Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Another 50 dead in Orlando. Which city is next?

13 June 2016

USA

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Although my mind is still fully occupied by the imminent death of my friend Joan, the news about the Orlando mass shooting did not escape me. Another 50 dead and nothing will change. That’s the worst part of it all. The Democrats will blame the Republicans (eg, gun control, hatred towards gays and lesbians) and the Republicans will blame the Democrats (eg, immigrants, Islam, terrorism). The outcome is entirely predictable: nothing will change.

Even if an entire city, the entire Democratic or the Republican Party would be wiped out by gun violence nothing would happen, nothing would change. A lot of crocodile tears for a week and then back to business as usual. The subsequent feeling of insecurity will only result in even more gun sales. If I would believe in a conspiracy theory then the NRA would be my main suspect.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. I suppose that is how civilised countries view the American (lack of) gun control: utterly insane. However, no U.S. politician is willing to break the vicious and relentless cycle of gun related killings, fear, more gun sales, and more gun related killings.

The lunacy of the current situation is well illustrated by a new American initiative in which criminals are rewarded for not killing people. Huffington Post: In 2015, The Atlantic’s CityLab and The Washington Post reported on the city of Richmond’s unusual approach to crime reduction.

HP: “The initiative, part of the city’s Office of Neighborhood Safety, identifies young male residents, aged 13 to 25, who are most at risk of killing or being killed. The San Francisco Bay Area city then pays them a monthly stipend, ranging from $300 to $1,000, over the course of 18 months in exchange for sticking with an individualized “life map” of positive behavior — such as GED programs, anger management therapy and job training. The better they do, the more they are paid”.

HP: “The results of Richmond’s initiative, which started almost eight years ago, have been encouraging. The Washington Post reports that of the 68 participants since 2010, 54 have not been charged with another gun-related crime — and only four have died. Some of the participants have gone on to attend a four-year college. Additionally, the city’s murder rate has declined 77 percent in recent years, from 47 deaths in 2007 to 11 deaths last year”.

One could argue that the Richmond initiative is a perfect example of Capitalism in which the private wealth of citizens is able to secure private security and even public safety. I have never ever seen Capitalism that way. I have always believed in its market based concept, although not in the raw and uncivilised American version of Capitalism.

This blog’s song is taken from the legendary 1973 Desperado album by The Eagles. Rolling Stone (2016): “The Eagles’ second album was ambitiously thematic – an imagined Western that compared the rock & roll lifestyle of Seventies L.A. to the Wild West”.

It seems to me that America is more than ever living in a reprise of their Wild West. Nothing and nobody will take that away from them. Until death do us part.

R.I.P. Glenn Frey (1948-2016). Farewell Joan.

The Eagles – Doolin-Dalton (1973) – artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Well, the towns lay out across the dusty plains

Like graveyards filled with tombstones, waitin’ for the names

And a man could use his back, or use his brains

But some just went stir crazy, Lord, ’cause nothin’ ever changed

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