When it comes to increasing the safety of everyone there are often two different debates going on…both of which have great support for their own arguments. But in the end nothing seems to change all that much other than more arguing and debate. While this is going on, there are others who are coming up with some creative solutions to do what everyone wants…more safety.
There was an article written in WIRED magazine, “One Great Way to Reduce Gun Violence? A Whole Lot of Data,” that shared some interesting insights and alternatives I think are worth sharing. While the article focuses on the data of gun ownership and deaths, I want to go beyond this and focus on what some cities are doing that I think are some creative alternatives that are addressing the issue without taking away gun owners’ rights and the 2nd Amendment.
Here are two of the examples they discussed in the article…
FIRST…the crime rate in Chicago is horrendous. There are more illegal guns in Chicago than in New York and Los Angeles combined! But based on the data and where these were most likely to appear, they created a “school-based program” called BECOMING A MAN. This was offered to students in the 7th through 10th grades with the purpose of showing them that becoming a man didn’t involve developing a reputation of toughness, which is what currently exists in some of the inner city neighborhoods.
The University of Chicago collected a large amount of data over the past 2 years to demonstrate that this program showed participants were 50% less likely to be arrested for a violent crime than students in the control group. And these students graduated at a rate of 19% higher than their control group peers. These were significant numbers and data that showed there are other ways to approach gun violence than just restricting the rights of gun owners.
There were also side benefits which included additional assistance in identifying gun shops where most of the illegal guns came from that entered the market. There are separate initiatives to help reduce this at the same time by analyzing all the data that was collected.
SECOND…in Milwaukee, Wisconsin they also focused on prevention strategies to help improve safety. Here they noticed that about 10% of the murders happened in one of the city’s bars. After seeing this type of data, they passed a rule that said if a bar has had 3 crime related calls, the bar was required to install security cameras that could be monitored.
By making this rule and putting these cameras in place, the city found that homicides at or near these bars dropped off significantly in the years the years that followed. This was a creative way to help reduce violence and increase safety in their neighborhoods without restricting the rights of gun owners.
I really support and appreciate those inside our cities that can look beyond the ongoing debates on gun control and focus on creative ways to make all citizens safer. These are just two examples of many other things being done around the country to help everyone be safer. And when we can come up with these types of creative solutions we can help ourselves…Be Prepared. Be Smart. Be Safe.