The Other McCain

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‘Running Gun Battle’ in Florida Town Leaves One Dead, Four Wounded

Posted on | January 31, 2022 | Comments Off on ‘Running Gun Battle’ in Florida Town Leaves One Dead, Four Wounded

Polk County, Florida, is in the central part of the state, between Tampa to the west and Orlando to the northeast. It used to be a mostly rural area, with lots of orange groves and a cheap place to retire, but the population has grown to more than 700,000, adding about 250,000 new residents in just the past 20 years. Some of the new residents of Polk County are thugs, and they had some of their typical thug fun over the weekend:

A 20-year-old man was killed and four others were hospitalized in critical condition from an exchange of gunfire between two cars in unincorporated Winter Haven early Sunday morning, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
The deceased man and three of the injured — a 26-year-old man, a 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy — had left a bowling alley in the same car around 1:13 a.m., Judd said.
As the group drove north on Buckeye Loop Road toward Martin Luther King Blvd on the outskirts of Winter Haven, a dark sedan that followed them pulled up beside the car and the two vehicles engaged in a “running gun battle,” Judd said at a news conference Sunday.
“If you look very close, you’ll see some of these bullets are entrance holes into this vehicle, some are exit holes from the vehicle, so the suspects were shooting back and forth at each other,” Judd said.
The shootout was witnessed from a distance by friends of an individual in the first car, who Judd said reported seeing the vehicle ease over to the side of the road before it came to rest.
“And what we find (in the car) is not good. What we found was a 20-year-old young man, still a kid, dead,” Judd said. “He was shot eight times. Did you hear what I said? He was shot eight times.”
Judd said that among the other occupants, the 26-year-old was shot eight times, the 17-year-old was shot twice and the other 20-year-old man was shot between seven and eight times. The man who was shot and killed was the front-seat passenger of the car with an “AR strapped around him” and “a gun in his waist,” Judd said.
Though the shooting occurred in unincorporated Winter Haven, Judd said that the Winter Haven Police Department offered a “remarkable amount” of assistance to Polk County deputies at the scene.
The dark-colored car continued to drive west on Martin Luther King Blvd before it dropped off a 21-year-old man at Winter Haven Hospital who had also been shot and is now in critical condition there, Judd said.
Judd said there were so many bullet holes and shell casings to count that deputies were initially unable to report exactly how many shots were fired between both cars.
“We’re still counting bullet holes,” Judd said.

Watch the video here:


You’ll see that Sheriff Judd makes the case that Polk County has a low crime rate, and that this incident was unusual. What apparently happened was that some thugs were dealing dope and got into a feud with rival thugs. And the sheriff makes the point that, while a lot of people talk about marijuana as a “low-level, non-violent crime,” there is an awful lot of violence surrounding the dope trade, because it’s run by thugs.

I’m reminded of a scene in P.J. O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores, where O’Rourke did a ride-along with D.C. police in an area afflicted by the 1990s crack epidemic. O’Rourke tried to offer a libertarian critique of the War on Drugs, suggesting legalization was the solution, to which the police officer replied, “Air should be illegal, if these people breathe it.”

What that cop was trying to express was an idea that I’ve often phrased a bit more politely: Crime is a people problem. It’s not a drug problem. It’s not a poverty problem or a gun problem. Crime is caused by bad people — criminals — who will commit crime more or less continuously unless they’re put behind bars. The only way you can reduce crime is to identify the criminals, arrest them, and send them to prison. It doesn’t really matter what they’re arrested and convicted for — burglary, assault, drug possession, car theft, whatever — what matters is that you convict them of something, and get them off the streets. Put enough thugs in prison, and the would-be thugs on the street will be discouraged from following in their footsteps. Otherwise, they’ll just kill each other.

“Self-cleaning oven,” they call that in Chicago.



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