the government to protect the taxpayers by enforcing the law. One can certainly be in favor of skilled immigration, while still being opposed to illegal immigration – especially the ones who commit crimes and then are released to commit more crimes.

That rape case is still up in the air, but there is another case where the facts are more settled.

Consider this story from the Washington Free Beacon.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration began the process last year of granting legal status to an adult illegal immigrant from Mexico with a criminal background who federal agents tried deporting twice and is now accused of killing his 15-year-old girlfriend.

Armando Garcia-Ramirez, 36, has been charged with murdering his teenage girlfriend from Texas, who local reporters identified as Jennifer Delgado, theWashington Times reported Tuesday.

The ex-couple had a one-year-old child and Delgado was nine months pregnant with another when she was killed. Garcia-Ramirez was reportedly Delgado’s stepfather at one time and may have been when he impregnated her.

Federal authorities apparently missed this relationship last year when Garcia-Ramirez was arrested for smuggling five other illegal immigrants into the United States. Prosecutors did not pursue the case, according to the Times, and Garcia-Ramirez went free after making bond. He was approved for a worker permit months later, which made him eligible for taxpayer benefits.

I’m very much in favor of legal immigration, especially skilled legal immigration. my great concern is that people come into the country who cannot make their own way, and want to survive by depending on the government – by taking from taxpaying businesses and workers. What’s amazing to me is the people who are actively trying to prevent the deportation of convicted criminals who should not even be in the country. Unfortunately, everyone who voted for Obama voted for criminals to remain in the United States.

The case of Kate Steinle was another example of compassionate liberals killing another innocent victim. It happens more than you think.

Homeowner uses legally owned handgun to catch burglar for the police

Guns are for self-defense against criminals
Guns are for self-defense against criminals

This is from the Washington Free Beacon, and it’s a good reminder of why America has the Second Amendment.

Full text:

A burglar is in custody after coming face to face with a Florida homeowner and her revolver on Friday.

Cape Coral Police arrested 20-year-old Jacob Cintra after he allegedly broke into Jim Gibbons’s car and tried to break into his home. Gibbons told reporters he and his wife were sleeping when they heard a commotion. Jim went to open his blinds and see what was happening when he spotted Cintra just in front of him trying to break into the home.

“I yelled to my wife, ‘Go get the gun!'” he told NBC2.

As Gibbons’s wife returned with her revolver, Cintra spotted her and thought better of trying to break in.

“He just had a dumb look on his face,” Gibbons told WINK. “Why would you be surprised? There’s two cars in the driveway and dogs are barking in the house,” he said.

Cintra then ran off. Gibbons said his wife was prepared to defend them if he had come through the door.

“She said if he had been fiddling with the door, trying to open it, she would have shot him,” he told NBC2.

Neighbors applauded the Gibbons. “That’s cool that we still have the Second Amendment for that,” David Jean-Jacques told the news station.

The burglar wasn’t on the run for long. Once the police arrived the Gibbons’s dog alerted them to where Cintra was hiding.

“Did you tell them you’re the hero?” Gibbons asked his dog in front of the NBC2 cameras. “Yeah, you’re the hero.”

Cintra is currently being held without bond in Lee County Jail on two burglary charges.

“He’s lucky,” he said. “He’s pretty dumb and he’s lucky.”

People who oppose guns typically oppose them because of feelings. Guns are loud and makes me feel scared, they say. But if you actually look at the scientific data, you’ll see that guns do reduce crime rates.

The peer-reviewed research

Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.

Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.

Excerpt:

Tracing the history of gun control in the United Kingdom since the late 19th century, this article details how the government has arrogated to itself a monopoly on the right to use force. The consequence has been a tremendous increase in violent crime, and harsh punishment for crime victims who dare to fight back. The article is based on the author’s most recent book, Guns and Violence: The English Experience (Harvard University Press, 2002). Joyce Malcom is professor of history at Bentley College, in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is also author of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an AngloAmerican Right (Harvard University Press, 1994).

Upon the passage of The Firearms Act (No. 2) in 1997, British Deputy Home Secretary Alun Michael boasted: “Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world.” The Act was second handgun control measure passed that year, imposed a near-complete ban on private ownership of handguns, capping nearly eighty years of increasing firearms restrictions. Driven by an intense public campaign in the wake of the shooting of schoolchildren in Dunblane, Scotland, Parliament had been so zealous to outlaw all privately owned handguns that it rejected proposals to exempt Britain’s Olympic target-shooting team and handicapped target-shooters from the ban.

And the result of the 1997 gun ban:

The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.

[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.

I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people. The book by economist John Lott, linked above,compares the crime rates of all U.S. states that have enacted concealed carry laws, and concludes that violent crime rates dropped after law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry legally-owned firearms. That’s the mirror image of Dr. Malcolm’s Harvard study, but both studies affirm the same conclusion – more legal firearm ownership means less crime.

If you still think that guns are somehow bad for reducing crime, why not check out a formal academic debate featuring 3 people on each side of the debate?

If you want to know why the Democrat parts of the United States have such high rates of violence, then you need to look at the enormously high out-of-wedlock birth rates in the Democrat parts of the United States. Having babies before marrying causes fatherless children, and fatherless children are more likely to commit crimes. When Democrats stop paying single mothers money to have fatherless kids, then the crime rates in the Democrat parts of the United States will go down. It’s a personal responsibility issue.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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