I swear, I’m not making this shit up. But I am swearing. Because it’s been a long time since I’ve encountered a piece of investigate journalism of this caliber. Do I need to set it up more than that? Nah. Let’s consider this part of the story hors oeuvres. “After the announcement, a brunch was served that included shrimp cocktail. John McCullough, executive director of the not-for-profit agency picked to administer the [SNUG] program, wasn’t sure who was paying for the buffet, but suspected it was his agency, New Justice Conflict Resolution Services. Valesky’s office confirmed it was New Justice, but that funds from the grant were not used for the buffet.” Well what a relief. We wouldn’t want anyone to think this half-million dollar “anti-violence” boondoggle grant was wasted on shrimp cocktails. Let’s see what else Syracuse.com has unearthed.

Operation Snug (Snug is guns spelled backwards) calls for New Justice to hire 12 full- or part-time employees who will be able to go into the community and perform “street mediation,” negotiating between individuals or groups before disagreements turn into violence, McCullough said.

I can’t wait to read the program evaluation. But I bet I’ll be shooting rainbows out of my Benelli before that happens. Know what I mean? So, if irony is the discrepancy between expectation and reality, this is some seriously funny shit. You know; if taxpayers weren’t footing the bill.

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler offered numbers to show why the program was needed: To date, 49 people have been arrested on illegal gun charges and 61 handguns have been recovered from the streets in Syracuse in just the first 71 days of the year. “I’m sick, personally, of looking into the eyes of mothers who have lost their sons,” he said. “We all know it has to stop. It’s inexcusable.”

I blame myself. ‘Cause my attitude is, screw street mediation. Let them eat shrimp.


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