It’s amazing what you find when clicking around due to a Google News link. Edmonton is currently undergoing the highest murder rate in the nation, and the “experts” are just
flailing away at the reasons why. Here’s my favorite part:
“One of the biggest falsehoods in the world is more cops equal less crime,” said Hay, a former city police officer. “We have to go one step further. We have to invest in curing the social, economic and political ills that people face.”
Woo! They’re going to cure the social, economic, and political ills facing their citizens. What, the wrong party being in power is causing a high murder rate? Awesome analysis there, Mr. ex-cop.
It reminds me of a Stephen Sondheim song. I’m guessing the ex-cop never saw West Side Story.
My daddy beats my mommy,
My mommy clobbers me.
My grandpa is a Commie,
My grandma pushes tea,
My sister wears a mustache,
My brother wears a dress,
Goodness gracious, that’s why I’m a mess!
But that’s not the only theory. The subject of the article was stabbed in the heart during a fight at an event with lots of young people. Here’s what a professor at Edmonton University thinks is the problem.
Pitt compares Edmonton to Dodge City in the 1880s because of the access its residents have to alcohol and weapons and the lack of laws to prevent individuals from carrying knives.
He said the access to weapons and alcohol, the numbers of marginalized people, the lack of health care and particularly mental health services have combined to make Edmonton “a really, really bad place.”
Gasp! People drink! They can buy knives! Make them both illegal, and Edmonton’s murder rate will drop, right?
There’s been few common threads in the deadly attacks. Some were stabbings, some were shootings, some were beatings.
Twenty-three victims were men, five were women. Nine occurred in the downtown.
(By the way, Edmonton Journal copy editors? The correct grammar is “There have been few common threads.”)
Finally, we have the opinion of an actual police officer.
Edmonton Police Association president Tony Simioni said he believes the difference between Edmonton and Calgary homicide numbers is an aberration -”a temporary spike where ours is abnormally high and Calgary’s is abnormally low.”
Oh. Anything else?
Edmonton has more blue collar workers, including many who work in the oilpatch and related service industries, and more men between the ages of 16 and 24 who are most likely to be either victims or perpetrators of crime, he said.
The capital also has a higher jail population, where some of the murders occurred, more parolees and more low income residents and a much higher population of aboriginal residents than Calgary, he added.
But Chris Hay, John Howard Society of Alberta executive director, rejected the notion that aboriginal people or poor people or immigrants disproportionately contribute the crime and violence.
“Most crime in Canada is committed by young, white males.”
This is a textbook example of the writer framing the debate by using two disparate quotes to make it appear that they are talking about the same question, when in fact, they are not. One is answering the question “Why is the murder rate so high?” The other is answering the question “Do you think the murder rate is high because of these elements?” It’s the way reporters get to slant stories to say what they want them to say.
The murder rate is up in Edmonton. Edmonton has a high rate of young men. Young men commit crime. I think they really need look no further. But hey, I’m not a liberal, PC reporter, professor, or ex-police officer who thinks that the answer to stopping crime is making more laws that forbid more things. Because laws banning things have always worked; society doesn’t have issues with, say, drugs, guns, or even alcohol.