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now the world's a safer place(38 posts)

now the world's a safer placeMJ
Apr 24, 2003 9:45 AM
with SH and all his WMD's out of the way perhaps the US could start protecting US citizens and, maybe even protect the healthcare of Americans who can't afford medical care
This isn't the first school shooting...TJeanloz
Apr 24, 2003 9:55 AM
Nor will it be the last. Maybe we could appoint a personal policeman and physician to follow every US citizen around to make sure we're all safe and healthy all the time. We could just raise taxes to pay for it.
This isn't the first school shooting...CARBON110
Apr 24, 2003 11:00 AM
I thought you wanted more tax cuts. Since the 2001 Trillion dollar tax cut really sent our economy booming ( lol ) how could you think of raising taxes? O wait, I got it, lets raise taxes on the poor to middle class, you know since there are more of them, there will be more of a benefit...right? ooooops...naah, screw it, lets just have another tax cut of 368 Billion this time, you know cause we have already out spent our budget with the war and all, what are revenues anyway and how do you balance it all? Well, I know I will sleep well tonight knowing our administration has the answer....or something... by the way, I'm in a HIGH tax bracket TJ....More drival for the way, where the HELL are the Democrats?
Can you turn anything into an anti-Bush statement?TJeanloz
Apr 24, 2003 11:15 AM
I'm pretty much past the point of caring about taxes. At some point, I'm just going to stop working so that I don't have to pay them anymore. I don't think anybody should have a tax increase at this point - but if we want infinite safety, it will cost infinite dollars.
Speaking of anti-Bush.czardonic
Apr 24, 2003 11:21 AM
". . .if we want infinite safety, it will cost infinite dollars."

I wish someone would explain that to Bush, especially with regards to the War on Terrorism.
Cost of warCaptain Morgan
Apr 24, 2003 12:36 PM
Cost of overthrowing Saddam: $20 billion
Cost of 9/11: $100 billion
I think Saddam's head costs a bit more than that Cap'n.Sintesi
Apr 24, 2003 2:36 PM
Isn't $95B the preliminary request? I'm not sure what the final cost will be (no one is) but Iraq is in so much hock and dire need they won't be paying us back anytime soon.
I agree " nm "CARBON110
Apr 24, 2003 12:15 PM
Can you turn anything into an anti-Bush statement?BikeViking at home
Apr 24, 2003 12:48 PM
It would really seem that some SERIOUS cuts in spending are long overdue. Waste is rife in our government. With politicians the way they are (currying favor with voters by bringing home the "bacon") I wouldn't know how to fix this. The line-item veto would have been a good step, but was ruled unconstitutional. Voters need to realize that the "bacon" they desire comes out of the pocket of you and me.

What a crazy system, but it's the best one out there...

I couldn't have said it better myself! nmLive Steam
Apr 24, 2003 4:41 PM
This isn't the first school shooting...MJ
Apr 24, 2003 11:13 PM
no what should happen is that taxes should go up to pay for a far more remote threat - foreign dark skinned people harming American citizens with their WMD's - in fact we should have a war every time there's a nasty person who stands up to the US - we could appoint our coalition to take out all the baddies everywhere - and just keep raising taxes - cause taxes to pay for military adventures are far more palatable than actually paying for things that may have an impact on the average American's life

the fact that you think - "this isn't the first schol shooting" - and fail to see the irony of the fact Americans are under a far greater threat from other Americans and inadequate medical provision rather than Saddam annd whatever other bogeyman can be dreamed up next (without evidence) is laughable
A few points,TJeanloz
Apr 25, 2003 6:02 AM
1) Unless you are totally blind to US politics, you will see that we are both fighting international wars and LOWERING taxes. Yes, this is sarcasm.

2) The world needs to decide whether it wants the US to intervene internationally or not. You can't be critical for not shutting down a regime (Rwanda) and then be critical for shutting down a regime (Iraq). Could you get back to us on that one?

3) In terms of who we go after, there is a numbers game. If anybody is capable of taking out 3,000 people at a crack, I would argue that they should be the higher priority than taking out 3,000 people who will kill one person. The cost/benefit should be obvious - it's easier to catch one person than 3,000.

4) The much maligned American health care system deserves a break. Despite having the unhealthies population in the world, what with obesity and all, life expectancies in the US are comparable to countries with nationalized health care systems. I'd say this is remarkable given the size and diversity of the American population. I would say that on average, the American health care system is the best in the world - it's only at the lower bound that there is a real (and undeniable) problem.
A few points,MJ
Apr 25, 2003 8:40 AM
re 1 - HEHEHE

2 - yeah - it's difficult - the US is forced unenviably to be the world's policeman - Europe can't sort out it's own problems - Kosovo/Balkans etc. - much less global problems - whlie Euro often accuse the US of being isolationist - the same can be said of many Euro nations (especially Switzerland) - they stick their head in the sand and don't do anything then blame everyone else... usually the US

the difficulty in Iraq is that it appears there were a number of lies told by US/UK to justify intervention - it could have been spun better

it also sets up difficulty going forward - when is someone bad enough that the US must take them out?

3. SH never killed 3000 - and perhaps it's not people that kill people - it's an ineffective gun policy and social acceptance of bloodletting on such a widescale by gun culture and violence - that's a better view on the cost benefit analysis

4. your average American receives great medical treatment - but at exorbitant costs - it'd be interesting to see a comparison of level of care vs. outlay for socialised medicine vs private - the problem for those without healthcare is reprehensible - forget about SH let's give them a physical - when you say size do you mean fatties?
Since we sort of agree,TJeanloz
Apr 25, 2003 8:54 AM
Let's toss out 1,2, and 4 as agreed upon.

3. Saddam Hussein killed far more than 3,000 people. Far more. I don't know what the latest estimate is, but it's in the 10s of thousands. One thing that I take issue to with the a lot of people is that they get upset when we can't get the top 5 apples off of our own tree, so we take the low-hanging fruit from a nearby tree. In my mind, saving an Iraqi life is every bit as noble as saving an American. I have an issue with spending a lot of money to get the last 500 homeless people in New York off the street, when the same cash could feed and house an African nation.

I can't wait for the day when this nationalist bullsh!t will go away and all people can just help all people.
Since we sort of agree,MJ
Apr 25, 2003 9:23 AM
equating 'merican lives with A-Rab lives could get you in hot water in some parts...

SH killed lots of people - but we both know there's lots of tin-pot dictators around killing and causing pain - we're not gonna go kicking down doors all over the place are we? - anyways this war was only sold as a humanitarian effort when there wasn't any WMD evidence - and even now it's a only a secondary reason which follows closely after the 'he was a threat to the US' - which is BS

greater good for humanity is done with effective aid and devlopment programmes - very rarely is the greater good served by military action - if we'd engaged SH with massive trade and investment he couldn't have held on to power - engagement worked in China - it would work in Cuba if the Cubans in Miami could calm down a bit - who's to say it wouldn't have worked in Iraq? capitalism breeds freedom and democracy

it's just the contradiction that gets to me - the fact that people are so upset about SH and vague 'terrorist threats' while they happily overlook the far greater danger and bloodshed that gun culture and inadequate medical provision cause every day in the US

why go to Iraq to protect Americans when you can begin addressing the more immediate threat in your own backyard?
Violence in the US is greatly exagerated...TJeanloz
Apr 25, 2003 9:52 AM
In my opinion, the perceived violence in the US is no larger a problem than the perceived terrorist danger. The United States is a very safe place, despite what the media might make you think. This is the same media that would have you believe that travel to China right now is a SARS death sentance. Yesterday, somebody points out a school shooting as an example of violence in the US. Did it go unnoticed that a Berliner hijacked a bus this morning with a pistol. And Germany has much stricter gun laws than the U.S.

Are school shootings unique to the U.S.? I believe the bloodiest of such attacks occurred last year in Europe. People love to criticize the U.S., and it's an easy target. But from where I sit, life doesn't get much better than this. And it does get a whole lot worse. I would postulate that most people in the US fear a terrorist attack more than being murdered on the street, and more than being denied health care. Things aren't perfect here, but Western Europe tends to look down their noses at the unwashed masses in the US like we're barbarians of some kind - which is equally not true; we're as well off as anybody in Europe.
do numbers lie?MJ
Apr 25, 2003 10:26 AM
12,000 annual deaths far exceeds 9/11, any threat from SH or OBL

do you mean the US is a safe place despite what they say about terrorist threats?

the Bremen hijacking - second bus hijacking in two weeks in the fatherland - and other Euro-shootings only reinforce (the obvious point) that guns are bad and your average Joe citizen shouldn't have access - I realise the US position is that he wouldn't have taken the bus if all the other passengers were armed to the teeth with concealed assault weapons and SAM's - but that's not a legitimate argument is it? - that propaganda

but again - numbers don't lie - Germany had how many gun deaths last year comapred to the US? - do it per capita and it's still a huge problem

undoubtedly the standard of living in the US is the highest in the world - some feel that's due to US explotation of other countries (I think that's unfair)

you're right most do fear foreign threats more than the more immediate threats - that's exactly the point - it's irrational - and it's an irrational justification for a war

lots of Euros do have an attitude problem with the US - I tend to take the other side of the fence when I'm in a room full of effete liberal Euros - it's the only time I support the death penalty
Apr 25, 2003 10:47 AM
As a student of statistics (actually econometrics, but close enough) I can attest that numbers lie all the time. One of the easiest ways to distort is to quote an actual number, rather than a ratio, to make the number appear large. The homicide rate in the US is the lowest it has been since 1965. And firearms are used in roughly 2/3 of these murders. And further analysis, not proudly, shows that even if none of these firearms murders occurred, the US would STILL have a higher homicide rate than Germany. Gun violence is a symptom of a larger problem.

Am I saying that the US doesn't have a problem with gun violence? Of course not. Am I saying that the problem is blown out of proportion? Yes. However, firearms were used in 50% fewer homicides in 2000 than they were in 1973. Things are improving, and we still have the Second Ammendment.

The obvious point from the Berlin incident should be that despite onerous control laws, nutjobs still manage to use guns to commit crimes.

It isn't entirely irrational to fear foreign threats more than domestic threats. We all know a lot of things we can do to minimize the likelyhood of being victims of violent crime at home (avoid certain neighborhoods etc.), but we don't really have any information about how we can avoid being the victims of foreign terror.
Apr 28, 2003 12:20 AM
it's good things are improving - where's a source for that stuff?

the German incidents illustrate that onerous nuts getting hold of guns and using them to US effect is a very rare occurrence - the fact that it happened should be remembered but the fact that it occurs so very rarely is what's important - that should be what's obvious

it's also very obvious that it is irresponsible and illogical to spend billions on a war in Iraq to protect the US from harm when the far greater harm is posed by its own citizens to themselves...
Apparently they do...Matno
Apr 25, 2003 11:54 AM
Since they seem to have convinced you that gun laws work. On the contrary, the one large U.S. study that reached that conclusion was thoroughly debunked over 10 years ago. It continues to be quoted over and over by the anti-gun groups because they have nothing else. You can't make a fair comparison of the numbers strictly based on gun deaths because there is a huge number of documented situations in which violent crime was avoided because of the presence of a gun. (FAR FAR MORE than the # of gun-related deaths).

Since Americans, in large part, still have many of their guns, how about we look at some real world comparisons with countries which have made the change from guns to no guns. (This should hit a little closer to home for you MJ).

Ever since gun confiscation orders were instituted, England and Australia have rushed ahead of the rest of the industrialized world in terms of sheer violence by their criminals against the now-disarmed and vulnerable public. In terms of the likelihood of people becoming victims of crime and violence, England and Australia now rank either first or second in the industrialized world, far outstripping the United States in virtually all categories.

According to the International Crime Victims Survey conducted by the Dutch Ministry of Justice, England, Australia and Wales consistently won the dubious honors of having the highest burglary rates and the highest rates for crimes of violence such as robbery, assault and sexual assault in the 17 top industrialized nations.

Hmmm. Could there be a connection there? Sarah Brady and her cronies can shout all they want that there isn't, but it doesn't change the obvious truth that there is a direct cause and effect relationship. The rise in crime in those countries began IMMEDIATELY following their total gun confiscations, and has continued to grow ever since. Unfortunately, people who hate guns, just like people who really HATE anything, tend to be completely irrational. Personally, I would love to eliminate ALL guns, if there were a single shred of evidence that doing so would make the world a safer place. The fact of the matter is that it wouldn't.

Is the US a safe place? I'd wager that aside from a handful of large cities, it's the safest country on earth. I, for one, feel safer walking around the Bronx at night than I did walking around cities in Germany. I've never had a problem here (NYC is actually one of the safest places in the world, on a per-capita basis), but I got jumped by a group of skinheads while in the former DDR. I was lucky and just had bruises, but my buddy got 6 stitches, an old couple who tried to help us got a serious beating, and another guy got a punctured lung and kidney when they stabbed him. Anecdotal? Sure. But I couldn't tell you how many people I met while living in Germany who thought that America was one big boiling cesspool of racial bigotry and deadly violence. It just ain't so.

As for foreign threats vs. domestic threats, the "lopsided" fear is not irrational. Attacks like 9/11 randomly victimize citizens who are completely unaware of any danger from complete strangers. Individual crimes, on the other hand, are most often committed by someone the victim knows. I think it's perfectly normal for people to be afraid of the completely unknown more than things they can predict and avoid to some extent. (e.g. by not going out alone at night, by carrying a gun for self defense, etc). Does it justify war? I really don't know. I think I would have waited for more conclusive evidence before attacking SH, but then, if I were in charge, I wouldn't have let him get away the last time...
are you making up sources again?MJ
Apr 28, 2003 12:15 AM
because you are dead wrong (again) - vulnerable public? surge in crime? not in the UK - we had like less than 200 gun homicides last year and crime is falling every year as it has for the past decade

here's a handy reference for you on UK crime statistics:,12079,944386,00.html

please source your "guns prevent crimes" statistics assertion - do you have a link to the Dutch study?

and anyways - wopuld I rather be burgled or shot to death - not a difficult call for me - is it for you?

crime happens everywhere - is your story anecdotal? - yes it is - numbers don't lie - more Americans per capita die from gun related homicides than anywhere else - by a staggering number - and no one thinks it's something to worry about


no one seems to care - particularry when rather than dealing with this obviously more pressing threat everyone wants to focus on the foreign bogeyman - a convenient scapegoat - if you think it's ok for people to be more concerned about the threat they know - then maybe it's the place of elected officials to do what's right and make America a safer place from the issues that pose the greatest risks - cause SH, and whoever else is next on the list, ain't it

I see there have still not been any links to terrorists or WMD's found in Iraq despite hard evidence and a threatened US/UK/world
We might as well consolidate...TJeanloz
Apr 28, 2003 7:27 AM
Considering that these two threads are remarkably close to converging, we might as well consolidate into one. One thing that interests me very much about the European perspective is that they often talk in terms of "gun violence" and point out how bad a problem the US, and how good they are. Most murders in the US are the result of gun violence. The largest group of murders in the UK is by "sharp instrument" - 30%. And gun violence in the UK may be down, but homicides are up significantly:

In my mind, the means are not as important as the end result, which is murder, however it is done. I'll point out that in this same period, the number of homicides in the US fell by more than 25%. If you would rather be burgled than murdered, perhaps there is somewhere safer for you to live than Britain. Unless you're cool with being stabbed.

However, you also fail to address the key point that we have made: there are steps one can take, both in London and New York, to prevent oneself from being murdered. Domestic murders are typically not random acts of violence (which are particularly frightening). Foreign terror, on the other hand, is rather random in who it targets. Thus the threat to some of us from foreign terror is, in fact, much higher than the threat of domestic murder - though for both it is infinitly small. As is obvious, the marginal cost of eliminating the last few murders is exceedingly high when compared to eliminating a foreign threat. As earlier alluded, shall we assign a personal bodyguard to every US citizen?
We might as well consolidate...MJ
Apr 28, 2003 11:32 PM
it's harder to stab than it is to shoot - and it's harder to kill when you stab - but stabbings, and stab deaths happen regularly here - but the numbers of homicides, per capita are far lower than the US - it's about guns

most of the gun deaths here are drug and gang related - the US problem isn't like that

yes there are steps that you can tale to be safer - like leaving your spouse for example - or like passing restrictive gun laws - the last few murders at 13k plus is not a good example - it's hardly the last few numbers is it?

the government is in the business of protecting its citizens via the use of its resources - Iraq and the associated billions has been justified because of a foreign threat when in relaity there could be far more practical steps at home which save far more US lives - I can't believe you disagree on this very obvious point
I don't see it as obvious...TJeanloz
Apr 29, 2003 7:12 AM
The murder rate in the United States, ~5 per 100,000 people, while higher than Britain, is, in our experience, low enough to be tolerable. 5 in 100,000 are very small odds. I disagree on your main premise that the Government is solely in the business of physically protecting its own citizens. The Government of the United States has historically acted to protect citizens of many nations, including yours. Our interests often run concurrent to this, but the business of the Government is not solely to defend its own citizens.

Contrary to your statement, most of our handgun deaths are also drug and gang related; it's just that most of us are beyond caring about the drug and gang wars, so the only ones that get publicity are the school shootings.
I don't see it as obvious...MJ
Apr 29, 2003 7:16 AM
not only is that number higher than in Britain - it's significantly higher than the foreign bogeyman

the premise on government responsiblity is extending the rationale for the invasion, er, liberation, of Iraq to a logical conclusion

there's alot of school shootings - there's alot of non-drug and gang related shooting
Do you have statistics on that?TJeanloz
Apr 29, 2003 8:10 AM
I don't have the gang-related shooting statistics. But I can only point to anecdotal evidence that the murder rate in my 'hood is the lowest in Boston (though we did recently have our first gun homicide in years); while the gun murder rates in the gang related areas are much higher. All of the recent shootings in my city (excepting the aforementioned) have been gang related. I think foreigners are overestimating the danger in the US - and we're quite capable of making decisions about it for ourselves.
Do you have statistics on that?MJ
Apr 29, 2003 8:29 AM
I don't think it's about making the decisions - I think it's about being forced to live with a known risk which could be hugely reduced - you have no choice unless you lock yourself up

I could trawl around and find some stats if you're interested
What do you propose?TJeanloz
Apr 29, 2003 8:36 AM
How do you propose this risk could be hugely reduced? Given that the murder rate has already been more than halved, I'm not sure it can be hugely, nor easily, reduced. I think it involves a societal change rather than a legal change, and societies don't change either cheaply or easily.
What do you propose?MJ
Apr 29, 2003 8:49 AM
that the same time, resources and public commitment that was shown and allocated concerning Iraq (and foreign threats generally) be applied to domestic gun deaths

changes didn't happen in Iraq that easily either - it took billions of dollars, combat and who knows how long/much in reconstruction - a small measure of that sort of commitment would go a long way - it'd be a lot better than throwing up your arms and giving in to the problem which is what most appear to do with a shrug and a mumble about society as if it's impossible

I guess it's easier to contemplate such grand scale design changes in foreign countries rather than in your own backyard - better the devil you know and all - but I think it reflects a rather sad resolution and acceptance

a reduction of half is good - but half of a huge unnecessary number is still a disturbingly large number
The problem I have is this...TJeanloz
Apr 29, 2003 8:54 AM
The numbers are at there lowest level in 40 years, and continuing to decline, it seems to me that we're taking care of the problem. The problem still exists, but obviously we're taking pro-active steps to address it. I think your argument would have a lot more validity if the trend suddenly and remarkably reversed.

On the other hand, in light of recent events, the trend in the US with respect to foreign threat did suddenly and remarkably reverse, and we decided that we needed to commit more to re-reversing the trend to the direction that we would prefer.

Crime in the US is low and getting lower. Foreign threats were low and are getting higher. I'd continue to allocate the same levels of funding to domestic protection and increase my allocation for foreign protection. But that's just what makes sense to me.
The problem I have is this...MJ
Apr 29, 2003 9:04 AM
your justification does not stand up to objective risk analysis

going from nil to a few thousand vs going from an excpetionally large number to a large number argument does not make a sound basis for public policy

fact remains - more Americans are threatened by domestic circumstanmces which are tolerated than by extremely remote foreign threats which are not tolerated - it does not make sense

are foreign threats really getting higher?
You're good at pointing out problems...Matno
Apr 29, 2003 12:11 PM
but so far, you haven't suggested any viable solutions for our "exceptionally large number" of homicides, even though you seem to think there is an easy answer. Please enlighten us.

"Are foreign threats really getting higher?" Absolutely.

Why do we focus on foreign offenders when we have problems at home? I think Ted more than adequately showed that we ARE indeed successfully addressing our domestic problems. It is NOT POSSIBLE to completely eliminate crime in our current world. There has always been murder since the earliest men lived on earth. The only way to COMPLETELY eliminate crime would be to have someone watching over each and every individual 100% of the time. Not even remotely possible. As for Saddam, he was an easy target. Much easier and cheaper than going after all potential criminals at home. I'm not saying it was right or wrong, but he had specifically threatened the United States on more than one occasion, and even the day before the invasion began he publicly signed $250,000 in checks to the families of suicide bombers in Palestine. Considering that the state of Israel is basically a creation of the United States (and continually funded by us) you can almost base a credible threat on that alone... Plus, it made him an easy scapegoat (only a madman would publicly endorse suicide bombings like he did).

HOWEVER, (big however) personally, I don't think the WMD threat in Iraq was valid cause for invasion. If SH had been behind the WTC attacks directly, THAT would have been sufficient. As it was, I think our evidence was severely lacking. I really don't believe in pre-emptive strikes, and I think Bush was continuing to set bad precedence in that area of our government by implementing them. As much as I think the Iraqi people might benefit from our actions there, I don't think we have either the right OR the responsibility to be international police when we have not been attacked.

Back to the issue of domestic violence in the US, Ted made a good point when he said that most of the violence, particularly gun violence, is gang and drug related. Quite honestly, most people just don't care if a drug dealer gets shot unless an innocent bystander also gets hurt (which does happen). As I see it, we could eliminate a large chunk of crime simply by implementing stiffer penalties. Not necessarily for the deterrent effect, but because a shocking number of crimes are committed by repeat offenders who (in my opinion) should never have been let out of jail.
the one thing about TJMJ
Apr 30, 2003 12:03 AM
is that he doesn't have the significant credibility problems you have - you gonna address any of the points above about making up sources (again)?

plus his points - the reasoning and logic are sound - I can agree to disagree with him

with your points there are consistent failures of logic, reasoning and sources although the caps are helpful signposts

and you're right he did make good points - he also has the ability to understand my points - it's a shame you don't

I'll repeat things simply:

1. there are too many gun deaths in the US (this an obvious point - hard to disagree with - call this 'a')
2. there is a far greater threat of guns deaths in the US than death at the hands of foreign threats (look at the numbers - it's a fact - call this 'b')
3. it is illogical to justify an invasion to protect Americans when nothing is done re domestic problems (the conclusion - c)

a + b = c
So THAT'S the answer...Matno
Apr 30, 2003 6:03 AM
I'll bet when you talk to people who don't speak English, you repeat yourself louder thinking they'll understand your own language better that way.

Point a - absolutely correct. Nobody's arguing that.
Point b - so far true, but the nature of a "threat" is that is potential. With WMD, the potential threat could have been far higher than the domestic threat ever has been. I already mentioned that I don't agree with this as reasoning behind the invasion of Iraq (i.e. because it's preemptive), but it is convincing to many.
Point c - keep hammering this one and maybe eventually someone will believe you. Saying that nothing is being done domestically to reduce US crime is, quite frankly, a load of crap.

Here's a good article explaining why British crime stats are often inaccurately reported.

Another one contrasting the American fall in crime with the British rise in crime

Great Britain and Australia top the US in violent crime:

Another comparison between GB and US:

Even the United Nations says that violent crime in Britain tops the US:

The simple fact of the matter is this: Since GB and other countries implemented their virtual ban on all firearms, crimes of all sorts have gone drastically. At the same time, many states in the US have created or relaxed their laws for legally carrying concealed weapons. In case you didn't read all the articles above, one of them pointed out that while the murder rate in the US was 30 times that of GB just 20 something years ago, it is now approximately 3x as great (and the gap continues to narrow). All violent crime rates in the US except rape and murder have been SURPASSED in GB and Australia. Your repeated assertion that "nothing is done re domestic problems" is pure blarny. Why do you keep saying it when it's obvious that not only is something being done, but something that appears to be very effective.

Oh, and my original post was mostly a direct quote from this site:

One quick search of the internet revealed literally hundreds of sources documenting the facts that I mentioned. To repeatedly ignore the truth as you have in this thread is akin to sticking your head in the sand. It might make you feel better, but it does absolutely no good whatsoever. Thanks for playing. Enjoy the sand.
finally some sourcesMJ
Apr 30, 2003 7:19 AM
I'll have a read through in the next few days - busy at work
At least there's one good thing...TJeanloz
Apr 30, 2003 7:06 AM
I thought about this a little bit overnight, and the crux of my position is: can't we multitask? Why can't we work to curb gun violence (which the statistics show were are doing an admirable job of) AND reduce a foreign threat simultaneously (even if that threat is already MUCH smaller than the gun violence threat).

We count on the government to do a lot of things at the same time. It seems unreasonable to say: "drop everything we're doing, we're going to reduce gun violence; when we're done with that, we're going to fix the potholes; after that, we'll cure cancer; if there's any money left over, we'll invade Iraq." Our actual approach is: why don't we divide up the money that we have to address the various threats in our lives - and I think this one makes more sense.
Apr 30, 2003 7:16 AM
mutlitasking is good - but that doesn't appear to be what's happening - there hasn't been a commitment of recources to the gun problem (or probably potholes) on anywhere near the same scale as Iraq - the reaction to the foreign threat was (and remains) hysterical
Sure there has,TJeanloz
Apr 30, 2003 7:50 AM
We've committed tens of millions of dollars to add police to the street over the last ten years, completely overhauled police tactics in some cities - and the results are quite positive, and trending in the right direction. These changes don't happen overnight. Additionally, "homeland security" has provided more funding for local police departments to increase patrols (which will decrease crime, both domestic and international).

I think the simple answer is: "we're working on it".