Fields is a Brooklyn barber, quoted by nydailynews.com regarding New York’s recent crime stats. I’m not sure if Mr. Fields was being sarcastic about the difficulty of reducing New York City’s murder rate, but it bears mentioning that policing, like war, is an inherently political process. Resources are allocated as much by constituencies as strategy. And the statistics upon which both politics and strategy rely are inherently misleading. For example, based on the News’ bullet points, if you’re in Brooklyn’s 75th police precinct on a Saturday morning at 3 – 4am, you’re going to get shot. Or not . . .
Remove murders that occurred indoors (35 percent). Remove murders that occurred between people who knew each other (77 percent). Now remove non-firearms murders from that number (38 percent). Alternatively, consider this: the total number of murders in Brooklyn in 2009: 30. Current population: 2.5 million.
Here’s another even more uncomplicated fact: there’s only so much you can do to reduce gun crime. In a country with a Second Amendment—and in countries without one—there’s always going to be firearms-related crime. At the risk of [metaphorically] arming gun control advocates, the policies and policing in place in New York City are about as good as it’s ever going to get. Call it the unacceptable face of the truth about guns in New York City. To wit:
The Rev. Al Sharpton said the homicide numbers were unsurprising and unacceptable.
“The most racially biased thing we could do would be to act like it’s normal – that we are helpless to change things,” Sharpton said. “We are not. But we need to change the culture. It breaks my heart when I see kids wearing Scarface T-shirts instead of Malcolm X T-shirts. That’s making the culture of dealing drugs acceptable.”
What of law-abiding citizens who want to defend themselves against criminals with a firearm, no matter how rare an event that may be? When it gets down to the street level, statistics can only tell you so much. Barbershop logic be damned. More guns, less crime? My gun, my life.