Re: some US observations & notes

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 08:47:01 MST

>From: Neil Blanch <>

>Brian, I can think of a few reasons why Chicago's crime situation
>is so bad.

>1.Whilst the availability of guns in Chicago has become more
>difficult, it is no difficulty for a determined individual,
>particularly a criminal, to simply cross state lines & purchase a
>gun in a state with more lax ownership & sales restrictions. Gun
>restrictions will only really work if they are applied on a
>federal (or better yet international) level. Piece-meal approaches
>to gun restriction only seem to favour those who will use such
>weapons for nefarious purposes.

Dupage county, right next to Chicago's Cook county has few gun laws
and many gun stores yet has a tiny fraction of the crime.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. The reason certain
neighborhoods in Chicago have a lot of crime is because they have
a lot of criminals.

>2.The current US system of plea-bargaining seems to favour the
>more hardened criminal. Example: a street level dealer (or
>"runner") is arrested. It is highly unlikely that he will have
>worthwhile information on his superiors & it is unlikely that he
>will be able to effect much change in his charges by plea
>bargaining. Someone higher up the chain is arrested &
>because they have more details on the overall supply system, they
>can effectively plea bargain a more serious supply charge away in
>exchange for that information. This is one of the reasons that the
>majority of people in jail for drug offences (for example) are in
>for relatively minor offences (mandatory "3 strikes" sentencing
>doesn't help much either), & the big sharks are still out in the
>community, doing maximum harm.

Except that this plea bargaining is most prevalent where there is
only a single perpetrator involved.

No, the actual answer is that our current system is run under the
assumption that people are bad because of the environment, and
therefore it is wrong to hold them accountable for their own

A ridiculous notion.

>I cannot claim to know what the best solution to the guns/crime
>problem in the US. The issues involved are difficult, the pressure
>from various interest groups so intense & the size of the problem
>so large, that no easy solution presents itself. To my mind the
>gun availability issue plays a major role in the problems that the
>US faces, however it is only one of many issues that will need to
>be addressed if the US is to curb the horrific rate of violent
>crime that afflicts the majority of the united states.

We don't have a gun problem, we have an ethical problem with
insisting people are responsible for their own behavior.

1) Hold people accountable for their own behavior

2) lock up criminals

3) Don't lock up people who aren't criminals (drug users)

4) Try not to create new criminals.

Next problem...


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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