A Canadian Sociologist’s Perspective on Stopping “Gun Violence”

University of Toronto Sociology Professor Jooyoung Lee reckons that sending police into high crime areas is a bad idea. He consider it too “punitive.” Instead “we should be sending resources into these communities that can help get conditions that would deter youth from getting involved in things, drug dealing, gangs . . .” And what resources would those be? After school programs. Basketball leagues. Tutoring. Mentors. Arts education. Apparently social science research has shown that these programs have a “longer term impact on reducing violent crimes in communities.” Meanwhile, Canada’s gun laws keep law-abiding residents disarmed. Laws driven by thinking like this.

comments

  1. avatar jsled says:

    > Meanwhile, Canada’s gun laws keep law-abiding residents disarmed. Laws driven by thinking like this.

    Huh? How does “thinking like this” relate to the poor state of Canadian gun laws?

    1. avatar ColdNorth says:

      The problem in Canada is that this line of thinking inevitably gets linked to another line of thinking- that legal guns only make the situation worse, and if we could ban/restrict them further it would help to keep these troubled youths safe. And also, the only real danger in Canada are those law abiding licensed gun owners who are going to go nuts and start blasting- which is only a matter of time.

      It is also linked to the idea of self-defense. These kids are just troubled and led down the wrong path, they shouldn’t die just for breaking into your house or mobbing you on the street. After all, you can always get a new car/tv/wallet, and I hear they’re doing wonderful things with reconstructive surgery and psychotherapy nowadays.

      The final bit is how disingenuous this piece is (but it’s the CBC so who’s surprised here?). We spend a -LOT- of money on social services and community development, and devote a lot of research time and effort into it. The idea that cops are stopping and frisking and then dumping kids in the tank, to be later released into an empty favella hellscape is fantasy.

      1. avatar Robert Duchien says:

        You forgot to mention the doctors reattaching your head to your torso.^^^

        Several years ago, the Houston ISD built two brand new state of the art schools specifically for these sorts of kids. Both have been trashed out and are “run” by the gangsters while the teachers and staff hide.

    2. avatar Red Sox says:

      Take off hoser, eh. Nice tewk

  2. avatar Zach Robinson says:

    It’s not entirely wrong. Criminology studies have shown that kids that have more of their time occupied by legitimate activities are less inclined to become involved in criminal activity later in life. How’s little Jimmy going to become addicted to crack if he has football practice from 2-4, soccer practice from 4:30-6, and then orchestra practice from 6-8.

    1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      Yeah, but the parents that are involved in their kids lives are the difference not the activities. There is no substitute for actively involved parents and no government program can purchase or simulate it.

    2. avatar John E> says:

      Yes this is true, and in the program I run our recidivism rates are low…while they are in the program. The problem is once they are out, they often return to old behavior unless the involvement has had significant duration and dosage.

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Criminology studies have shown that kids that have more of their time occupied by legitimate activities are less inclined to become involved in criminal activity later in life.”

      Yeah, well, when it comes to ‘Midnight Basketball’ in the inner-city, the all-gang ‘teens’ use it for gang recruitment…

  3. Why not teach them how to rap? Worked for NWA. Now they are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Don’t know what type of rock that is exactly but there you have it.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      For a place called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it has inducted a suspiciously large number of members that do not rock and never have. My favorite thing about that organization is what happened when they f i n a l l y got around to inducting Rush.

      Alex Lifeson’s acceptance speech is pure gold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-zV4GaElko

  4. avatar LHW says:

    Sounds like liberal solutions paid for courtesy of the taxpayers.

    1. avatar Stu in AZ says:

      Well, when these kind of things actually work, the benefits to society can outweigh the costs. The problem comes when some kids just don’t give a damn and go thug life anyway.
      I’ll tell ya what does work to decrease violent crime: deterrence.

    2. avatar Ironhorse says:

      I’m curious as to what you would consider a “conservative” solution to be?

  5. avatar N64456 says:

    I stopped reading at “…Toronto Sociology Professor…”

  6. avatar peirsonb says:

    Or, you know, families.

  7. avatar Heywood says:

    Just Hug It Out

  8. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    He has stumbled on to a truth. The ultimate solution to violence problem is restoring the foundation of civil society. He proposals fall because they are aimed at substituting government for the family. It is just more of the same that created the problem in the first place.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    The inner cities are beyond redemption. Knock them down and start fresh. That’s what was once called “urban renewal.”

    Art programs and tutors are nothing but band-aids on cancer.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “The inner cities are beyond redemption. Knock them down and start fresh. That’s what was once called “urban renewal.””

      And it is now being done, but being derisively referred to as “Gentrification”.

      *Nothing* will ever make a Progressive happy (with the exception nobody having anything more than everyone else).

      They complained *bitterly* about ‘White Flight’, when whites fled the inner city for the safer suburbs, driving down inner-city real estate values.

      A few decades pass, and now they then complain even *more* bitterly when whites moved back into the inner-city, causing property values to skyrocket.

      So, what is it, Progressives? Do you want the whites in, or out of the inner-city?

      The Obama administration’s solution is to move the poor inner-city residents out of the ghetto and place them in the (what was once) safer suburbs, bringing with them the crime of the inner-city (via Section 8 housing vouchers).

      There is the proof that Progressives lie when they say they they want to ‘spread the wealth around’.

      The progressive ideal of “fair” is to spread the misery around equally.

      At least that’s how I see it…

  10. avatar gs650g says:

    Reality is hard to face sometimes. It’s better to live in an alternate reality.

  11. avatar Tile Floor says:

    You know, I used to think that a lot of crime and such in my area was partially as a result of kids not having any good opportunities.

    Then I began working as an SRO, and my eyes were opened.

    They have endless opportunities. The school system will do anything it can to make sure poor kids, especially poor minority kids, get their diploma. There are 20 year old adults still in high school where I work. .
    The ability to learn vocational skills in high school has also become big. Where I work, the students will be bussed in from their home schools to the Tech Centers to learn varying skills, including HVAC, auto mechanic, CAD design, culinary, vet tech, bio tech, homeland security, firefighting, and barbering, just to name a few. And not only can these students get certifications in these fields, the county actually has dozens of companies come in for “interview day,” where they hold real job interviews with the students and if they do well, offer them a real job making decent money, that can soon turn into a career with benefits, making enough money to make a decent living off of. Thats not even including the countless hours of tutoring and assistance that is available to them, all free of charge.

    The problem is the majority of these kids in the same type areas that article was speaking of don’t take advantage of these opportunities they are given. They just don’t care, and neither do their parents. The problems begin at home with apathetic parents who shouldn’t be raising kids. At a certain point we need to stop trying to constantly blame the system and start holding the family units responsible for “raising” awful kids. The worst part is these students are disruptive and adversely affect the performance of the honest hard working students who are trying to succeed. These bleeding heart types need to stop trying to cater to the lowest common freaking denominator.

    /rant

    1. avatar Swilson says:

      Right- ultimately parents are needed. Some kids are naturally driven, regardless of their circumstances. However many teens, even those from a more affluent and parentally-involved family, may not feel like taking advantage of things like tours and afterschool programs; they’re teens after all. The more the parents are involved and pushing kids to take advantage, the more likely they are.

  12. avatar A A Ron says:

    People should look into Father Greg Boyle and Homeboy Industries. Their mantra is ‘Nothing Stops A Bullet Like A Job”.

  13. avatar Keystone says:

    Those programs aren’t bad ideas, however they aren’t very effective if they’re taking place in neighborhoods where rival gangs are fighting for turf on a daily basis and selling their product in broad daylight unfettered.

    A lack of police presence isn’t going to magically solve those problems; anyone with a brain knows it’s quite the opposite.

  14. avatar KURT INGALLS says:

    Do you know what keeps me from using deadly force against my neighbor where I live?????….the respect he or she has for their own actions….it’s a paradox, guys and gals…..do respectable things and one has no choice but to treat you with respect………or I might suffer the consequence OF deadly force……just sayin’…… 🙂

  15. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Mr. Sociology Professor shows us another shining example of the logical fallacy called a “false dichotomy”.

    Of course crime prevention via social outreach is a fantastic and worthwhile endeavor. So is police presence to deter crime. And while we are at, good people with no ill-intent who are armed and able to defend themselves from violent attackers is also a fantastic and worthwhile endeavor.

    It sounds like I just discovered a new logical fallacy involving three worthwhile responses to a problem … let’s call it a “false trichotomy”.

  16. avatar pod says:

    The road to a decent way of life begins at home. A prior commenter said that the schools throw endless opportunities at these kids, and a lot of them don’t take advantage. If the kids have a good home life, they will do well regardless of opportunities provided to them by the system.

  17. avatar scooter says:

    All that stuff is good stuff, and more importantly, it is NOT MORE POINTLESS LAWS. Do you know what little change is keeping some kids in school through graduation? Having the outgoing seniors make a victory lap through their schools so the kids have something to look forward to becoming. If you want excellence, demonstrate excellence. If you want good decisions, offer good options. This guy is RIGHT. As a father, teacher, and BSA leader, I’m not so quick to write off these suggestions. Alter people’s situations and they make different choices. Sometimes it’s not the bad apples, it’s a bad barrel. Regardless of who made the barrel, the apples that come out of it will be in the world with me and mine and you and yours, so don’t think it’s not your problem because it’s not your neighborhood.

  18. avatar Vitsaus says:

    I can’t recall which US military offical it was, who said back in the 1960’s that the best way to fight the spread of communism was by removing the conditions that create it. In other words, provide jobs, industry and capital in 3rd world countries and people will not see communism as a viable improvement (theoretically or otherwise) over their lot so long as they have the basics for living and some access to consumer goods. This principle can be applied to poverty stricken areas as well to deter the appeal of gangs, drug selling, and welfare.

    1. avatar George Hilman says:

      You have to do a thorough analysis of the leaders of the 3rd World countries, and the 3rd world neighborhoods, before laying out your plan. They will work against you.
      .

  19. avatar Anon in CT says:

    While of course Canada has always had some crime and poverty, modern street gangs, especially ethnically segregated ones, are pretty new to Canada, and are essentially an imported phenomenon. In the East there are a lot of Jamaicans and other Caribbean folks. In the West it’s Chinese and Vietnamese. There’s also Indians (from the Subcontinent), but they tend to behave more like the old mafia – keeping the crime and violence more in house except for willing participants (junkies).

    Immigration has been good to Canada in many ways – but not when it comes to crime.

  20. avatar Erik n dc says:

    What happens when businesses/volunteers/coaches/mentors and other productive members of society refuse to go to these “high crime areas” that are now also “Police-free areas?”

  21. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    How about actually locking up the bad apples so they can’t contaminate the society in which they live? I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that a lot of this behavior is virulent in nature and by getting rid of the right people for the right amount of time the amount of issues go down dramatically.

  22. avatar Greg says:

    An honest examination of the problem would in all likelihood reveal that the vast majority of the firearms related crimes are being committed by ethnic minorities – many of whom were imported into the country.. Of course any politician daring to speak this truth would instantly be branded a racist – and no one wants to be called that. So, they propose gun control laws that punish the law-abiding majority population when ‘reasonable’ immigration control laws and deportations are what’s needed.

  23. avatar B says:

    Sounds an awful lot like tribute. I seem to remember a saying going something like millions for defense but not one cent for basketball. Maybe we should follow our founding father’s leads and actually fight those who threaten us with violence.

  24. avatar Chris says:

    After I got past my visual confusion at her flesh-colored shirt…

    Really? Boredom causes shootings??? I guess the crips running you off your corner because your package was weak has nothing to do with it…

  25. avatar Sprocket says:

    Free stuff is not the the solution to violent, lazy and stupid people. It’s a reward.

    Solutions like this sound more like a protection racket to me; “We won’t rob/rape/kill you as long as you give us free stuff.” All the sociological mumbo-jumbo simply obfuscates the fact that what we’re talking about is making it through the day without attacking someone or taking what isn’t yours. This is pretty easy for anyone who isn’t violent, lazy and stupid. Instead of free stuff, make birth control mandatory to receive welfare, we’ll see most of these bums and their crappy communities disappear in a generation.

  26. avatar Brian has faith in the Mario Brothers says:

    Canadians. Those subjects of the Queen, minions of the reptilians, looking down at us in meaningless, ignorant contempt. Waiting for the NWO orders to invade as a “police action”, they shall have no mercy on us, the perceived lesser ones.

    They watch. They wait. Don’t be fooled by the Trailer Park Boys. They, too will come for us, just one of the five eyes.

  27. avatar Peldrigal says:

    Do you know what’s a non-sequitur?
    That one is a non-sequitur.

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