Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hooray for the War on Terror

By Cassandra D

When things start to go bad for President Bush, they really go bad. Now he and the War on Terror are being blamed (rightfully so?) for the wave of gun violence that is spreading across our country.

"Explanations vary -- from softer gun laws to budget cuts, fewer police on the beat, more people in poverty and simple complacency. But many blame a national preoccupation with potential threats from abroad.

"'Since September 11, much of the resources that were distributed to crime-fighting efforts in Boston and other major cities were redistributed to fight terrorism,' said Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University.

"'The feds had supported after-school programs. They had supported placing more police officers in crime hot spots in major cities. These federal efforts were reduced,'" he said.

[...]

"'The Bush administration has scaled back funding for federal cops program,' said Jens Ludwig, a criminal justice expert at Georgetown University. 'From 1993 to 2000 we saw an impressive run-up in the number of law enforcement people patrolling against crime. That has really slowed down.'

[...]

"From the expiration of a federal ban on assault rifles to tougher restrictions on databases that identify gun owners, gun laws have weakened in the past five years, said Daniel Vice, an attorney with the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence."

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