Passing Laws vs. Enforcing Laws


There has been a series of attacks on homosexuals in a downtown area of Portland. It involves primarily straight-on-gay crime. There is a gang war going on in Northeast Portland. It involves primarily black-on-black crime.

Two days after the latest assault on two gay men (one of three gay bashing incidents this summer), leaders of the local gay community organized a town meeting to deal with the situation. In attendance were Portland’s liberal Democrat mayor, Sam Adams, and Portland’s police chief. The meeting resulted in increased citizen and police patrols. Oregon’s liberal Democrat Attorney General chimed in by establishing an online bias crime reporting system. In short a physical presence was increased and a focus on detection, pursuit and prosecution was increased.

Two days after a series of seven gang-related shooting (part of the sixty-five reported gang-related violent incidents) a meeting was called under the aegis of the Gang Violence Task Force. Neither Mayor Adams nor the police chief attended. Former Portland gang prevention coordinator, John Canda, who was fired by Mayor Adams complained bitterly about a disproportional response according to a recent article in the Oregonian:

Canda countered, saying the community is concerned but that the city needs leadership to address the problem. He said he was amazed to read on the mayor’s website his lengthy plan on how to address gay-bashing downtown [three incidents] with the creation of Q patrols, new citizen foot patrols. Canda said he didn’t remember any deaths [sixty-five gang related incidents] that prompted the mayor’s quick response to the bias crimes.” [Bracketed words supplied]

So why the difference? Is it because Mayor Adams is gay but not African American? It is because Mayor Adams frequents the Q district but largely shuns Northeast Portland? Well that might be part of it but there is something even more pernicious at work in the disparate response.

Portland’s liberals hate law enforcement. They believe that law enforcement is unnecessarily violent, biased and generally insensitive to politically correct policies. More importantly law enforcement is expensive and commands resources that might be “better” spent on Portland’s social programs.

To enforce Oregon’s criminal laws in Northeast Portland, Portland’s police might be accused of (gasp) “racial profiling.” After all the police will be focusing their attention on African American youths. Arrests of these gang members will reinforce the disproportionate ratio of African Americans detained. Prosecution, conviction and imprisonment of these gang members will similarly reinforce the disproportionate ratio of African Americans incarcerated. In politically correct Portland that just cannot happen.

But something must be done. Something that appears to express concern, suggests action and accomplishes nothing.

The preferred response by liberals is to pass another law rather than fund the enforcement of existing laws. And right on cue Mayor Adams issued his response to the increased gang violence in Northeast Portland. As the Oregonian reported:

“Later Friday, Adams released a draft of proposed changes to city code to get guns out of youth’s hand. Adams was to impose a special curfew for juveniles, create city crimes for failure to control access to a firearm by a child and failing to report theft or loss of a firearm, increase penalties for possession of a loaded firearm in a public space, and create special exclusions to keep people who have violated firearm laws from certain areas of the city.”

Wow. That will fix the problem. Pass another series of laws that gang bangers will ignore just like the current crop of laws they ignore. Pass another series of laws regulating guns while the Portland’s gang bangers already ignore at least a half dozen existing state and federal gun laws. That’ll work.

Absent from Adams’ proposals were hiring more police, increasing patrols, gang sweeps, zero gang tolerance, a crackdown on drug trafficking, or closing of establishments that serve as gang hangouts.

Oh, but didn’t Adams increase a police presence in the Q District? Sure, but there the perpetrators are straight white morons and no one is going to wince about profiling or other politically correct sensitivities there.

Adams’ proposals will join a long list of liberal responses that make them feel good without ever really doing anything. But then, you get what you deserve in an election.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 13 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Rupert in Springfield

    The whole subtext here is that in these incidents, the gay bashing, the gang shooting, the disparate response, the question of what to do – everybody knows whats going on but no one wants to say it.

    With the gay bashing this is a really heinous crime. Well all know this because let’s face it, homosexuals in terms of violent crime, are relatively innocent people. We simply do not see groups of gay men running around raping and pillaging, nor do we see lesbian thugs holding up banks. Thus when gangs run around attacking them we probably see a picture of the strong thugs attacking the weak innocents and there is something abhorrent in that. The picture is framed in our mind, thus when those thugs are apprehended people will tend to cry for their heads. There is not a lot of sympathy for those who are so stupid that they have nothing better to do than beat up others because they saw them kissing in the street and didn’t like it. In other words its a real easy bust for the police. No treading softly is needed.

    With the gang shootings, the first thing we think is that we are not terribly disturbed by it. Gang members shooting each other might not be such a bad thing. If it is, it certainly is not as heinous as beating up a completely innocent person. You wold think this would also be an easy, if less motivated, bust for the police. It is not. The reason being that gang members have a constituency, an advocacy group.

    How many times have we seen this? Gang member with a record so long that the standard measurement of an arm wont suffice is shot and killed during apprehension and immediately the inquiry begins. Crowds gather in the streets holding junior high graduation pictures of Tu Bing Da Bling (now posthumously referred to by his given name Bobbie Smarts, or little Bobbie) in his cap and gown. All acknowledge he had gone astray in latter years, but that the police shooting amounted to torture and possibly racial hatred and a return of the Klan. Heads must roll.

    Where is the community that demands gay bashers be boiled in oil then? No where.

    We all know this, but few admit to it. Obviously if a bystander gets shot in a gang shooting thats bad, but otherwise we really almost give tacit support to it. It is hard to imagine that in the back of their mind, the police dont feel the same way.

    More hiring of police wont do anything. Do we actually have such an incidence of gay bashing that police simply cannot handle all the cases? Of course not. Likewise additional officers would do nothing to obviate the clear perils in pursuing gang bangers described above.

    So are simply a sop to appear to do something while really doing nothing. Mr. Huss obviously is aware of this, as are we all. Public confidence in additional gun laws doing anything is near zero.

    Convene a summit to discuss exactly what oil to boil gay bashers in? That’s golden. Police and mayors love it because there is no downside. Even those who detest homosexuality never protest the pursuit of gay bashers, while the community as a whole would rightfully support strong legal action. Not so with gangs.

    Sociologically that is actually insane, but that is the reality. Mayor Adams, or indeed no politician has stepped up to the plate on this. Until we confront the dysfunctional reality by addressing the idiocy that leads people to defend gang bangers unless handled with kid gloves upon apprehension we will get no where. If any mayor wants to stand up and actually address that it would be constructive. However that would take guts and take someone who was willing to stand up and speak their mind and try and convince people of the position. That is not the nature of the political animal. Detecting the consensus and going with it in order to maintain electability is the order of the day. This is why the words “politician” and “leader” are two distinct things.

  • David Appell

    Rupert, is there any subject which you have not completely figured out?

    • valley p

      I think you mean is there any subject that he does not THINK he has not completely figured out. What he THINKS he has figured out is a lot more than what he has actually figured out.

      • jim karlock

        Like you two!

        Thanks
        JK

        • valley p

          Or maybe ALL of us.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      I wonder how small someone has to be that they are so threatened by someone giving their opinion that all they have to offer is comments like yours David?

      Well, I guess we have just seen you have to be as small as Dean and David are.

      You know David, if this is the best you can offer, maybe you should reconsider your dream of being a writer. A dream you all insist we should help pay for by the way.

      • valley p

        “Well, I guess we have just seen you have to be as small as Dean and David are.”

        You see Rupert, that is one of those odd Rupert syntaxes that will take a language forensics team to figure out. What does it mean?

  • David Appell

    Rupert, I am certainly not threated by your opinions.

    I’m just amazed that you have so many of them!

  • Anonymous

    David, is there any subject which you have not completely misunderstood and misrepresented?

    I suppose you have that left wing parasite inside you pushing that drive for social justice.
    Every issue you address it warps your perception and judgement making your opinions ludicrous.

    Yeah you too dean.

    • valley p

      Social justice warps my perspective? OK. Consider me warped then. Its better than being for injustice.

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