Thursday, August 9, 2012

What A Concept! Go After Criminals!

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has been working hard to make himself popular with gun control advocates by the use of a "stop-and-frisk" program that involves stopping people at random and doing a patdown for weapons.  The results have been predictable: 80% of those stopped and frisked were black or Hispanic, and while 10% of those stopped were charged with crimes, overwhelmingly, they weren't weapons violations.  Apparently, only about 0.1% of those stopped had a gun.  This suggests, at a minimum, an inefficient use of police resources.  (I would point out the little problem of the Fourth Amendment, but we know how gun control advocates feel about those pesky pieces of text in the Bill of Rights.)

San Francisco, being a progressive haven, was considering the same semi-fascist approach, but has now backed down.  From the August 7, 2012 San Francisco Chronicle:
Mayor Ed Lee has dropped plans to bring New York City's controversial stop-and-frisk policy to San Francisco and instead will rely on targeted police enforcement, crime-tracking software and increased involvement by ministers to combat the gun violence that has plagued some of the city's most crime-ridden neighborhoods.
Police Chief Greg Suhr said the department instead will increase its presence in the city's southeast sector and use a zero-tolerance approach for violations of probation, parole or the city's gang injunction.
Read more:
Wow...what a concept: focus the energy of police on the relatively small percentage of the population that has already been convicted of a crime (hence probation or parole) or who is identifiably associated with criminal enterprises (the gang injunction).  This is not only a more efficient use of resources, but it actually conforms to the Constitution.  Unfortunately, progressives have long had a problem with invidious distinctions--anything that causes one group to feel bad about themselves, regardless of the accuracy of those distinctions.


  1. ... This suggests, at a minimum, an inefficient use of police resources. ...

    This doesn't follow. It is better to deter crime than make arrests after crimes have occurred. If the stop and frisk policy has deterred gun crimes this is a benefit that isn't reflected in arrest statistics.

  2. There could certainly be some deterrent effect from stop and frisk. So would requiring everyone to walk the streets naked. So would TV cameras in everyone's homes, monitored by the police.