Only recently, Richmond, Calif., had among America’s highest per capita rates of gun violence. In 2009, there were 47 homicides among 100,000 residents. Officials there theorized that a few bad actors caused most of the problem. As it turned out, 70 percent of their gun violence in 2008 was caused by fewer than 1 percent of the city’s residents. This isn’t unique: in Cincinnati, less than 1 percent of the city’s population was responsible for 74 percent of homicides in 2007.
Richmond developed an innovative, controversial program: They identified the 50 people most likely to shoot someone and engaged with them, even paying them to participate.
The city provided career help, training, resume writing and health care. It asked people what they feared and helped them create plans to mitigate those fears.
Critics called it “paying gang members not to shoot people.” It was more than that. And it worked.
From 2007 to 2012, the city experienced a 61 percent reduction in homicides.
July 14, 2016
Forget new gun laws. Here’s what could really keep people from shooting each other.
[H/T Say Uncle.
At first thought I’m uncomfortable “paying people to not shoot each other”. It seems to create a perverse incentive. I.E. So, if I start shooting people on a regular basis will someone start paying me to stop shooting too?
But I’m willing to think about this more. If such concerns aren’t realized, the criminal homicides are dramatically decreased, and the costs associated with the programs are not extreme then I’m at a loss as to why one should be against it.—Joe]