Do we have any idea why people are shooting each other?

by Aaron Wherry

Criminology professor James Sheptycki laments for how little we understand about gun crime.

I am somewhat pessimistic that we will establish a program of independent academic research into the problems of guns, crime and social order in Canada. Without that knowledge, it is easier for politicians and pundits to pontificate. Mayors can be outraged and disgusted. Federal ministers can tub thump about the need for mandatory minimum sentences. It is business as usual for the crime fighters and business is booming. They are shooting in the dark.

The trouble is, there is not a shred of evidence that business as usual is actually having an effect on criminal subculture. In fact, there are research findings that suggest that some of our current policies make things worse.

See previously: Reaction to the Danzig shooting and Guns, crime and public policy




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Do we have any idea why people are shooting each other?

  1. GB Shaw ~ And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honor and peace, until the gods are tired of blood and create a race that can understand

  2. The gun culture is promoted by everyone….because it makes money and takes little effort….there are movies that glorify it…..Mafia, westerns, the ‘hood, international assassins….and counter assassins…..everything from Tony Soprano to 007. Choose your ethnic flavour.

    Music….hip-hop….bitches, bling, and blow-you-away…..the rappers take it seriously enough to do it to each other in real life

    Fashion….pants around your fanny, [that's a prison thing] muscle shirts….also called ‘wife-beaters’….t’s with challenges on them….super-expensive runners, baseball hats askew, bling, tattoos, gang colours…..a tough guy image…an in-your-face attitude….’tude being the biggest thing of all.

    And the military….in movies and music and fashion….toys…..and gawd knows, in the news.

    Hey….we’re not exactly promoting suits, degrees, chess and classical music in our culture are we……space travel? science? stemcells? highspeed trains? Anything to do with the future?

    Beer, car stunts, guns…..the west is going downhill

    So we get street culture, Homer Simpson culture, gun culture….

  3. “For example, there is good evidence that the experience of prison actually serves to spread the knowledge and subcultural values that sustain this type of crime. There is also evidence that tough on crime rhetoric diverts attention away from policy solutions that have proven lasting effects.”

    That’s the issue no one is willing to confront, the unintended consequences of a punishment based legal system.

    • Conservatives are in denial, blowing raspberries at the criminal-loving, soft-on-crime types that look at evidence.

  4. Interesting interview with music producer Jerome Almon who posted this at the WSJ coverage of this story. His comment was he didn’t want Toronto to end up like Detroit.

    “If Harvard produces academics, no one should be too surprised that the ghetto produces gunslingers, crack dealers and “baby mammas”.
    “For a girl, her prospects are to have a baby or two by the time she’s 18, low self-esteem, growing messed up because there are no real men in the ghetto,” Almon says.
    “And everyone’s looking at her like a piece of meat. If she lived in the (outer) suburbs, she might be a doctor or an engineer. Here, she’ll be a ho, a drug addict or a baby mamma.
    “As for boys, you might as well tattoo a prison number right on their chest at birth. They are going to prison.
    “You’ve got young, dumb, ignorant young guys raised by young women, with no men around. I cannot think of a worse scenario. They have the mentality of a child, the emotions of a woman and the destructive power of a grown man.
    “Put a gun in their hands, you know what happens. What’s the chance of some white guy shooting Kid Rock or Justin Timberlake? It ain’t gonna happen. But black rappers Tupac and Biggie (Smalls, aka the Notorious B.I.G.), they’re dead.”
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/motowns-road-to-ruin/story-e6frezz0-1226426121204

    • Wow…you’d think white people never shot each other! Or took drugs!

      You wouldn’t know about the huge black upper middle class either. Doctors, lawyers, scientists, professors….and there’s a president

      Just some kind of ‘Father Knows Best’ stuff from the 50s . LOL

      It’s socioeconomic class that matters…..not skin colour.

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