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Prevention An Alternative to Armed Reaction

March 27th, 2014

The recent reaction to Detroit home invasions has been armed residents.  Some call it stand up to the outlaw culture with force.  This is not new, defending your home is an American tradition.  The rash of criminal attacks has placed much of the public cheering on the armed defense.  The advocacy has lend itself to some public officials encouraging such defense as the best solution.  It is understandable to say that citizens have right to defend themselves.  It is an American entitlement, right according to a large movement.  I would not dispute any notion that it is not the right of the citizenry.  The cause for arming, shooting invaders indicates the failure of public safety in Detroit.  It should not be the responsibility for any citizen to fight crime in this way.  Defending the public is the job of those who are charged by law, professionals.  There are a myriad of reasons why the public should not be the first responders in crime, fire, ambulance, or disasters.  The citizens can and should support all the different challenges associated with public safety.  Detroit is faced with the omnipresence of public demise of service.  Police and fire services are essential, should not be subjected to the budgetary cuts heaped on them that have resulted in major reductions.  In a bankruptcy, one that marks the first time a city the size of Detroit is literally fighting for its life, fiscal realities are critical.  Where many neighborhoods, sections of Detroit city-wide find itself is a surreal war.  Fire fights, urban ruins, almost zombie movie like behavior invading households.  What is Going On?

A reduced police, fire force is a reality that dictates limited responses for public safety.  Statistical reports, news conferences, politicians promises have taken its toll on the citizens.  Now, in the midst of new plans, reformation of downtown, all has drawn lines that resemble a divide within the traditional divide of decades.  Race is a factor historically.  Books, academic reports, media expose’, government task forces repeat each decade with shadows of census tracks for evidence based data.  It is race, economics, education, public health, drug addiction and extreme poverty all the social sciences intersecting into the maze of confusion.  With surrounding suburbs and a distant out state solidarity that treats Detroit as a separate unequal foreign nation it is of any true finding that things are hardly improving.  So, today, as if were at the infamous Alamo with Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie, residents begin to combat the zombies, miscreatants with real bullets.  Short on anything but a righteous justification with strong racial winds blowing that sets the tone for a future big shoot out at the OK Corral.  Is armed defense the best answer?  Body counts, applause for the blackest big city in America shooting back is propaganda for a nation that finds armed conflict a dry practice run. 

The fallout of armed defense within justifiable terms does not address the trauma in the aftermath.  Critics will slam back neither would dead homeowners avoid trauma.  True that.  The scary reality is how much more the shooting season makes Detroit that dark hole of uncivil behavior only controlled by armed citizens.  This war like atmosphere makes our living experience nothing less than war like as if we lived in an underdeveloped place somewhere far away from American democracy.  Why can’t we prevent this madness without the stand down of armed conflict?  Children, in homes, outside of homes will find the white chalk outlines not hop scotch but the outline of dead bodies in their consciousness, dreams.  Prevention is an alternative that would not have citizens shooting in their home defense.  A public safety force that employs a professional answer that again, prevents crime. 

There is no debate about the rights of gun owners.  It is a fact in the United States that citizens have guns, rights to own, use these guns.  Question?  How will shooting the invaders impact the quality of life.  Better question is how to we change the communities that are entangled with outlaws, home invaders, transgressors and crime?  The rallying of political leaders claiming shooting defenses will mean what in wrongful deaths?  Prevention is an effort that heads off problems in housing, employment, education and other means to restructure communities.  I must concede that all of the so-called outlaws who are killed will not come to harm anyone again.  The action of violence will continue if we as society are not willing to ask questions as to why so many people in distressed environments are on the attack?  A balance not addressed is the fact of violence by folks not in urban communities.  Many of the shootings in the past three years has been by folks not in urban centers.  Point is that violence is not exclusive to urban communities.  I wonder at times in discussions with psychologist if we are not seeing another form of suicide by many of the people in home invasions.  Why would any sane person attempt to break into a place with residents inside possibly armed? 

In better days, Detroit knew nothing of such bizzard behavior.  Jobs, employment for adults and youth does matter.  We can work with public safety, new technology to find a better defenses that are not causing citizens to become armed forces.  Is that what we really want for our city?  The procteced homelands must give consideration to those in poverty.  Understand that is where the armies of transgressors are rooted.  Lately, public education has been finding itself on the decline.  Ignorant, poor, uncivil,  and resentment are the qualities that give twisted perceptions for the many transgressors that feel not part of the American family. Consider prevention, work with public safety professionals, rethink the disparity within the context of middle class and lower class communities.  Some have suggested that the middle class has already disappeared?  Prevention is recreational centers, prevention is art programs, prevention  means young people in school.  Prevention is an alternative to armed defense.  Less costly, if applied wisely the return is more positive for our city, state and nation.