There is abundant evidence that our cities are safer with guns. One of the most remarkable examples of this simple maxim is Washington, D.C.Thirty-two years ago, lawmakers banned gun ownership in D.C. Over the next three decades, the murder rate in the nation’s capital skyrocketed 134 percent. Yet in the two years since a federal appeals court overturned the D.C. ban of handguns, the incidence of gun violence has dropped dramatically.
The vote in the House of Representatives yesterday to extend hate crimes from a victim’s race, color, religion or national origin to include sexual orientation was a matter of common decency. In the end, 131 Republicans voted against it, while 44 supported it.
When it comes to fairness and equality and gay rights, the train has left the station. Ending discrimination, preventing bias when hiring and firing, allowing gay couples to live open and free lives, extending full benefits to those couples, and, yes, gay marriage is the future. Tolerance and acceptance is becoming the norm, not the exception.
I never agree with Bob Herbert, the New York Times columnist. But on this one, he may have a point. He wrote a column today about the plight of Cameron Todd Willingham, a Texan who was put to death for the crime of starting a fire in his own home, a fire that killed his three small children.
He was charged with murder, and refused to take a plea deal because he insisted that he was innocent. It turned out that he was right and the folks who had him executed him were wrong. Later evidence proved to exonerate him, but that exoneration did little good. He is still dead.
When Officer Crowley told the president, “Let’s talk about it over a beer,” he was inviting Mr. Obama and Mr. Gates into a longstanding Irish tradition of fostering better relationships over some libations.
The Irish are friendlier when they have a couple of beers in them. It loosens them up a bit and gives them a chance to relax their inhibitions.
Drinking at the local pub is, of course, an Irish tradition stretching back generations. Back in the old country, it was at the local pub where information was shared, music was played, stories told, politics discussed.
These numbers are only going to get more out of control as the U.S. further arms the U.S.-Mexico border with Iraq- and Afghanistan-style military armaments.
Their budgets in crisis, governors, legislators, and prison officials across the nation are making or considering policy changes that will likely remove tens of thousands of offenders from prisons and parole supervision.
— David Crary, Prisons Feeling Budget Crunch. A.P.
So, common cents may accomplish what common sense could not. Alternatives to prison always made sense, fiscally and as a correctional approach; but it took the current budget stress to force public officials to consider other, better ways to deal with many of the people convicted of crimes.
Mayor James Michael Curley ruled Boston from his prison cell. Wilbur Mills had his Ways and Means with stripper Fannie Fox. And James Traficant cried “Beam me up, Mr. Speaker” all the way to his federal prison cell.
But we’ve never seen any scoundrel quite like Rod Blagojevich.
Once clearly on the national security radar, Mexico border security has nearly disappeared from our sights. Mexico is facing its own battle within — and they're not winning their internal struggle.
Today’s blurb (A21) reports that Richard Cooey, convicted of raping and killing two women in 1986, unsuccessfully appealed his execution to the United Sates Supreme Court. His reason: he is 5-foot-6 and weighs 267 pounds, so a lethal injection under Ohio law might cause Cooey agonizing pain, in violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
What? That's not what the show’s characters are about? They're heroes, not thugs, you say? The program is a look at the brutal world of crime-fighting on the mean streets, you say?
We're both right. It is a jungle out there. Except that while celebrating the exploits of our so-called protectors, it glosses over their willingness to run roughshod over our fundamental rights in their zealous pursuit of truth, justice and the American way.