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CPD draws ‘line in the sand’ on uptick in gun violence. That’s the headline at, evoking President Obama’s equally dubious “line in the sand” rhetoric re: Syrian chemical weapons. School’s out in the Queen City and the temperature’s warming-up. Apparently the end of bad education and the start of good weather are harbingers of gang activity, which leads to flying lead (e.g., a quadruple shooting in East Price Hill). The Cincinnati PD’s did what any modern police force would do in the circumstances: they held a press conference . . .

“We’ve drawn a line in the sand with this uptick in violence,” Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said.

Blackwell, Assistant Chief James Whalen and District 3 Capt. Dan Gerard met with media at District 3 headquarters in East Price Hill Friday afternoon to discuss where they’ll be redoubling efforts to stop gun violence in the near future.

“We firmly believe that this is going to make a sizable impact in some of the violence we’ve seen,” Gerard said. “We had to come and we had to show that we mean business. Today, you’ve seen evidence of that.”

Exhibit A: The CPD arrested 13 members of the “Baltimore-McHenry gang.” They charged the perps with drug and gun offenses. The top cops didn’t detail the exact breakdown between the two types of charges. But the following quote leads me to believe drug charges were the order of the day, by a large margin.

A marijuana growing facility, four guns, heroin, crack, cocaine and more than $5,000 were recovered by police Friday morning, Gerard said . . .

Whalen said the drug charges against the suspects are a legitimate tool police are using to curb gun violence.

“Drug sales is the way some of these activities are funded. It’s also a very easy way for us to work our way in and develop criminal charges,” Whalen said. “Drug cases for the sake of drug cases, quite frankly, don’t do us much good.” Instead, drug cases against gang members achieve “the purpose to get to the great problem.”

Let me see if I’ve got this straight.

Drug sales fund gang bangers predilection for shooting each other and, laterally, innocent, civilians (the activity of which Assistant Chief James Whalen speaks). If the cops cut the illegal drug trade – good luck with that without tackling demand – the Baltimore-McHenry gang and its ilk won’t be able to afford to shoot rival gangs or undisciplined members. Yeah. No.

That said, by all accounts, the CPD are doing an excellent job curtailing or at least containing gang violence and the causes of gang violence. They have a gang unit. They’ve made plenty of large, high-profile gang busts. After DOJ intervention, they’re tackling their community relations and police misconduct issues. The City has also addressed its revolving door justice system. And its unemployment/welfare problem.

Could they do better? Of course. But . . . year to date, year-on-year, the total number of homicides in Cincinnati has dropped 28%, from 29 to 21. In a city of 300,000 people that’s not a lot of murders. (Same-size Stockton, California was home to 48 homicides in 2014.) Acceptable losses? You might say so, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

Except to say this: politics is about perception. That’s why Cincinnati’s top cops talk about a “line in the sand” and cater to the “we’re mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore” anti-“gun violence” sentiment pushed by the press and anti-gunners. Truth be told, bad people do bad things. With guns. There is only so much you can do about it. Gun control is not one of those things.

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  1. We firmly believe that this is going to make a sizable impact in some of the violence we’ve seen.

    How can future actions change events from the past? Somebody needs to work on his English skills.

  2. Is there a correlation between government schools and criminal behavior? hmmm.

  3. I am always confused about the “gun charges” in these stories. If they have firearms and drugs then the charges are greater? What was the illegal part of having the firearms? They never say, or do they? Did I just miss it?

    • Possessing a gun during the commission of a felony is a federal criminal offense all by itself and carries a mandatory +5 years sentence.

      So, the guns by themselves aren’t necessarily illegal, but add in a felony and instant double felonies.

      • No I get that, however, every time I hear about a “drug” bust, I ALWAYS hear about the guns as well. Here in WA if I had some pot plants and the police “raided” me, under state law neither or both together are illegal. It seems like the “news” media always tries to make it seem worse. Just my 2 cents worth.

        • Generally speaking, the media is leftist. They do not like personal ownership of and use of guns. For most media, only law enforcement should have guns.

          To further their agenda, they will make any incident of personal ownership and/or personal use of guns as bad as they can make it. Incidents of self-defense and defense of others is usually not reported or the use of guns in this situation is ignored when it is reported.

  4. Last time I was in Cleveland, some psycho dude was throwing chunks of the old train via duct concrete down on people.
    Was a nice Independence Day with fireworks over the lake until then. Good thing no guns, people might have responded at least an hour before the cops that night.

  5. Ah, the old “line in the sand.” So tell me, is there a lot of sand in Cincy, or has that whole “red line” thing proved to be a total bust?

    • Cincinnati has no indigenous sand. Here on Cape we export our unused sand to them to draw in.

    • Having watched Obama carefully I’ve broken the code: Politicians draw these lines in the sand near the famed Pipeline on Hawaii’s North Shore, thus enabling them to claim in very compact sound-bites support for both eco-friendly pipelines and bold policing/military moves. Don’t laugh. It worked.

      While the islands were originally conquered and unified as a surf heaven by King Kamehameha the Great in 1795, the dynasty changed during the second Clinton administration with ascent of King Kamanawannaleiya, after which the islands further solidified their hold on the market for “Come draw lines in the sand!” travel.

      (Well, my theory makes as much sense as most big city police chief speeches….)

      • I surfed Pipeline once. Once. In 2000. And after all this time, every once in while I still hawk up seawater.

        And you shoulda seen the thirty-footers at Haleiwa.

        • That’s as good a way as any to get over a messy divorce, but everyone who hits the big breaks is eventually put on a lifetime ‘as needed’ prescription of high-proof rum or whiskey….and still some body parts hurt. I’ve got a California cousin my age (well, your age) who was a semi-pro surfer and still is a pro marine mammal specialist. Everything hurts until he gets some Captain Morgan. It broke John Wayne (the waves, the booze, and the smokes). Have to tip my hat to you. It’s always taken guts to keep paddling once you realize you’re on a big one.

      • “King Kamanawannaleiya”

        If you hadn’t mentioned him, I was going to! He’s my favorite hysterical figure.

    • Sure you do, every day. Oh sure, they don’t make and sell illegal booze anymore. Now they grow and sell illegal drugs, because they’re illegal and that’s where the money can be made running a violence-driven business.

      Here’s the thing, though: such people are violent people first, and bootleggers, drug dealers, gangsters, racketeers, etc. second.

      When drugs are completely legal, then professionally managed, legitimate businesses will move in and dominate the market with efficiencies, innovations and lower prices. And the gangsters? Newly unemployed, they’ll calm down, mellow out and take up arts and crafts. Beat their gats into knitting needles. Yeah. No.

      Bangers gotta bang, so they’ll just move on to the next illegal activity and profit from that. You can’t legalize things fast enough to stay ahead of them. Prostitution? Gambling? Loan sharking? All of these already have legal versions, and the bangers bang on with their illegal variations.

      Even completely legal activities aren’t safe. Car sales? They’ll do GTA and chop shops. Jewelry sales? They’ll do burglaries and pawn shops. These people thrive on violence. They worshop it and get drunk on it. These violent delights have violent ends. You aren’t going to change them by changing a few drug laws.

      • Actually, I suspect that you can legalize things fast enough to get ahead of the gangs. There are only so many things for which there’s a sufficient, profitable, illicit market. An awful lot of them are just in it for the money, even if a willingness to do violence is a component, and when there are legitimate means of getting everything there’s a demand for, and supplying the need legitimately is easier and safer, a lot will do that. The ones who really are going to keep being violent no matter what, well, what’s wrong with locking them up for being violent? A lot of non-violent, non-dangerous people are vacuumed up in the War on Drugs.

      • Here’s a drug law that might change things; if you get a CHL and buy a gun, you get free drugs for a year.

    • Drugs, cigarettes, gasoline, etc etc etc. There’s tons of products that are “bootlegged” nowadays.

    • Did you not know about the show Moonshiners on the Discovery Channel? Looks like a previously illegal operation may be going legal on that show.

  6. “The CPD arrested 13 members of the “Baltimore-McHenry gang.” They charged the perps with drug and gun offenses.”

    So, dumb question … How long had CPD known about these guys and had enough to arrest them? Surely it would have been an incredible coincidence for them to get the intel right before drawing the line, as it were.

    But, surely they wouldn’t have let known criminals persist in their nefarious deeds for any length of time…? Because that would be wrong, right?

  7. I never left anything in Cincinatti I figured was importan enough to go back for. Even the Cincinatti airport don’t like the place. It’s in Kentucky.

  8. I live about 50 miles East of Cincy and Price Hill is the new hot sot in the town.

  9. Hmm…sounds a lot like Chicago. Had 44shootings last weekend(but only 1 death). Sorry I don’t see any solution and legalizing drugs would make little difference. Gotta’ make dat $ somehow…

  10. I have to laugh when leftists mention lines in the sand, or standing up for a cause, or other things only decent humans are capable of doing. Leftists pretending to have morals, principles, and courage is like children running around with a wooden sword pretending to be knights.

  11. “Drug sales is the way some of these activities are funded.”

    So gang bangers sell drugs in order to buy guns to murder each other, because murder is their main business. That’s odd. All this time I thought they murdered each other in order to increase their drug turf and make more money selling drugs. Guess I had that backwards.

    It sure is a good thing that the cops are drawing a line in the sand. No criminal will dare to cross a line drawn in a medium as resilient as sand. Laws didn’t stop them from doing what they do, but that line in the sand sure will.

    Ok, I think I’ve met my sarcasm quota for the day.

    • You can be sarcastic all you wish, but that is exactly how I read that article as well. I just find it hard to believe anyone, never mind a police chief, could possibly be that stupid, and that misinformed.

  12. “year to date, year-on-year, the total number of homicides in Cincinnati has dropped 28%, from 29 to 21. In a city of 300,000 people that’s not a lot of murders. (Same-size Stockton, California was home to 48 homicides in 2014.) ”

    From the linked PDF, the 2015 year-to-date (to 16 May) figure for homicides in Cincinnati is 23. Even presuming the daily rate stays the same for the rest of 2015 (and doesn’t go up in the summer), Cincinnati is on track to have 61 homicides in 2015.

    That’s 127% of Stockton’s 2014 entire year homicide count of 48. Cincinnati is on track to pass Stockton’s 2014 total in October (again, presuming the daily rate doesn’t increase in the summer months).

    Also, while 2015’s YTD count of 23 is a 26% drop from 2014’s YTD count of 31, it’s only a 4% drop from the 3-year average YTD count of 24.

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