28 October 2013

Monday Musings...
Looks to be a rather nice day to start the last week of October off with, doesn't it?
Clear skies this morning, and a nice sunrise (when it gets here) will be followed by increasing cloudiness later today with temps reaching into the upper 50s. That's good, because this morning it was hovering around the freezing mark.
Got some weather moving in, but it won't be here until late tomorrow night and into Wednesday, so enjoy it all while you can.
In the meantime, let's top off that cup of whatever is striking your fancy this morning, sit back and permit me to uncover some of what's been going on.
*** First on the floor today is...(all together, gang)...ANOTHER FATAL SHOOTING on Ft. Wayne/s SOUTHEAST SIDE.
Here's the lowdown:
Yepper, looks like our THIRTY NINTH HOMICIDE of the year, which surpasses a previous 15-year high, and is rapidly approaching the city's record of 43 (set back in 1997 under Mayor Helmke, who didn't do much back then either)
This latest event took place in the 4900 block of E. Tillman Rd (near Hessen Cassel) around 2000 hrs Saturday night.
Multiple shell casings were found at the scene when police arrived, and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have no suspects and no motives, but you can bet it was probably drug or gang-related in nature.
Friends and family of the victim came to the scene (news travels FASTER than a police cruiser in a pursuit through the ghettohood) and wound up closing down the street (officers had to establish a safe perimeter so as not to compromise any evidence gathered from the area).
Makes you wonder how many "lookie-loos" showed up as well.
So, at the end of THIS inning, we have 1 hit, 1 run, and 0 errors.
(( Editor's Update - 1200 hrs -  The victim has been ID'ed as 44 year old Jovon Harvey, and the coroner confirms what I said earlier - Number 39, folks!))
*** Next up, in one related story was this little gem in Sunday's "perspective" section of the paper:
This article was written by the copy editor of the J-G, who recalls the crime spate back in 1997 and then flashes forward to NOW, using the old saying: "The more things change, the more they stay the same"...ain't THAT the truth?
While the writer states there is no way to predict a homicide, there ARE precursors and certain criteria that become established in most every case, and they manifest themselves BEFORE such a killing takes place...if you know what to look for.
In a few cases, it's a result of an urge of immediacy, like when an officer makes a split-second decision to use deadly force to stop a threat
At least everyone is in agreement that the manner in which these shooters act does have an air of being too "casual" to them...and that should be disturbing to ALL of us.
The story goes on about specific cases in 1997, citing the number of killings in specified periods of time (17 killings in 17 weeks).
It's a good read and shows us that there are some that never seem to learn from history, and they don't have to be politicians.
It clearly demonstrates that in 16 years, little has changed, and certainly NOT for the better down here...just the attitudes have changed.
*** In another related article, I mentioned last week that there would be a public hearing at City Council Tuesday evening (5:30 PM) and it would be on cable access television live...(that will be interesting to watch, trust me).
Here's the link:
Now, I would have thought that after that bad year in '97, something would get done...
((cue the sound of crickets))
Guess not, at least not that I can see.
In the years following 1997, My wife and I came to live where we do now...in her parent's house (when they moved to TX), and if anything, it has gotten WORSE over those 16 years. Hell, it was bad when we had our apartment broken into at Willow Creek (read crack) Crossing in 1997, so I had a sneaking suspicion that crime wasn't going anywhere soon. And I was was right...AGAIN.
(wish to hell I wasn't in this regard)
If it wasn't then, it IS NOW!
I got to know Lin Wilson, once a rep for the SE side of town, along with (then) Capt. Nancy Becher of the FWPD.
And they were behind doing something about the crime down here.
Granted, it was nowhere NEAR as bad then as it is now,...but I told both of them that it WOULD BE...
Remember, I'm from Philly, and have seen lots of what's going on here...back there...decades ago.
You know what the signs of crime are when it starts creeping into an area...it always starts out small...and unassuming.
And, I suppose that's why it gets under the radar of many city officials, and even some citizens, because they're not privy to living in a changing neighborhood, and definitely not used to living in a BAD neighborhood.
When you start to see more litter for example...or chronic violations of local ordinances...or people double-parking or parking the wrong way or next to fire hydrants...that's a sign that your area is starting it's slide to Dante's 10th layer of hell.
Then, the "white flight" takes place...good neighbors move (some might die off), and are soon to be replaced by section 8ers and the HUD contingent, replete with all the entitlements they can get...at your expense.
And folks,  do they bring the drama and "baggage" in their wake...and very little else to speak of..
Then, businesses start getting robbed, with many just closing up leaving the area... more  cars get broken into and stolen in greater numbers , and so it starts in earnest
After that begins, the crimes get worse...residents are targeted for burglaries, break-ins and home invasions, people are assaulted on the streets, property is vandalized...well you know what I mean. The snowball's rolling down the mountain now.
You have to remember that crime never "just happens"...it's not like that light switch that someone turns the hell on...it's a CUMULATIVE effect, and much like any real disease, the longer it goes UNTREATED, the more it spreads and the worse things get...for EVERYONE.
Now, since you also have generational "dependency" (upon government) to foster a victicratic mentality, those people will never have ANY concern for the area they live in, nor the people who try to maintain all the good aspects OF that area.
Poverty is overused as a "crutch" when it's related to criminal activity. After the stock market crash of 1929, when we had unemployment of close to TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT...and people became dirt-poor overnight...crime went DOWN.
Survival (over poverty) trumped crime...it was that simple, so don't feed me any bullsh*t about poverty leading to crime...it's a ruse.
And in today's society, there are so many "safety nets" available, that the "poor" often make MORE (on government sponsorship) than a working family. How fair is that?
"Crime is nothing more than those who WANT, taking from those who HAVE...when there is no NEED."
(yes, you can quote me on that)
Now, about that meeting at City Council Tuesday...Jonathan Ray, Prez of the Fort Wayne Urban League (of less than extraordinary gentlemen) states:
"...is just getting the community to understand that it is really their role to keep the peace."
Gee, isn't such a sub-culture mindset the reason WHY you have such high crime in the SE area?
We have people not providing police with information, but instead, taking the law into their own hands (we call that retribution).
I say we bring back the METRO SQUAD idea proposed by Sheriff Ken Fries.
And yes, Ray believes that unemployment leads to violence. I would counter and say that it could lead to FRUSTRATION.
We've all been unemployed at one point of another...but did any of us want to actively go and shoot up some folks BECAUSE of OUR situation (that we could change)?
Using unemployment can be construed as another crutch for some people...like the whole poverty gig...
And frankly, I'm getting pretty 'effin BORED with that mantra...man up, grow a pair, and make something of yourselves other than a few lines of ink on the obit page of the papers.
Just stop doing a damn "two-step" around the problem with more programs that haven't worked in the past...just find the REAL cause of the problem...and address THAT instead. Save everyone a lot of time, money, and resources...AND you'll take care of that problem along the way, won''cha?
*** Lastly today, this city has an opportunity to change things...for the better...for ALL parts of town, but only IF the city and community leaders really WANT that positive change, and not more programs designed to keep generational dependency alive and well.
And it will take people who are not intimidated, not wanting to bug out at the first sign of trouble, and not content to allow crime a place to play, in the minuscule hope that it won't come knocking on their doors.
We are repeating the year of 1997, and this city needs to start thinking LONG term here, and not reaching for a box of band-aids for the compound fracture called crime that it's already suffering from.
You need to set that bone RIGHT, and it might be a bit painful to endure, but at least the patient (the city and it's citizens) WILL be able to walk, rather than have to have that leg amputated.
And I think that analogy is about as close to the reality of our plight as you can get.
Have yourselves a good week.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


John DuMond said...

Wow, at this rate I don't see how FW wouldn't break its all-time homicide record. Not good. Not good at all.

And I'm with you, I've never bought the blame-it-on-poverty argument. As you pointed out, the lower crime rate during the Depression is proof of that. Also, for the record, there was more overt racism back then too. So that oft-argued excuse won't fly either.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
Yeah, we're SUCH "record-setters" in this 'burg...

Amazing how people like us can read and learn the lessons from history, and those that NEED to...never seem to.

Agreed...lots more racism then...and easier access to guns, too (when a Thompson could be had for $200!).
It boggles the mind when I see these "leaders" tackling everything BUT the problem itself.

Hey, thanks much for rolling up today and commenting.

Stay safe out there.
(and keep Cuomo AWAY from the White House)

CWMartin said...

Now see, you took care of business today in such a way that I don't have to stick in a long winded two cents. I can't concentrate on the wonderful Obama soft shoe on MY blog!

Bob G. said...

Oh, pshaw...and here I was looking FORWARD to one of YOUR marvelous rants...LOL.
I'll just have to try harder next time...(or is that try less hard)?

Either way,glad you liked the post.
(had a blast writing it)

And thanks for stopping by to comemnt, no matter how brief.

Stay safe up there.