18 November 2007

Cleveland Police Chief's 'Gun Violence' Problem Is Really A Drug Problem

When I was in the software business, we often used an old axion -- "You can't perfume a pig." Essentially, if the product stinks, it still stinks and it won't quit stinking though you try to tell customers the problem lies elsewhere.

Last Friday, Cleveland's Chief of Police Michael McGrath wrote an open letter to the public (via a letter to the editor of The Plain Dealer newspaper). He cited "gun violence" in his city and the work that needs to be done to rid the streets of guns. He also cited his visit to a summit on gun violence in Chicago in the spring, sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Chief McGrath, you may not realize this, but you attended a summit sponsored by the Joyce Foundation. Your IACP is a body that largely exists on paper and was created for the sole agenda of using chiefs of police to legitimize the real goal of your benefactors -- the harsh regulation of civilian firearms ownership. The anti-gun Joyce Foundation has bought and paid for the organization in which you proudly claim membership. You are being used, or you are complicit in the Joyce Foundation's agenda. And your statement that the comunity is responsible for getting guns off the street misses a point. It is the out-of-control drug crime you have in your city that your various communities needs to address. Drugs are the root problem of your city's murder rate and shooting sprees. Why do you not address THAT issue, Sir?

Your gun buybacks make for impressive soundbytes and pretty pictures, but your legislative efforts and those by Cleveland Mayor Jackson are fatally flawed. You tell people not to arm themselves, and yet law-abiding people in Cleveland proper need firearms to protect themselves because your police department cannot -- and legally will not protect them. Mayor Jackson's irrational proposal, now in the form of a bill before the Ohio General Assembly, would prohibit lawful firearm possession by hunters in other parts of the state not affected by your inability to control crime. Chief McGrath. You would do well to quit being a politician, and remember what most street cops know -- it is not the gun that is the problem, it is the criminal holding it.

Read Chief McGrath's letter here. Thus endeth the lecture.

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