Quote of the day—Nick Selby

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.

Nick Selby
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]


25 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Nick Selby

  1. If you know the 1% most likely to kill people, doesn’t it make more sense to put them in jail? Oh right, this is California…

    • Paul, I’m surprised. Did you just support jailing someone for something they haven’t done yet?

      • No, but I didn’t say it very clearly. The description is a bit of a muddle. “Bad actor” could, in theory, mean people with a bad disposition who haven’t yet committed any crimes. But given the scenario, that’s not a plausible meaning. Instead, I took “bad actor” to mean people who have already committed piles of crimes but have yet again been freed rather than kept locked up as repeat offenders should be.

        • I don’t believe in treating people that badly, no matter what they have done. Self defense in cases of momentary need, maybe okay. Judicial punishment, no. Nonviolent social consequences/shunning/etc, regrettably appropriate sometimes. But I believe in letting people walk free.

          • That worked much better in olden days when there was considerable space between communities, and also considerable bears and wolves, and the other communities were apt to be less than welcoming, in an extremely prejudicial way.

          • I see your point, but that only works if the population is generally armed. Which is how it should be, of course.

  2. Joe, if you started shooting people to get people to pay you to not do it, I’m getting out of the state! I’ve seen what happens when you encourage people to shoot in your neck of woods.

  3. It’s not “paying people to not shoot each other”. It’s paying to help people change their lives such that they no longer want to shoot each other. Fix the problem and the symptoms go away. So, pay attention to the reason, method, and result, rather than the slogan.

    • But the question then becomes; do those individuals that you are paying to behave like good citizens continue to behave long term, or are you simply paying Danegeld and their behavior reverts to their previous characteristics?

      • The question is, are those individuals being paid to “behave like good citizens” or are they changing their lives such that they ARE good citizens? The program is about the latter, not the former. Will it work long term? If it continues, then time will tell.

    • The problem, for the most part, is feral thugs. I’m disinclined to coddle them and reward them with a taxpayer funded “makeover” than I am to simply eliminate the problem and move on with more certainty that their thuggery won’t be repeated.
      I have sympathy for their victims and want to make sure they don’t victimize others. I have NO sympathy for the thugs.

  4. The LA version of this same program fell into corruption rapidly, and was actually doing nothing more than paying gang members city & federal money through the gang-affiliated “employees” the city used to run it.

    So not so good unless overseen by honest non-gang members.

  5. What used to be obvious, and voluntary, and done by volunteers, is now innovative, controversial, run by paid authorities, and coercively funded.

    • yep. why don’t churches do this stuff anymore? (the question was rhetorical, I know they are country clubs)

      • Mostly because the government (at their insistence) took on the job and crowded them out.

      • Churches and other charities have been hemmed in by .gov regs designed to severely limit what they can do. In addition, they then taxed the citizens to pay for all those poorly run .gov aid depts. There went the discretionary spending that went to the charities originally.

  6. First off… if it works, it isn’t stupid.
    As much as I’m against paying criminals not to commit crimes, if that’s a temporary solution while a program helps them “clean up their act,” get a job and earn a living, the money is well spent. For what is the cost of the crimes they commit, including the police, judicial and correctional costs to the public vs. the cost to stay in the program? I think it’s probably a win for us.

    • The unfortunate reality is that feral thugs don’t WANT jobs, etc. and pretending that they do/would_if_only_given_the_opportunity is a fool’s pipe dream. I don’t have the numbers at hand, but I’d wager that the recidivism rate for thugs is at least as bad, if not worse, than for sex offenders and jihadists.
      We do society and civilization a major disservice by deluding ourselves into believing that we can “rehabilitate” people who are evil to the core.

      • it’d be easier to think you had a serious opinion if you could phrase it without dropping “feral thugs” into it all the time.

  7. From a psycho-social perspective; i.e. bat-shit crazy, the Progressive Left would be opposed to such programs as they deprive the Progressives of their raison d’etre to deprive non-Progressives of their rights to self defense and self determination so that non-progressives are impelled to submit to the superior intelligence of Progressives.

  8. Bottom line: we should do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t work.

    A clever man once wrote: if turning your baseball cap around backwards during a poker game helps, then it helps. It’s irrelevant to protest that the baseball cap has no magic powers.

    It does sound, anecdotally, as though Richmond CA figured out how to do it right… because they got good results. This should be celebrated. They reduced homicides significantly, without depriving the law-abiding of their rights.

    • I refuse to celebrate the replacement of charity with coercively funded, government controlled programs. Call it innovative if you like. It isn’t.

      As I said; these things used to be obvious. They’re new, innovative and controversial only to those who’ve totally lost, or never had, any understanding of the American and Judaeo/Christian principles.

      It’s like the breaking news, back in the 1980s or ’90s from the Old Media, in which the blithering idiots “discovered” that men and women were actually different.

      It’s only news if you’re deaf, dumb, blind and stupid, or you have been programmed to love lies and reject what your eyes see.

      OK. So we’ve just now “discovered” that it is possible to help people overcome the cycle of despair, and even become productive and have hope. AND SO THEREFORE we must have a coercively funded government program for such. It goes without saying, right?

      We can live survive on a diet of nothing but shit, too, I suppose. Alert the media.

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