Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Making Our Streets Safer

An excerpt from PopulistAmerica.com

7 ways to make your neighborhood safer

September 3, 2006
by Harry Browne

America's crime rate has risen almost continually for the past 35 years. Very little of the great plans to reverse the trend -- whether mandatory sentences or more cops on the beat -- has helped to relieve the worst crime wave in the nation's history. And recent drops in crime rates still leave us far less safe than we were 35 years ago.

Is the situation hopeless?

No. America could be much safer -- quickly and dramatically safer.

Cutting crime

Here are seven ways to bring peace and security to your neighborhood:

1. End the war on drugs -- to release from prison the marijuana smokers and other non-violent drug offenders serving 15-year and 50-year sentences. They fill up the prisons -- allowing the murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals to go free on early release or plea-bargains, free to terrorize your neighborhood.

2. End the war on drugs -- to free up law-enforcement resources to fight violent crime instead of chasing people who may harm themselves but are no threat to us.

3. End the war on drugs -- to end gang warfare. The drug war has taken the drug business away from pharmaceutical companies and turned it over to gangs operating in a huge black market -- providing untold riches for anyone who will flout the law. This money finances criminal gangs who would be powerless without drug money. Legal drug, tobacco or alcohol companies don't conduct gang warfare and drive-by shootings but criminal gangs will do anything to secure a rich monopoly territory.

4. End the war on drugs -- to reduce police corruption. With so much black-market money and confiscated drugs floating around, it's too easy for weak policemen to become rich by breaking the law themselves.

5. End the war on drugs -- to make our schools safer. Brewers and distillers don't recruit children to run drugs or hook other kids on liquor -- nor do they give them guns to take to school. Neither would legal drug companies. Before the war on drugs, the worst schools in Los Angeles were safer than L.A.'s best schools are today.

6. End the war on drugs -- to end muggings and burglaries by addicts. If Prohibition were ended, illegal drugs selling today for $100 might cost as little as $2, because legal competition -- with no need to circumvent the law -- would drive drug prices down. So addicts would no longer need to steal to support their habits.

7. End the war on drugs -- to bring back respect for decent behavior. Because nothing can win the Drug War, it is constantly escalated -- destroying more of your liberties with asset forfeiture laws, drug-testing, snooping in your bank account, monitoring your e-mail, racial profiling, and other invasions of the liberty of all Americans. This has caused too many people to disrespect the law itself -- feeling that any kind of law-breaking, victimless or violent, is justified.