Nice article on page FOUR of our local paper:
By Lara Jakes Jordan
WASHINGTON – Violent crime kept climbing in 2006, a top FBI official said Wednesday, previewing a report detailing nationwide increases in murders, robberies and other felonies for a second straight year.
The rising crime rate, in an FBI report expected next week, counters Justice Department attempts to tamp down violence by sending more funds to local police and studying U.S. cities for clues on how the increase began.
Asked whether the report would show crime rates are still rising, FBI Assistant Director John Miller said: “I think you can anticipate it will.” He declined to say by how much.
Miller said the FBI’s findings will largely mirror those of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington think tank that in March reported spikes in the number of big-city murders, robberies and gun crimes.
That survey “showed that there would be, in all likelihood, a continued uptick in violent crime, particularly among midsized American cities,” Miller said during an interview taped for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program. “The data we’re going to release Monday will contain no big surprises in that regard.”
Preliminary numbers the FBI released in December showed violent crimes rose by 3.7 percent nationwide during the first six months of 2006.
The crime hike marks the latest blow to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who has targeted neighborhood violence as a top priority. Gonzales took office in early 2005, when violent crime rose by 2.2 percent in the first annual increase since 2001.
A Justice Department study released this month of 18 cities and suburban regions indicates youth violence, gangs and gun crime largely are to blame for the increasing rates. Gonzales also has promised to help local police combat gangs and guns with $50 million this year and up to $200 million in 2008.
Miller, answering questions from reporters for the New York Daily News and The Associated Press, said the FBI’s focus on counterterror investigations since the 2001 attacks have inevitably resulted in fewer agents devoted to traditional crime fighting.
Now sometimes even *I* get tired of saying the same thing over...and over...and over again. And although my wife and I have lived in "relative safety" (only had ONE jerkoff pull a gun on me...lucky, huh?) in this area of Fort Wayne for TEN years (which seem to get longer every damn year), I could see this tide of DOMESTIC TERRORISM rearing it's ugly head while getting closer and closer to our humble abode over the past FIVE years. I KNEW this was coming.
Welcome to the SOUTH side of the city...where a large part of the populace EXCEL at "hinky".
I'm a "people watcher"....blame it on several past lives, I suppose. I can't help but NOTICE what goes on within my "sphere of influence"...my "space", if you will. And I am always impressing on my wife to BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Make eye contact with anyone that looks a bit "out of step" of the moment. Never set yourself up to be a target. My one dearly departed best friend once said that whenever you're out somewhere like a restaurant or pub that you should (whenever possible): "Always sit with your back to the wall". And that's stuck with me over the years...never had a problem by doing that. I STILL do it.
But with this two year upsurge of violent crime, it gets a bit harder. Add to that the age factor (we're not as young as we used to be), and we might even let our guard down a tad in the process. Sure we've been brought up to give people the benefit of the doubt, and be a trusting soul, but you simply can't DO that today with the types of predatory flotsam passing themselves off as PEOPLE, can you?
In my neighborhood, I've tried to ignore what goes on...do the "live and let live" gig, but you just cannot. Your space is THEIR space (or so they think). Whether it's having some dispute under your bedroom window at 2AM, or being chased by a police officer across your lawn at 3AM, it just does not make sense that I should give any quarter to those that care for nothing or no one. So I try my best not to.
More gun laws will do nothing to halt this surge (that's been proven).
Stricter enforcement of the law and harsher penalties WILL.
In the meantime, all "we" can do is everything in OUR power to push the politicians (federal, state AND local) to see things OUR way vis-a-vis a quality of life where we can function without looking over our shoulders every few seconds; A life where we all can live...and not just exist.
Mere survival is for animals...we deserve better.