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Nat’l Center for Public Policy Research reports

that Project 21 black think-tank scholars have

placed the NAACP in perspective as willing tools

of the tax and spend public policies proposed

under cap and spend legislation promoted by

Senator Barbara Boxer as chair of the U.S. Senate

E&PW Committee. In a recent encounter with

National Black Chamber of Commerce chairman

Harry Alford, Senator Boxer identified the

NAACP as a minority-focused group which

subscribes to the global warming mythology as

articulated by Albert Gore Junior, former VEEP,

and President Obama.

Project 21 is right on target in lambasting the

climate astrologers and harbingers of weak

science and higher taxes they propose in the

name of being green:

NAACP Seeks to Impede Black Advancement By Endorsing Climate-Based Regulation

Directionless Group Pushes Plan Opposed by Majority of Constituency

Contending with political realities such as the election of the first black president, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is understandably struggling to justify its continued existence. At its centennial convention, it clearly moved in the wrong direction by allying with environmental lobbyists to promote economically devastating climate policy opposed by the majority of black Americans.

“I’m all in favor of the nation’s oldest civil rights group redefining its mission and agenda; however this indicates that the NAACP continues to struggle with current realities that face the nation’s black communities by promoting policies they are opposed to,” said Project 21 member Joe Hicks, who is also a PajamasTV commentator. “If this group simply wants to be defined as another left-wing organization touting the weak science on climate change, then it is destined to face ever-growing irrelevancy.”

Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli added: “It’s outrageous for the NAACP to place liberal ideology over the welfare of the nation. By aligning with the environmental activist lobby, the NAACP is now an official member of ‘Club Green’ – the exclusive club of elites waging war against fossil fuels. Tragically, the cover charge for their membership – job losses, reduced standard of living and high energy costs – will be borne disproportionately by the very people the NAACP claims to represent.”

At its New York City convention earlier this month, the NAACP entered into a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation to “ensure that the response to climate change can take a higher ground than business as usual.” President Obama, during his speech to the group, sought to equate his energy policy with civil rights. Additionally, NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous now characterizes the group as “a multiracial, multiethnic human rights organization.”

The NAACP’s newfound zeal for promoting further environment-based regulation of the American economy, however, is opposed by the vast majority of black Americans. In a recent poll of 800 black Americans, there was significant concern that climate change regulations – much like the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-trade” legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in late June – would have a harmful and disproportionately negative impact on black America.

For example, the poll found that 76 percent felt Congress should make economic recovery rather than climate change its top priority and that 56 percent believe Washington policymakers do not adequately consider the quality of life of black Americans when addressing climate policy. When asked how much they would pay for gas and electricity to reduce greenhouse emissions, 76 percent said they would be unwilling to pay more than $50 a year while 52 percent were unwilling to pay anything at all.

According to research from The Heritage Foundation, regulations created by the Waxman-Markey bill would raise electricity costs by 90 percent, gas by 58 percent, and natural gas by 55 percent by 2035 (an average of $1,241 more for a family of four by that time). Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office reported in 2007 that “most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline… [and] poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would.

Hicks added: “The NAACP shows how out of touch it has become by advocating Obama Administration policies on so-called climate change that impact the very population that claim to represent – poor, black Americans. Adding an increased burden of higher coast for essential things like gasoline and electricity at a time of economic hardship demonstrates that they have no independent course of leadership, but instead is blindly following this administration’s disastrous lead.”

The survey mentioned previously was conducted for The National Center for Public Policy Research by Wilson Research Strategies and has a margin of error of +/- 3.4%. It can be viewed at: www.nationalcenter.org/BlackOpinion.html

Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization supported by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992.

Contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or visit Project 21’s website

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Here is a new video from the small news group that was at the SAFR Rally, they did a very nice job and you all did a great job with your interviews.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Arx Axiom Admin <info@arxaxiom.com>
Date: Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 11:20 AM
Subject: NEW ARXTV NEWS VIDEO
To:

New video up at arxtv.com

S.A.F.R. Rally – News Report:

On the anniversary of the “DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al. v. HELLER” ruling by SCOTUS, supporters of the Second Amendment gather in front of the Thompson Center in Chicago to protest Chicago’s handgun ban and Illinois’ restrictive gun laws.

_____

* * * *

Also check out videos from the Tax Day Tea Party Protests, Featuring Eric Odom, Jonathan Hoenig, and Mancow; President Obama’s Inauguration; and all the Seasons Greetings episodes featuring Spike Lee, and Congressman Danny K. Davis.

To be removed from this mailing list reply to this email and put “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject line.

Here is a new video from the small news group that was at the SAFR Rally, they did a very nice job and you all did a great job with your interviews.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Arx Axiom Admin <info@arxaxiom.com>
Date: Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 11:20 AM
Subject: NEW ARXTV NEWS VIDEO
To:

New video up at arxtv.com

S.A.F.R. Rally – News Report:

On the anniversary of the “DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al. v. HELLER” ruling by SCOTUS, supporters of the Second Amendment gather in front of the Thompson Center in Chicago to protest Chicago’s handgun ban and Illinois’ restrictive gun laws.

_____

* * * *

Also check out videos from the Tax Day Tea Party Protests, Featuring Eric Odom, Jonathan Hoenig, and Mancow; President Obama’s Inauguration; and all the Seasons Greetings episodes featuring Spike Lee, and Congressman Danny K. Davis.

To be removed from this mailing list reply to this email and put “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject line.

New video up at arxtv.com

S.A.F.R. Rally – News Report:

On the anniversary of the “DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al. v. HELLER” ruling by SCOTUS, supporters of the Second Amendment gather in front of the Thompson Center in Chicago to protest Chicago’s handgun ban and Illinois’ restrictive gun laws.

_____

The following video is from the Illinois State

Rifle Association-Illinois Carry Second

Amendment Freedom Rally on June 26, 2009:

http://arxtv.com/ARX_TV_-_Second_Amendment_Freedom_Rally.html

CORE National Chair Roy Innis has launched

a national protest against Waxman-Markey

Cap and Tax Bill: Stop The War on the Poor!!

House Climate Bill Called “immoral” by

Major Civil Rights Leader

Written by Press Release
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 19:52
The Waxman-Markey climate bill is “an immoral assault on poor Americans” because it is designed to purposely raise the cost of energy in order to force the working poor to reduce their standard of living, according to one of the nation’s leading civil rights champions.

Roy Innis, Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality — one ofAmerica’s oldest civil rights organizations — made the allegation in a letter to all members of Congress on Wednesday. CORE has been heavily engaged in the national energy policy debate since the publication of Innis’ 2007 book, “Energy Keepers, Energy Killers.” The book was a Washington Post non-fiction best seller.

“In my 40-plus years as the Chairman of CORE, I have seen few federal bills that would do more harm to America’s working class and low-income citizens and families than the Waxman-Markey climate tax bill,” Innis wrote to Members of Congress.

“The Waxman-Markey bill is designed specifically to make the use of fossil fuels more costly,” Innis said. “That will have a disproportionate and negative impact on those who now benefit most from the affordable and reliable power that fossil fuels provide: poor and working-class families.”

“In fact, an underlying goal of this legislation is the morally repugnant concept that constricting sources of domestic energy and raising energy costs is a good thing because it will force conservation by consumers,” Innis said. “That elitist view assumes that poor, working class families have the ability to bear that ‘social cost.'”

“The plain truth is this: the poor and working families we represent cannot bear that luxury,” Innis told Congress.

“Americans don’t want ‘energy welfare’ payments from the government to help ease the sting of these government-driven cost increases,” Innis wrote. “They want continued affordable and reliable energy, which this bill will constrict.”

Innis concluded: “This is an explicitly anti-consumer package that will have huge impacts – both direct and indirect – on the struggling families we represent.”

CORE said it plans to launch a national public education campaign against the Waxman-Markey legislation. CORE has more than 100,000 members nationwide.

The following You-Tube links capture Ralph

Conner at the Second Amendment Freedom

Rally Celebrating the Supreme Court Heller

Decision:

Ralph Connor (2 parts)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQCBphik7XY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VvK6jdHth8

  1. Gun Rights Examiner: ‘No Guns for Negroes

    No Guns for Negroes‘ by local Gun Rights Examiner expert, David Codrea.
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  2. Transsylvania Phoenix: No Guns For Negroes

    No Guns For Negroes. Another exceptional pro-Second Amendment movie brought to you by JFPO. Best 20 minutes I’ve spent watching a video in a very long time.
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  3. JPFO- No Guns for Negroes-download or view

    No Guns for Negroes ” exposes the racist history of American gun control laws. Every person who supports gun control laws must be shown this film or gun
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    No Guns for Negroes. Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 2009-05-28 05:58. JPFO has a new film, which shows the rascist roots of gun control.
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CORE-Chicago is proud to be featured in an upcoming dvd movie about the right to bear arms and the black community. “No Guns For Negroes” traces the racist roots of gun control to explain why minorities should choose to exercise their rights to bear arms within their own communities, just like non-black communities in this country founded on the Crispus Attucks right to bear arms:

Racial Politics is Killing 2A

No Guns for Negroes
JPFO has been working diligently on a pioneering film to expose the racist roots of “gun control” pushed by the Obama team.
Entitled No Guns for Negroes, it features a long-time 2A activist in the Black community, who also represents one of the most highly respected national Black civil rights organizations, he is on the staff of a prominent Libertarian think tank, and former mayor of a Chicago suburb.
With precision and eloquence the featured speaker reveals…
✓ How “gun control” uniquely punishes honest, law-abiding Blacks.
✓ The hidden facts that many Civil Rights heroes actively exercised their 2A self-defense rights in the 1960’s and 1970’s to insure the survival and success of the Civil Rights movement. This made Martin Luther King’s pacifism safe to use.
✓ The tragic consequences for your 2A rights when the PC gang cleverly hides the real causes of ghetto “Narco Economy” violence — especially involving children — behind calls for draconian “gun control” laws. Laws that would only turn localized crime waves into a national, blood-soaked plague, as all Americans were left defenseless against swelling legions of armed, murdering thugs.
✓ A devastating analysis of why Black community leaders: politicians, police, attorneys, media figures – even ministers – are constantly pimping for White liberals to keep Blacks and all other Americans down on the “Gun Control Plantation.”
Nothing like this has ever been made…
Never so urgently needed
Only JPFO has the Guts to Stand Tall and Deliver
The film’s impact will be spectacular. Not only in the Black community of some 38 million who have never heard these truths — but after seeing the film will be justifiably enraged at their Black “leaders”. So also will citizens of all races and creeds who have yet not realized the profoundly dangerous racist roots of “gun control.”
Not until Blacks and other “minorities” stand shoulder-to-shoulder with whites in defense of 2A will the sinister evils of “gun control” be smashed. Until then, Black-on-Black “Narco Economy” violence will continue to be the rocket fuel for policies destined to end in virtual gun confiscation.

JPFO may sound partisan or strident but they have captured the angst of America’s gun-owners who are fearful of the plans of Eric Holder as the new Attorney General working with a new president who does not aggressively support the second amendment. President Obama is likely to side with Mayor Daley of Chicago who supports illegal hand-gun bans and gun confiscation measures designed to separate citizens from their guns:
Last year I wrote that: The assault on the second amendment is a standard talking point in Democratic policy initiatives. Although some disingenuous “gun-toting blue dogs” were pushed over the top in the November Bush-Bashing, by and large the vanguard of the Dems (read urban blacks capable of being whipped into a self-righteous frenzy by their preacher-political-pastors) is embracing a repeal of the 2nd amendment as a remedy for violence in the black community.
Reverends naturally become routine and very usual suspects to promote this mania since they purportedly have a commitment to “life and or nonviolence” ala Dr. MLK Jr etc.

Look for black dems  to support a resolution to overturn the second amendment as an act of humanity. This will not address the violence or the fatalities of black and Hispanic youth and innocent bystanders anymore than legally-armed citizen gun buy-backs will affect the number of shootings in the inner cities of America.
What the Mayor and preachers should be addressing is the anti-social hip-hop-laden drug culture celebrated by urban minorities which directly related to glamorization of gangster lifestyles and the narco-economy which flourishes in these communities due to the failed WAR on drugs. This failure of U.S. drug policy and the need to decriminalize drugs which have turned two generations into farm teams for gangsters and ex-offenders…This is the struggle for liberty of black and Hispanic males in urban society. Too bad the only way preachers are involved is in counseling inmates once they become a recidivist part of the ever-expanding criminal justice system. While these prelates are out subverting the Constitution, drug-dealers are joining gangs to stay armed in order to conduct their trade and commerce block by block in the inner-cities as church and political leaders try to convince law-abiding citizens that grabbing THEIR guns is the only way to save black youth.

An Essay By Ralph W. Conner, Chairman CORE-Chicago

Castles In The Sand: The Melting Away of American Liberties

The right to bear arms preceded the Second Amendment of the fledgling United States. In the reign of Henry the Second in 1181, the Assize of Arms became a part of English Common Law.
Another canon of English Common Law adopted as an American legal concept is the castle doctrine or Defense of Habitation Law which provides a legal context for justifiable homicide in defense of one’s personal residence and family.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, reports in the article “Gun Politics in the United Kingdom” that since 1946 in England self-defense is not considered a valid reason to own a gun. But the rights of the citizens of England in 1707 were enunciated by Sir William Blackstone’s “Commentaries on the Laws of England” where he extolled the right to bear arms as “a public allowance of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.”

With the Second Amendment, former colonized subjects recognized that a colonial oppressor could only be repelled with freedom flowing from the barrel of a gun. The Boston Massacre in March 1770 was a massacre primarily because the stalwart victims were unarmed. Citizens were bestowed a new birth of freedom in America due to a national commitment to honor individual liberties like the right to self-defense, even from oppressive government.

This month the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case which could further erode the constitutional right to bear arms. Nationally urban mayors are joining a growing chorus demanding tighter “gun control” legislation to stymie the proliferation of gun violence in the inner-cities. Religious leaders and families of victims are positioned on podiums with elected officials to lament the incidence of gun violence in Chicago, in Oakland, in Newark, and so on. There is a call to ban ownership of guns and the retailing of firearms to make them inaccessible to gang members or drug dealers mired in a hip-hop culture which promotes a drug-gangster lifestyle. It makes such great photo-ops for law and order politicians or bleeding-hearts, that now the “our leaders” have mobilized the “grief” machines in the name of the “children” and begun to bus kids to state legislatures to demand that politicians disarm their parents and the gang-bangers in the neighborhoods.

Following an English example got us into the Second Amendment. Should we advocate mirroring current U.K. gun control to protect the general public from the dangers of gun ownership by individuals? Want a gun in the U.K.? :
•    The U.K. government in 1997 passed the Firearms Amendment #2 Act of 1997 which effectively completely banned private handgun ownership. Under special conditions individuals may be issued a PPW ( Personal Protection Weapon) license.
•    the current licensing procedure involves: valid photo ID, two character references from persons who have known you for at least two years( and who may themselves be investigated or interviewed as part of application process), approval by your family doctor, inspection of the storage area proposed for securing the firearm.

•    A face-to-face interview is required on the premises with a Firearms Enquiry Officer (FEO).
•    A thorough background check of the applicant is then made by the Special Branch of the firearms licensing department.
•     Any person who has spent more than three years in prison is automatically banned for life from obtaining a gun license.
•    Penalties for possession of a prohibited firearm without a certificate is a mandatory five year prison sentence and an uncapped fine.
•    With the Violent Crime Reduction Act of 2006, England has now criminalized the use, sale, ownership, and manufacture of both “air-guns” and imitation firearms.

The Castle Doctrine is vanquished with the Second Amendment when government removes personal responsibility and self-defense from the freedom equation which is the basis of our covenant protecting individual liberty in America. Eroding those values is much easier than tackling the failed War on Drugs and the narco-economy which are the cultural cause of much of  the shooting and gang violence in the urban metropolis. This failed policy has only exponentially expanded the number of Americans incarcerated for non-violent crimes. As usual, political elites in America are always quick to emulate some continental political-correctness to show their acculturation and finesse. All at the cost of jettisoning liberties taken for granted 300 years ago.

A Report On The Reasons For Gun Violence:

The Recent Surge in Homicides involving Young Black Males and Guns:
Time to Reinvest in Prevention and Crime Control
James Alan Fox, Ph.D.
The Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice,
and Professor of Law, Policy & Society
and
Marc L. Swatt, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Northeastern University
Boston, Massachusetts
Direct all inquiries to James Alan Fox at j.fox@neu.edu or 617-416-4400
December 2008
Support for this research was provided by the Law and Justice Statistics Program
of the American Statistical Association and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The
views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the
position of the United States Department of Justice.
________________________________________________________________
Summary of Findings
While overall homicide levels in the United States have fluctuated minimally in
recent years, those involving young victims and perpetrators—particularly young
black males—have surged.
From 2002 to 2007, the number of homicides involving black male juveniles as
victims rose by 31% and as perpetrators by 43%. In terms of gun killings
involving this same population subgroup, the increases were even more
pronounced: 54% for young black male victims and 47% for young black male
perpetrators.
The increase in homicide among black youth, coupled with a smaller increase or
even decrease among their white counterparts, was consistently true for every
region of the country and nearly all population groupings of cities. The pattern
also held individually for a majority of states and major cities.
After some decline during the 1990s, the percentage of homicides that involve a
gun has increased since 2000, both among young white offenders and black
offenders of all age ranges. The percentage of gun homicides for young black
offenders has reached nearly 85%. These trends are concomitant with various
legislative initiatives at the federal level that have lessened the extent of
surveillance on illegal gun markets.
Time-of-day patterns of violent crime victimization for youngsters, ages 6-17,
reveal clear differences between school days and out-of-school periods. On
school days, the risk spikes during the after-school hours—the primetime for
juvenile crime—while the late evening hours are most problematic on non-school
days, particularly summertime weekends.
Future demographics suggest that the concern for at-risk youth should increase
over the next decade. The number of black and Hispanic children should
continue to expand, contrasting with the rather limited increase expected among
Caucasian children. There is a significant need for reinvestment in children and
families—in essence an at-risk youth bailout during these difficult economic
times.
Federal support for policing and youth violence prevention has declined sharply
in recent years, perhaps precipitated by complacency brought about by the
significant 1990s decline in crime. The resurgence in homicide, especially among
minority youth, signals the importance of restoring federal funds for crime
prevention and crime control.
________________________________________________________________
1
At least on the surface, the news from the crime front has seemed
encouraging. The FBI, in its recent release of crime figures for the nation,
reported that violent crime in 2007 was down across the board compared to
2006, including a 1.3% decline in murder. Although welcomed and widely
applauded, the news contrasts sharply with the experience of countless
Americans living (and some dying) in violence-infested neighborhoods—those for
whom the frightening sound of gunfire is a far too frequent occurrence.
It is not that the FBI figures tell an inaccurate story about crime trends in
America. Rather, they obscure the divergent tale of two communities—one
prosperous and safe, the other poor and crime-ridden. The truth behind the fears
and concerns of the nation’s underclasses about crime and violence lies deep
beneath the surface of the FBI statistical report.
Recent Homicide Trends
Over the past few years for the nation as a whole, rates of violence, and
homicide in particular, have been relatively stable, with rather modest fluctuations
since the beginning of the decade. Exploring deeper, this is generally the case as
well for whites, black females, and adult black males over the age of 25. But the
picture for young black males, especially teenagers, is radically different.
Figures 1-2 display the percentage change over the past five years in the
estimated number of homicide victims and offenders (see technical notes on p. 8)
among selected groups (males, male juveniles, black male juveniles, and black
male juveniles involving a gun). As shown, between 2002 and 2007, the number
of homicides involving black male juveniles as victims grew by 31% and as
perpetrators by 43%. In terms of gun killings involving this same population
subgroup, the increases were even more pronounced: 54% for young black male
victims and 47% for young black male perpetrators.
Greater detail pertaining to the number of victims and offenders by age,
sex and race—separately and in combination—is provided in Tables 1-3 for each
year since 2000. In order to lessen the effects of the volatility from year-to-year in
measuring trend, the percentage change rates included in these and other tables
compare pooled counts for 2006 and 2007 against a baseline of pooled counts
for 2000 and 2001. By this gauge, the number of males committing homicide has
increased, particularly for young black males (14-17 and 18-24) and especially
involving a gun.
Moving below the national level, the increase in homicides by black
youthful offenders is consistent for all nine geographic regions and nearly all
population subgroups, as shown in Tables 4-5, suggesting that the problem is not
limited to only certain parts of the country. Moreover, these increases contrast
with smaller increases and even decreases among white youth.
2
Finally, Tables 6-7 provide similar percentage change calculations,
separately for white and black youthful offenders, for states as well as cities with
populations over 500,000 and more than 25 overall homicides annually. Given
the smaller base figures at the local level, the change rates are more volatile.
Overall, however, a majority of states and a majority of cities have experienced
increases in homicides committed by young black offenders compared with
smaller increases or even decreases among their white counterparts.
Long Term Homicide Trends
While recent increases in homicides involving young offenders, particularly
black males, are of significant concern, when compared to the longer term trends
of the past few decades, a different perspective emerges. Tables 8-9 and Figures
3-4 contain the rates of victimization and offending per 100,000 population for
males by age and race from 1976 to 2007. The recent surge in homicide among
young black males clearly falls far short of the extraordinarily high levels
witnessed during the crack-related street gang wars of the late 1980s and early
1990s. In fact, the recent increases may say more about the success of crime
prevention and crime control efforts of the past decade than about contemporary
failures. In essence, the recent apparent spike in violence indicates that the
nation is victim of its earlier success. Were it not for the 1990s downturn, recent
figures would hardly stand out as cause for alarm.
Actually, there are naturally-occurring cycles to crime rates. Although not
as firm and deterministic as Newton’s law of gravity, when it comes to the crime
rate, what goes up, generally comes down, and what goes down generally
rebounds. While no level of victimization can be termed “acceptable,” compared
to the early 1990s when a deadly mix of gangs, guns and emerging crack
markets fueled an unprecedented surge in violence, the current state is not out of
control. Reinvestment in the programs and strategies that worked successfully in
the past, along with restored funding levels for policing and prevention, can
reverse the current spate of street and gang violence.
The Role of Firearms
The role of firearms in the recent increase in youth killings, shown in
Figure 5 (and Table 10) is particularly significant and noteworthy. The percentage
of homicides involving a gun has risen to nearly 85% among young black
offenders, matching the high-point reached during the early 1990s. The
percentage of gun homicides for young white offenders has also grown in recent
years, though not quite equaling the level seen during the early 1990s. While the
role of guns in homicides committed by older white offenders has continued its
steady decline of the past few decades, gun use among black offenders over age
25 has rebounded in recent years.
3
The especially prominent upturn since 2000 in gun homicide coincides
with legislative restrictions upon ATF regarding the dissemination of gun tracing
information and other pro-gun legislation that passed through Congress early in
this decade. Congress has passed amendments in recent years making it more
difficult to identify illegal market sources of crime guns through ATF data.
It is noteworthy that increases since 2000 in gun killings by young
offenders have occurred as levels of non-gun homicide remained relatively flat or
even decreased. This divergence suggests the need to rethink our nation’s
approach to reducing availability of firearms to young offenders—those who are
more apt to pull the trigger, even over trivial matters, without fully considering the
consequences for themselves, much less for others.
Primetime for Juvenile Crime
Regardless of trend, be it upward, downward or stable, the concern for the
safety of children is genuine and critical. With parents spending less time
supervising their children—some out of choice, others out of necessity for the
sake of managing expenses, and a few out of sheer indifference or negligence—
an increasing number of youngsters are unsupervised during out-of-school
hours. Poor supervision, combined with idleness and boredom, is a recipe for
trouble. Far too many youngsters, therefore, are especially at-risk during the
afterschool hours for a range of problems, such as violence, as well as drinking,
drug use, and teen pregnancy.
Figures 6-7 display the time-of-day patterns of violent victimization for
2006 among juveniles, ages 6 through 17, separately for the months between
September and June when school is in session and the two summer months of
school vacation. Clearly, the incidence of victimization peaks in the after school
hours—the primetime for juvenile crime—when many parents are working and
kids are often unsupervised, and then begins to tail off in the evening hours when
parents typically are home to monitor their children. Weekend days during the
school year reflect a very different pattern in which the evening hours are more
problematic. The summer months reveal patterns that are close to that for
weekend days of the school year. However, the pronounced peak in the late
evening hours of weekend days in the summertime warrants special attention in
terms of providing constructive programs and alternative forms of supervision.
Attraction of Gangs
Notwithstanding the tale of official crime statistics, it hardly takes a rocket
scientist—or a research criminologist—to recognize that there are increasing
numbers of wayward and poorly-supervised youngsters with guns in their hands
and gangs in their plans. Regrettably, as the nation celebrated the successful
fight against violent crime back in the 1990s, we grew complacent and eased up
on our crime-fighting efforts. Unfortunately, the crime problem and the gang
4
problem do not disappear, and rebounded once we shifted priorities elsewhere.
Unless we restore the sense of urgency, some day we may look back and call
these the “good old days.”
Even while targeting gangs for intensive enforcement, we need also
understand their special appeal. Gangs offer youngsters many desirable
advantages—status, excitement, power, praise, profit, protection, mentoring, and
opportunity for advancement—healthy goals fulfilled in unhealthy ways. Today’s
youngsters who are drawn to gang membership are too young to have witnessed
the gang wars of the early 1990s when joining a gang could mean an early
grave.
Our challenge, therefore, is to identify and promote healthier means for
youngsters to achieve the same need-fulfillment, constructive ways to feel good
about themselves and their prospects for the future, while at the same time
having fun. This, of course, is where programs like the Boys and Girls Clubs and
other youth enrichment initiatives play a significant role, and a role that, given
ongoing trends, needs to be expanded.
While many Americans rail on about underage, underprepared, and
undermotivated parents “who just need to do a better job of raising and
supervising their children,” we recognize that these families cannot do it on their
own. We must assist families, not assail them, when they become overwhelmed
with the day-to-day struggles of raising children, particularly during an economic
downturn. The alternative forms of supervision and mentoring are extraordinarily
critical.
Future Possibilities
The fact that the problem of youth violence, especially among minorities,
has emerged and persisted for several years suggests that it is hardly an
aberration or statistical blip. Moreover, it could worsen in the years ahead as the
population of at-risk youth (blacks and Hispanics) grows as a result of both
demographic patterns and immigration. Figure 8 shows projected trends in the
numbers of young children—infants and toddlers under age 5—over the next
decade, using the 2008 counts as a baseline. While the number of white children
should change minimally, the pattern is remarkably different among race and
ethnic minorities. The number of black children is projected to grow in the years
ahead. Growth in the number of Hispanic children, partially tied to immigration
patterns, is especially pronounced. Given the social and economic strains that
unevenly impact minority communities, growth in the population of at-risk youth
signals the clear potential for increased problems of homicide, violence and other
social ills associated with an expanding population of underclass youngsters.
Whether these demographic trends translate into increasing crime problems
ahead largely depends on our willingness to be proactive. The urgency is clear:
we must reinvest in children—not just for the purpose of crime prevention, but for
5
the wide range of benefits associated with promoting their healthy and successful
development.
Untimely Budget Cuts
Lulled into complacency by the sharp decline in crime during the 1990s,
our nation’s priorities appear to have moved away from fighting street crime. A
triple whammy at the federal level—related to cops, guns and kids—has
hampered proven strategies for crime control.
Federal appropriations in support of law enforcement have been slashed
since the early part of the decade, as reflected in Figure 9 in relation to funds for
the Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) initiative as well as the Byrne
Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) program. In addition, federal support for juvenile
justice and prevention programs (Juv Just) has been reduced by half, now a
shadow of the former investment.
Drastic funding cuts have led to a significant reduction in police resources
among large cities, those with populations of more than 250,000. Specifically, as
shown in Figure 10, the number of police officers per 1,000 population for large
cities has dropped 8.5% since the year 2000, with most of the decline occurring
in the first few years of the decade. By contrast, the level of police protection in
cities with populations under 250,000 has remained virtually constant.
Of course, much of the decline can be traced to the changing priorities
following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America. Much of the federal
support for law enforcement shifted from hometown security in patrolling high
crime neighborhoods to homeland security in protecting the nation’s
transportation, government and financial centers. Regardless of the level of
terrorist threat, however, many more Americans are murdered each year by
gunfire than were killed on 9/11. While the focus on combating terrorism is
undeniably important, we cannot lose sight of the carnage taking place on our
city streets.
In these difficult economic times, the banking and automobile industries
have looked to the federal government for assistance. Where is the voice to
appeal on behalf of the needs of at-risk youth, as various support programs for
children and families are being slashed? We need an at-risk youth bailout.
Principles of Prevention
Unfortunately, not all Americans are convinced about the value of
prevention—especially early childhood and youth enrichment efforts. As a result,
prevention initiatives are too often funded and implemented on a shoe-string, and
a rather short shoe-string with a brief window of opportunity to show results. This
is a recipe for failure and provides additional fodder for skeptics.
6
Smart crime fighting involves a balanced blend of enforcement (from
community policing to identifying illegal gun markets), treatment modalities (from
drug rehab on demand to community corrections and post-incarceration services)
as well as general and targeted crime prevention (from family support to summer
jobs for high-risk youth). Regrettably, the prevention approach has at times been
disparaged as “worthless” and as “soft of crime.” Yet, this cynical perspective
reflects gross misunderstanding of the process and goals of prevention, and a
selective examination of outcomes. Simply put: Prevention programs can work;
good prevention programs that are well-implement do work.
Besides the matter of funding adequacy, five fundamental principles of
crime and violence prevention are critical for effective investment:
1. No program is successful all the time or for all individuals. Regardless of the
initiative, there will be failures—those who commit crimes or recidivate
despite best efforts to prevent it. Rather than focusing on the failures, the goal
should be a reasonable reduction in offending rates. In light of the enormous
social and administrative costs associated with each criminal act, even
modest gains are worthwhile.
2. Prevention should have an emphasis on the prefix “pre.” While it is unwise
and inappropriate to “give up” on even a seemingly hardened offender, the
greatest opportunity for positive impact comes with a focus on children—
those who are young and impressionable and will be impressed with what a
teacher, preacher or some other authority figure has to say. It is well-known
that early prevention—during grade school if not earlier—can carry the
greatest and lasting impact, before a youngster is seduced by gangs, drugs
and crime.
3. Patience is more than a virtue, it is a requirement. Prevention is not a shortterm
strategy. Rather, it involves a continued effort, undaunted by setbacks.
Unfortunately, many prevention programs are given short window periods in
which to show progress, and are often terminated before the final results are
seen.
4. Prevention should take a multi-faceted approach. Understandably, there is
much temptation to target gang activity as perhaps the most visible and
immediate threat to public safety. While the focus on anti-gang initiatives is
laudable and should be strengthened, there are many other points of
intervention for successful crime reduction programming. For example,
several proven and promising strategies are directed at at-risk families with
young children. Rather than criticizing struggling underage mothers for their
lack of parenting effectiveness, many programs support them in raising
children who are less likely to become juvenile offenders. In addition, many
school-based initiatives effectively and efficiently enhance the well-being of
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large number of children. Behavioral skills training at the elementary school
level (such as the modules developed by Boston’s Lesson One Foundation),
anti-bulling curricula for middle school students (such as the Olweus bullying
prevention program) that recognize the link between bullying and later
offending, peer-mediation and mentoring program in high school, after-school
activities targeted at the “prime time for juvenile crime” (such as the Boys and
Girls Clubs) all have payoffs far greater than the investment.
5. Prevention is significantly cost-effective. Virtually all assessments of crime
prevention confirm the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
prison time. It is, however, a political reality that sound investments in crime
prevention can take years to reap the benefits. For example, the Perry preschool
program experiment implemented in Ypsilanti, Michigan translated into
a 17-to-1 rate of return on investment, yet it wasn’t until years later when the
preschoolers matured that their significantly lower involvement in crime,
alcohol and drug abuse was observed. It takes a bold leader to earmark funds
today for tomorrow’s success that his/her successor will derive.
Conclusion
The current surge in youth violence was anticipated years ago. Even while
rates of crime were falling in the 1990s, criminologists warned about the potential
for another wave of youth and gang violence ahead, a not-so-perfect storm
combining an upward trend in the at-risk youth population with a downward trend
in spending on social and educational programs to support youth.
Furthermore, we should not be surprised if the concomitant increase in the
number of at-risk youth, especially black and Hispanic children with less than
adequate supervision, combined with recent budget cuts for youth programs and
crime control initiatives, translates into further increases in gang and gun
violence. We’re already seeing the early signs.
The good news–or at least the encouraging word–is that the crime
problem is not out of control, at least by contrast to the early 1990s when the
nation’s murder rate was almost twice what it is today. It is not surprising that a
small bounce back would occur after the glory years of the late 1990s. But let this
small upturn serve as a thunderous wake-up call that crime prevention needs to
be a priority once again.
At this juncture, we must, of course, look toward immediate solutions for
controlling gang activity and easy access to illegal firearms—approaches that
depend heavily on police personnel, intelligence, and deployment. At the same
time, however, we must maintain a long-range view toward the future as the
population of young children—especially race and ethnic minorities—grows. The
choice is ours: pay for the programs now or pray for the victims later.
8
Data Sources and Technical Notes
Several data sources were used in completion of this report. Most
prominently, the data on homicide victimization and offending come from a
multiply-imputed cumulative file of the Supplementary Homicide Reports for the
years 1976-2007, created by the authors. Compiled as part of the FBI’s Uniform
Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR)
include incident-level data on the month and year of the offense; on the reporting
agency and its residential population, county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
codes, geographic division, and population group; on the age, sex, and race of all
victims and offenders; and on the victim–offender relationship, weapon use, and
circumstances of the crime. The SHR records are incomplete on a small
percentage (2.5%) of victims, yet a substantial percentage (32.5%) of
perpetrators largely as a result of unsolved offenses. However, a process of
multiple-imputation was employed to fill in the gaps (based on available
information about the incomplete reports) so that characteristics of victims and
offenders can be reliably and accurately estimated. In addition, approximately
eight percent of homicides are not covered in the SHR data files. To adjust for
under-reporting, adjustment weights were applied based on comparisons to
mortality data from coroners’ reports and to the aggregated homicide counts
reported by the FBI in the Crime in the United States series. Aided by this
imputation and weighting process, all counts and rates, particularly for offender
data, are estimates, although reliable ones.
Calculations of the time-of-day distribution for violent crime victimization
for school-age youngsters (ages 6 through 17) were based on National Incident-
Based Reporting Data (NIBRS) for 2006 archived at the University of Michigan.
Although NIBRS coverage is not nationally representative, there is little reason to
believe that the time patterns are adversely affected by gaps in NIBRS coverage.
In fact, state-by-state analyses of these time patterns reveals general
consistency across various parts of the country, providing support for the
assumed representativeness of the sample data with regard to time-of-day
distributions.
Homicide rate calculations and demographic projections relied on U.S.
Census Bureau annual estimates of resident population by age, sex and race.
Available race-bridged estimates were used to enable a smooth transition
between the multiple-race classifications of the 2000 Census counts and the
singular-race designations of earlier Census counts.
Finally, data on police personnel were drawn from figures published
annually by the FBI in Crime in the United States. Information on federal
appropriations for justice-related programs was drawn from figures compiled and
reported by the National Criminal Justice Association, a Washington, D.C.-based
justice policy organization.