Faith, futility and foolishness

Recently, clerics in Wilmington, North Carolina representing a group called “Wilmington Faiths Against Gun Violence” had an article published in the local paper (see Link below) titled, “Stand against gun violence.”

While it was encouraging to see many Christian clergy names in the paper, at a time when Christianity in America is under assault by enemies foreign and domestic, the “issue” they oppose seems to be more about guns and less about violence.

Typically, this futile attempt to focus on murder weapons rather than the killers has allowed press reporters and editors to divert attention from serious, honest discussions about the social causes of violence and its control—leading not only to ignorance about the subject but failure to solve the problem.

Of course, there are also people who deliberately intend to misinform the public about the problem of violence in certain segments of our society for various self-serving reasons.

Despite well intended “prayer vigils” the “faith and conscience” group author writes: “Crime rates have declined without a corresponding reduction in gun deaths. Something has to be done.”

It’s true that crime is down dramatically in the past 25 years. For example, New York City in 1990 had 2,245 homicides; in 2014 333. Why?—because of aggressive, proactive policing.

But activist groups such as the ACLU and Black Lives Matter claim racism when police proactively go after those who cause violence. Statistics clearly show where it happens and who causes most of our violence.

Black people are 13 percent of the U. S. population, but black males ages 14-17 commit homicide at ten times the rates of white and Hispanic teens combined.

In 2009 within the U. S. 75 largest counties (urban), with 15 percent black populations, blacks were defendants in 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of all assaults.

Blacks are 23 percent of the population of New York City, but they commit 75 percent of all shootings; add Hispanics and together they account for 98 percent of all illegal gunfire in the city. (Link below)

Yes, something should be done.

But as long as people deny reality, avoid the facts, and shift blame to inanimate objects nothing can be done. While they divert attention to the foolishness of more useless “gun control” and false charges of police “racism” the problem of violent killers in our inner cities will not be solved—but we know who they are and where they live.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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