If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Causes of Violence

Thanks to JuliaM (she reads CiF so I don't have to), a link to an article in The Guardian by George Lavender, on why the new gang injunctions won't work.

He's saying that these things have been tried before in the US and didn't work, and that's a valid contribution to the argument: I don't know if he's right or wrong, but the point deserves consideration. However, some of his secondary arguments made me suck my thumb and start rocking in my chair. In fact, the piece is full of premium, Grade A 'ressi-zum' whinging and entitlement wheedling. Try this:
Gang injunctions have also been used to justify increased police surveillance and harassment of communities of colour. All those named on the injunctions in Oakland have been black or Latino, and has lead [sic] critics of gang injunctions to describe them as "legalised racial profiling".
If members of a certain racial group commit crimes, it is not racist to say so. If 99% of terrorist incidents are committed by dark-skinned, bearded men between 18 and 30, then it isn't racist to ignore white female pensioners in your searches; in fact, it is common sense and mandatory for the effective use of limited resources. If all the Oakland injunctions name black or Latino people, perhaps that's a hint as to where the problem lies? (Clue: it's not with the people charged with clearing it up.)

Or this:
Community organisations in California say that injunctions are an ineffective and inappropriate response to social problems, because they fail to address the fundamental causes of violence such as poverty and unemployment.
Can't we lay this one to rest? Poverty and unemployment do NOT cause people to be violent. I have had no money at some points in my life, and I have been unemployed. At no time did I ever think of committing acts of violence because of it. That's because I am not a violent person, and the thought of hurting someone - or even their property - for whatever reason is, and always will be, abhorrent. Violent people are violent, whether rich or poor. To say that people become violent through poverty and enemployment is a massive insult to all those poor people who continue to live blameless and peaceful lives, despite all the acknowledged difficulties.

Or this:
"Our communities will only become safer places when we have secure incomes, when our basic needs for housing, nutrition and health care are met, and when we believe our lives matter", says Manuel Fontaine of Plan for a Safer Oakland.
Here we get to the crux of the issue. Pay us money, house, clothe and feed us, tell us we are important, and we might start to behave.

Please note: I am not saying that poverty and unemployment are not a blight on someone's life, and should not be alleviated if possible. In an ideal world, we would all have nice, secure jobs and a decent income. And some people would still behave like rats in a cage. The roots of anti-social behaviour are far deeper than mere cash, plasma tellies and 'nothing to do'. Targeting and removing the worst offenders might only be a sticking-plaster, but it's a start. Don't forget that the principal victims of gang violence are usually also poor and disadvantaged. Who is speaking up for them?


  1. l note there is no mention of groups of youths being automatically labelled as gangs.

    When l was a teen l hungout with my mates and then were hopefully joined by girls. Yes, we were loud and boisterous but of no threat to anybody.

    Nowadays any group of teens out on a nightime are looked upon as gangs. This is far from the truth. Yet C3PO's and police have this over-riding impression as do many citizens.

    lf they use these laws against such all we are doing is creating our own 'Frankenstein'. Taking l-pods and such off teens will not get them to respect society ... it will have the reverse.

  2. I can remember having to walk past a gang with members of my family one evening. The lads were all dressed in scruffy leather jackets and were making a lot of noise. I was quite nervous about passing them, but then as we got closer I could see that they were in fact my own pupils, and we all got a cheery 'Hi' and a wave. Big, noisy lummocks, but no harm to anyone.

    All people are different and deserve to be treated as individuals but, even so, if foxes are killing your chickens it's pointless going out shooting sparrows - however this makes the foxes, even the nice ones, feel discriminated against.

  3. Nice disection of it m8, the same old tired old crud is trotted out time and time again by the msm and TPTB, why everyone has not seen through it all by now is quite beyond me!
    Gangs.GANGS...the biggest and nastiest all wear uniforms and quite frequently high vis jackets with no identifying numbers on them...surely the govt should outlaw such garb?

  4. XX The lads were all dressed in scruffy leather jackets and were making a lot of noise.XX

    You were at the Bulldog?

    XX Smoking Hot said...

    l note there is no mention of groups of youths being automatically labelled as gangs.XX

    This is akin to my contention of what is described as "violent" these days.

    "Violent speech"....WHAT? Volence is getting the steel toecap of your engineer boots into someones mouth, rearanging any inconvieniently placed teeth on the way. NOT calling some one a "bollock headed twat" at more than one decible above "normal conversation".

    They have done the same with "Terroriem". "Cat thief terrorises heighbourhood" for example.

    I think this change of meaning of "gang", is more than cloesley linked with the way society is turning, BEING turned, into such a pile of wet nellies, that a normal pub discussion from the 70s and 80s, would have them shitting their nickers and demanding the riot police turn up.

  5. The culture of whingeing excess is here to stay. Women can feel 'violated' by an insensitive remark (look up the original meaning of 'violated'). Minorities can be 'wounded' by perceiving that someone doesn't like them very much (ditto 'wounded').

    It's playground stuff ("Miss, he tried to murder me!") and to be treated with contempt.

  6. XX and to be treated with contempt. XX

    By any one of sound mind, certainly.

    I do not consider we are "Governed" (dictated to) by people of "sound mind" any more.

    In fact the "old" definition of section 47 assault included, "Any person of sound mind considers it to be a threat of assault". (Can not remember the EXACT wording, but the "sound mind" was MOST deffinately a deciding factor in all "perceived offences".)

    This baby appears to have been totally thrown out with the bath water.

  7. Can't disagree with that. 'Sound mind' implies 'reasonable' and 'proportionate', and those are concepts that have vanished.


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