Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Marion County Homicides in July

Last summer, in the run-up to the mayoral election in Indianapolis, then-Mayor Bart Peterson was widely assailed by critics for the astonishing murder rate in Marion County. The critics were largely Greg Ballard backers.

Well, here we are one year later, and the murder count in Marion County is once again astonishing. As of yesterday, 22 days, 15 murders, one associated suicide. Link to Indy Star article on the latest atrocity, with list of July homicides.

So, one new mayor really doesn't make a difference.

I'm sure there will be some petty partisan sniping, regarding the failure of the new Mayor to reverse the course. Certainly the Peterson critics set the table for that. But it wouldn't be any different today had Peterson been re-elected, had Libertarian Fred Peterson been elected instead, or had Ghandi been resurrected and made mayor.

There is a mindset within Marion County, and other major American urban centers that says that violence is the answer to problems. That has to change.

I am not calling for the banning of guns. Removing the legality around the ownership of a particular piece of machinery does not change the mindset. Besides, as we saw in Washington DC, guns were still being used in the commission of crimes there. DC's ban failed to make it a safer place.

I am not calling for the banning of hip-hop, which often glorifies gun violence. Removing the music and videos won't eliminate the angst and dissatisfaction in the minds of those who turn to violence Besides, even societies who explicitly have been in command of their people, such as the Soviet Bloc, had underground avenues through which counter-cultural materials were obtained.

This is going to require an unravelling of what made the mindset in the urban center. That is a task of such broad reach, that it's not worth going on in depth in with a blog post. I must confess that I am not part of the solution. I fled the city. (Not just Indy, but Cleveland before.) It's far easier to just vote with your feet and get out, especially when you feel like you have ideas to contribute that are rejected out of hand. 

I don't see it getting better in Indy any time soon. The election of a new Mayor and a new majority in the City-County Council is not akin to the waving of a magic wand. 


varangianguard said...

The types of murders Indianapolis is seeing are almost impossible to stop before they happen.

Fewer guns floating about would only change the methodology of the crime, not the occurrence of the crime itself. Instead of "three people die in murder/suicide by gunfire", it might read "three people die in murder/suicide by carving knife".

What I have a problem with are the "plans" that present and past administrations have presented as solutions.

I perceive that more effort is being spent making the donut township populations "see the flag", in the hopes that those persons will then feel that they are being protected. Why, if the police have plenty of time to enforce minor traffic laws out here in the suburbs, then they "must" have a handle on the real crime going on in the City, shouldn't they?

I really don't think most criminals even take possible police interference into account when they are either contemplating future criminal activity or in the act or criminal activity. What's the chance that the few patrol officers assigned to high crime areas might even cross their paths at any particular moment? Not very likely, I'd imagine.

And, for persons who commit crimes of passion, I would posit that they aren't thinking about much of anything else except the object of their anger.

For Mayor Ballard, this is just going to be one more nail in the "one-term" coffin. The Mayor has relied upon persons who have not successfully managed this kind of problem before, and don't look likely to do any better this time around either.

I can hardly fault you for moving to Fishers. The problem is that eventually, the same problems found in Indy will begin to diffuse out your way as well. Then what are you going to do?

Mike Kole said...

What will I do? I'll move again.

Fishers is reinventing Marion County, so I expect the problems to come up here, and I expect that to happen within the next 25-30 years. This is absolutely something I have thought about and though through.

I have discussed this with elected officials in Fishers, who scoff and blow me off. The refuse to get past the idea that it's 'nice, new, and shiny' right now, and that's all we need to know.

So long as I am not chained to a bad situation, like Rhett Butler, I'll be gone with the wind for a better place.

Municipal officials never seem to grasp that this is possible, and a good option in the face of crime and other hazards to our safety. They never thinking of themselves as competing for customers, which residents most certainly are.