CQ Press does crime rankings every year for cities in the United States. They work with the numbers for murder, rape, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft and create a picture of rankings of cities and metropolitan areas. Here is a link to the home page for this ranking--please look at it if you want to see method and analysis. This year, Kansas City ranks 15th from the top in crime. Check out this slide show for the full dirty 15--hat tip to Alonzo Washington for this link. At this time, over 100 murders have been committed in Kansas City.
The murder rate is particularly worrisome. Kansas City is one of the few cities to have an increase in the murder rate. (Murder rate is described as the number of murders per number of people.) What can be done to reduce the number of murders in our fair city? I am not a miracle worker, full of fantastic ideas, but here are a few thoughts.
Teach our children the value of life. Teach children alternatives to resolve conflict besides violence. This is hard, because the culture has become numb to death. Wars, abortion, the death penalty, and violent media have all contributed to making an environment where it seems like violence can be a solution to a problem or conflict. We have also become a people (all of us Americans) that feels entitled and when we don't get what we want, sometimes we react violently. So this is a tough road to climb, because we will be working against the sinful part of humanity. But it must be done.
Encourage witnesses to come forward and tell the police about crime. And we must use any means necessary to succeed at this. Crime stoppers tips, tweets, and emails. Rewards. Real protection for them when needed. Crusaders like Alonzo Washington. The faith community must stand up, particularly in the most affected areas. The time to sit by and watch is passing. The time to act is here.
Enforce the law when it comes to smaller crimes. Put career criminals in jail and keep them there. Treat drug addicts for their addictions, confine them if they won't take treatment. Take the political correctness handcuffs off police and let them do their jobs in all areas of the city, regardless of the officer's race and/or the miscreant's race.
There are subcultures to our majority cultures that glorify crime and violence. They must be shunned. I think there will always be a very few sociopaths--people without conscience--among us who will commit crime. They are people who love themselves, and things and use other people to their ends. Shun them, don't glorify them. And when they get caught committing a crime, confine them. Reinforce the greater culture against such people. People who are raised with a mom and a dad, people who are educated, people who are valued for who they are by the culture around them, are people who will not yield to the temptations of the sociopath. They will not become tools of evil. We are falling down as a society in this area. More and more young people think it's cool to be criminal. The family, the church, the school, must present an alternative to criminal thinking. Again, a tough road, but evil must be challenged.
Anytime a life is taken by another it is a sin. I always think of the scene between the Lord and Cain as recorded in Genesis 4. Cain had taken his brother Abel to a field and killed him. When the Lord asked Cain where Abel was, Cain snippily replied, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?" The Lord responded with sorrow and anger, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground." (NIV)
The blood of over 100 people cries from the ground in Kansas City. And we are our brothers' keepers. Don't get numb. Feel the hurt. And then, let's get busy.
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