Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Let's Fight Crime with the New York Times

I never thought I would see a certain line of thought in the New York Times editorial page. Nicholas Kristof is a liberal, but at least he thinks about and analyzes his positions. In today’s editorial “To Catch a Thief,” he takes on criminal behavior and ways to reduce crime.

He believes that building more prisons is not the solution. He feels that many politicians don’t want to say that. Instead, they’d rather please constituents with a “string ‘em up” argument. Kristof believes we need to take a more original line to crime reduction.

Without discussing the merits of his other ideas lets look at one broad theme. Kristof cites LoJack car alarm systems. When a LoJack equipped car is stolen, a radio signal is sent to police and helps them locate the car. Because LoJack is hidden, a car thief can’t tell what car is equipped with one and thereby greatly increases his risks. Eventually, he’ll pick a LoJack equipped car and find himself in jail. Other systems, such as The Club, are visible to a thief and thus passes the risk onto an easier to steal car. Further, increasing the risk to car thiefs helps everyone because we all enjoy resulting reductions in car theft.

Kristof also wonders if home owners could install a silent burglar alarm. That way, if a burglar breaks into your house, the police will catch him in the act and pack him off to jail. Audible alarms and yard signs only convince a thief to attack another house. One problem I can see with a silent alarm is I wouldn’t want a dirtbag in my house at all, let alone for the length of time it takes police to respond. Maybe this idea needs a little more thought.

Kristof challenges us to come up with other ideas that could reduce crime. I’ve got one that could reduce armed robbery maybe even murder and I’ll address it to Mr. Kristof. The idea is simple; let law-abiding citizens carry concealed firearms. Then, let these citizens go about their normal affairs with their sidearms cleverly concealed. If a mutant, sorry Mr. Kristof, let me rephrase. If a misguided member of our community tries to rob that citizen, he or she can take action and thus raise the mutant’s misguided person’s risk considerably.

To make it even better, let’s ensure that our goblins misguided community members learn that a percentage of citizens are armed. Such knowledge will greatly reduce armed robbery and other crimes against persons. After all, a criminal will know any particular victim could shoot him, thus increasing risk. Since a criminal would not know which victim was carrying a gun, he would find a different line of work.

Now that I’m on a roll, I have an idea that would reduce forcible rape. Make sure that a goodly number of women carry concealed firearms and ensure that dirtbags misguided criminals know that they could get killed or; even worse, get their manhood shot off if they try to rape any woman.

Mr. Kristof, I’m using the outline of your idea here. In a nutshell, identifying ways to catch or perhaps stop criminals in the act, raising their risk to the point where they and their ilk will find honest work.

I have to admit though that my ideas aren’t original to me. They’re what John Lott and other pro-gun writers have been saying for years. It’s also why 33 states have adopted “shall issue” (or permitless) concealed weapon laws. It’s the apotheosis of the common sense idea that you might reduce crime by raising the risk of those who would commit crime.

While my argument is the same as Kristof’s, I doubt he or other editors at The New York Times will adopt it. After all, it means the end of gun control as we know it today-- even in New York City. It’s an idea whose time has come. So how about it Mr. Kristof, want to suggest this idea to your editors and readers? {Cue crickets chirping.}

No comments: