On Wednesday, September 19, K-9 Plymouth Township Officer Brad Fox was laid to rest after being shot to death by a career criminal who should have been sitting in a jail cell. He was killed by Andrew Charles Thomas a former key suspect in the 1999 disappearance of his fiance and was currently on probation for theft and had assaulted a cop in his past.
As a former paramedic who worked closely with cops, I have insight into what daily life is like for them.
I can say with 100% complete conviction that because of bleeding heart liberals, our cops, our friends, and our family, are not safe. Liberals care more about the rights of criminals than they do victims. It is disgraceful. Liberals are soft on crime - believing this will reform criminals.
It doesn't work. Case in point: When cops arrest criminals from Philadelphia - they freak out because they were caught in Montgomery County and know they will be going to jail. Montgomery County is a bit tougher on criminals (though still not as tough as they could be). Criminals admit by their own voice, they are more likely to commit a crime in an area that is soft on crime.
Every cop killed in the last 10 years has been killed by a career criminal.
On November 17, 2006 - Sgt. Timothy Simpson was killed by William Allan Foster, a junkie, career thief from Levittown. In August of 2006, 3 months prior to Simpson's murder, our own Magisterial District Justice Robert Gaffney of New Britain allowed bail after Foster's Aug. 7 arrest of assaulting a police officer.
What's the solution?
1. Justice for the Victim
The focus of the criminal justice system should be to obtain justice for the victim. Our current criminal justice system has increasingly viewed the crime's victim as irrelevant to the justice process. When it comes to sentencing, the first goal should be to make the victim whole while holding the criminal responsible for his deed. The criminal justice system should place emphasis on restitution. Other appropriate goals, such as deterrence and punishment, are secondary.
2. End Prohibition
Our criminal justice system fails to render justice to the victims of crime because it spends an inordinate amount of resources on "crimes" that do not directly harm the person or property of another. More than 350,000 Americans are in jail today for victimless (or consensual) crimes, such as gambling, drug use, etc. An additional 1.5 million are on parole or probation.
Of all our current law enforcement strategies, none has failed as dramatically as the "War on Drugs." By attempting to solve America's drug problem through criminal law, the government is repeating the same mistakes made 75 years ago during alcohol prohibition.
Just as alcohol prohibition gave America Al Capone, the mafia, drug prohibition has brought us the Crips, Bloods and Jamaican Posses. At the same time, drug prohibition has failed miserably in its primary goal -- curbing drug use.
The correlation between drug prohibition and violence can no longer be doubted. America saw its highest murder rate during the years of prohibition. In the years after prohibition's repeal, the murder rate steadily declined. Only after the beginning of the crackdown on illegal drugs in the 1960's did murder rates begin to edge back up. Today the murder rate again resembles the prohibition years.
While other factors, such as the breakdown of the family and the rise of the welfare state (and Obama is increasing the welfare state drastically) contributed to this rise, a vast body of evidence links the "war on drugs" to increased violence and crime.
3. Get Tough on Real Crime
In part because of the diversion of resources to fight victimless crime (see above), real criminals increasingly escape punishment. People should be held accountable for their actions. This includes immediate and just punishment for those guilty of committing violence against others.
When a Judge imposes a sentence, the criminal should serve that sentence. Parole and other forms of early release should be severely restricted. Virtually every study on the subject has shown that parolees have a high recidivism rate. Every cop killed in the last 10 years has been at the hand of a career criminal out on parole.
One deeply disturbing trend is the increasing tendency to excuse individuals from responsibility for the crimes they commit. But isn't this trending in every area of life? Even Obama continues to blame Bush for his failing policies, almost four years later!
4. Protect the Right to Self-Defense
Americans have always viewed the right to self-defense as fundamental. Our Founding Fathers enshrined it in the Second Amendment. Yet, now, not only is the government failing to protect us, but it seems increasingly determined to disarm law-abiding Americans, thereby preventing them from exercising this fundamental right. Not only is the right of private citizens to keep and bear arms protected by the Constitution, it reduces crime and victimization.
While opponents (mainly Democrats) of the right to keep and bear arms frequently cite studies showing that individuals are more likely to kill an innocent person than protect a potential victim, those studies are seriously flawed. In reality, as many as 75 lives are protected by a gun for every life lost to a gun.
Moreover defense with guns is one of the safest responses to violent crime. Defense with a gun results in fewer injuries to the defender (defender injured 17.4% of the time) than resisting with less powerful weapons (knives, 40.3%; other weapons, 22%; hands, 50.8%, and evasion, 34.9%). In fact, defense with a gun is safer than not resisting at all (24.7%). This is particularly important to women, the elderly, the handicapped, the weak and infirm, those most vulnerable to an attacker.
5. Address the Root Causes of Crime
The root causes of crime are no mystery. As Peter Greenwood, a criminal justice expert with the RAND Corporation explains, "We know the risk factors for violence and what creates it. Kids being born into poverty, to parents who can't take care of them." It is our current social welfare system that has created the risk factors that breed crime.
Nearly all social scientists agree that there is a direct link between out-of-wedlock births and social problems such as crime and drug abuse. For example, one study found that children raised in single-parent families are one-third more likely to exhibit anti-social behavior. Another study found that, holding other variables constant, black children from single-parent households were twice as likely to commit crimes as black children from a family where the father was present. With the rate of out-of-wedlock births now over 22% among white women and over 60% among blacks, increased violence and crime is virtually inevitable.
At the same time, social scientists link the skyrocketing rate of out-of-wedlock births with the availability of welfare. The Department of Health and Human Services found that a 50% increase in welfare benefits led to a 43% increase in out-of-wedlock births. A second study found that an increase in welfare benefits of $200 per month per family increased the rate of out-of-wedlock births among teenagers by 150%.
Consider another factor: government schools that fail to provide young people with the skills to earn a living in today's world. The statistics on American education are bad enough overall, but in America's inner cities public schools have failed completely -- dropout rates exceed 50% and those who complete school are often unable to read their diplomas. The public schools are "monopoly bureaucratic institutions, politically controlled in districts so large as to be virtually immune from political pressure, certainly pressure from uneducated and unorganized parents."
While wealthy and middle-class parents can escape failed school systems, either moving to better school districts or sending their children to private schools, poor parents and their children are left behind. Only by guaranteeing every parent the right to choose their child's school can we improve the opportunity for inner city children to get the education and skills necessary to have a future besides crime. - This means Vouchers.
But, even with adequate skills, poor inner city youth often cannot find work because government tax and regulatory policies have so limited the opportunity to start a business or create jobs. We must offer inner city youths hope for a future other than crime. This means repealing regulations and taxes that stand in the way of entrepreneurs who seek to open new businesses or expand existing ones.
Poverty, poor family structure, and lack of educational opportunity are not excuses for crime. But, we would be hopelessly naive to believe that we can solve our crime problem unless we act to alleviate those conditions.
No one denies that crime is a serious problem in America today. But, rather than protecting us and keeping our streets safe, current government policies are the primary reason the crime problem is growing worse.
The government is failing to protect us from violent criminals, while squandering the taxpayers' money on drug prohibition and similar activities. The government pushes victims aside in the criminal justice system, and threatens to create new victims by disarming law-abiding Americans. Meanwhile government welfare, education, tax and regulatory policies create a breeding ground for new criminals.
It is a recipe for disaster.
And that is why I feel a vote for Obama is a vote for increasing violence.
In closing - this weekend the Philadelphia Hero Thrill Show will be on Saturday, September 22 from 12-5 pm. Tickets are $10 per person or $25 for more than 2 people.
The money they make goes to the children of fallen police officers, like the incredible K9 Officer Brad Fox, who survived two tours in Iraq but was slain by a career criminal.