Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Burglaries declining but no mention of freed-up gun ownership and use

I have excerpted below an article from NPR which looks at all sorts of explanations for why burglary has been declining. That more permissive gun laws now mean that burglars are more likely to end up DEAD is not mentioned. Improved gun laws have simply made burglary more risky -- so there is less of it. But Left-leaning NPR would never mention the obvious, of course

Burglary is one of the most ordinary of crimes. More than 2 million Americans are victims of burglary every year. But underneath this common occurrence is a strange trend. For most of the past 30 years, burglaries have declined.

During that same time, murders, rapes, assault - and just about every other crime - have peaked and plummeted with three major crime waves. Criminologists have a lot of theories why burglaries are so different. Barry Mathis exemplifies one of them. "I was a salesman. I could sell anything," Mathis says, as he waits to see his probation officer at a city building in Washington, D.C. "Go get me some toilet paper, and I could sell it."

For almost 20 years, Mathis burglarized homes to support a drug habit. He only got caught a few times. Mathis says he stopped breaking into homes because there's just no money in it anymore. "If you're going to do a burglary, you need to have some buyers," Mathis says. "Everybody has everything now." Mathis says there's just too much on the street already. Everyone he knows already has a digital camera, iPod knockoffs and pirated DVDs shipped in from China. "And if it's not new, a lot of people don't even want to fool with it," Mathis says.

Mathis has been clean for more than five years since participating in an offender-release program. The program and the street economy may have turned Mathis' life around, but criminologists say there are other reasons behind the 30-year drop in burglaries - such as the 1 million private police and security guards at work in residential communities.

Many of the residents also did something else: They installed burglar alarms. Nationwide, one in four homes now has one. The alarms and an explosion of other devices, like steel bars, stronger doors and security glass, make it more of a hassle to break into homes, criminologists say. Even locks, the most basic anti-burglary device, have undergone major changes since the 1970s. "Good locks make all the difference," locksmith Rahm Bunnag says. Locks are far more secure than they were 30 years ago, he says. They're far more intricate, he says, holding up two keys.

Of course, police say burglaries have gone down because they police better. There's no way to know whether police are preventing burglaries, but they're certainly not catching many burglars. According to the Justice Department, police solve fewer burglaries than any other crime, around one in every 10. They're more likely to catch a car thief than a burglar.

And that's something one burglar has always appreciated. In 20 years as a burglar, William Long got caught only a few times. But he never enjoyed the work. Long says he didn't care much about alarms or locks or police patrols. He says he was no cat burglar. He just looked for open doors and windows. "If you got someone who really wants to go in something, nothing can stop him, I don't think," he says. His biggest problem? People don't seem to keep cash in their houses anymore. Everybody uses credit cards and bank cards. Only diamonds have any real payoff, he says. But diamonds take too long to find.


Florida lawn feud shooter goes free: "Lee Macon, the Broward man who shot his neighbor to death during a fierce disagreement over the line that divides their two lawns, walked out of jail a free man Thursday... Said Chuck Morton, homicide division chief with the Broward state attorney's office: ``The grand jury considered every potential charge, from first-degree murder to manslaughter to justifiable self-defense . . . and they decided not to indict.'' According to previous police accounts, Jackson, 51, and Macon had an ongoing feud, in part over the length of Jackson's lawn. Jackson preferred his lawn shaggy, while Macon preferred a close-cropped cut. On the morning of Feb. 7, Collin Fraser, 52, was mowing Macon's yard when he made a swipe that may have veered onto Jackson's property, scalping the high grass. Jackson became enraged, first confronting the lawn man. Macon, sensing trouble, tucked a gun into his waistband and emerged from the home to confront Jackson. With Macon present in the courtroom, witnesses testified that Jackson was largely to blame for the feud, and on the day of his death made several threatening moves toward the accused. According to Della Fera, testimony established that Jackson rushed Macon, and began to punch him and tried to knock him to the ground. Macon pulled the gun from his waistband to scare Jackson away, but Jackson lunged for the weapon. Macon fired a warning shot into the sky, but Jackson continued to grasp for the gun. Finally, Macon fired a shot into Jackson's shoulder, knocking him down, then went inside and called 911."

Arizona: Lion shot: "A rabid mountain lion was shot to death after attacking a 10-year-old boy as he and his family celebrated his birthday in a national forest near Phoenix, officials said. Paul John Schalow of El Mirage, Ariz., suffered minor scratches on his back but wasn't seriously injured during Saturday's attack in a sparsely populated area in the Tonto National Forest, said Randy Babb, a biologist with the Arizona Department of Game and Fish. Paul said he and his cousin were playing in the sand when the mountain lion came up. "It just placed its paw on me, and it bites my head," Paul told KSAZ-TV Monday. "It scratches my back. "I just stayed calm. I like animals but I know this one would probably try to kill me." Paul will have to undergo a series of shots after being exposed to rabies, Babb said. Game officials are also recommending the shots for other people who touched the lion. Babb said the attack occurred while the boy and his family were taking a break from riding all-terrain vehicles. He said while the animal tried to bite Paul's head, it didn't actually do it, only slightly clawing the boy's back. A member of the group shot the lion twice, killing it, Babb said.

Brits fall for the useless database nonsense: Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is launching the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) to help the fight against gun crime. But what is it and how will it work? Official figures [which are about as good as Stalin's] suggest gun crime has been falling, but firearm killings showed a slight rise in the most recent Home Office statistics and the government has pledged to tackle the problem. "We are determined not to let violent offenders get away with wrecking lives by stopping them committing crimes in the first place... By 2011, we will have reduced serious violent crime, including gun and gang-related violence", Ms Smith has said. To help the battle against gun crime, the Home Office has contributed œ5.5m to set up NABIS. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) will cover the operating costs, which have been put at around œ2.5m a year. The purpose of the new programme is to provide a national database of materials and equipment used in gun crime. This database will contain information on all firearms, bullets, cartridge cases and forensic evidence recovered from every new relevant offence." [Canada spent a billion on a gun database that achieved nothing]

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Canada has spent two billion for inital setup. And climbing by $225,000/day to operate.