The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Our Obtuse Media and ‘Gun Violence’

Posted on | February 19, 2024 | Comments Off on Our Obtuse Media and ‘Gun Violence’

2 a: lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect: INSENSITIVE, STUPID
He is too obtuse to take a hint.
b: difficult to comprehend: not clear or precise in thought or expression

How can it be that so many things which are obvious to any reasonably intelligent and well-informed person are seemingly beyond the comprehension of most journalists? That question occurred to me when I saw this headline from NPR:

Kansas City shooting raises questions
about how kids are getting a hold of guns

How obtuse can one possibly be? The use of the word “kids” in this headline is misleading, and perhaps deliberately so. True, two minors have been charged in the Kansas City shooting — teenagers, whose ages have not been publicly announced by authorities who have charged them with illegally carrying firearms and resisting arrest. But these suspects aren’t really “kids,” as most people would use that terms. They’re criminals, most likely gang members, of a type rather common in urban America. There were many actual kids — that is to say, children — at the Super Bowl victory parade who weren’t carrying pistols, unlike the teenage gang-bangers who shot wildly into the crowd in downtown Kansas City. To conflate innocent “kids” with these juvenile members of the criminal underclass is to obscure the basic categorical issues involved.

Kansas City Shooting, Teens Seen
on Camera Arguing Before Shots Fired

It’s what they call a “beef.” Young black males swaggering around with pistols, ready and willing to shoot anybody who “disses” them, so that every argument is at risk of suddenly turning into a shootout.

There is a very specific pattern of behavior involved here, and certainly this pattern does not implicate all “kids” as being equally at risk. As I said last week (“Kansas City Fans Celebrate Super Bowl Victory With Parade and Mass Shooting”), this behavioral pattern is familiar to anyone who pays attention to crime news:

[M]y hunch was this was some kind of beef between teenage gangbangers, likely committed with stolen pistols featuring extended magazines and a “Glock switch” for automatic fire: “Pray and spray” mode, which explains the high ratio of wounded victims to fatalities. Your teenage gangbanger doesn’t spend any time at the target range, OK? He doesn’t aim his weapon, he just points it in the general direction of whoever he’s beefing with.;

THESE “KIDS” ARE STEALING FIREARMS! Excuse me for using boldface caps-lock mode, but the folks at NPR don’t seem to be paying attention, and are thus misleading their audience about what’s really going on in urban American culture. There is a reason, after all, that burglaries have become so commonplace in many communities. These “kids” know that a lot of people keep their guns in their vehicles, so they do smash-and-grab vehicle burglaries with the idea that, among the other valuables to be thus obtained, a firearm might be part of the haul. Stolen guns are the preferred weapon of the gangsters who deal drugs, because these weapons cannot easily be traced back to them and, as basic economics suggests, the demand calls into existence a supply.

This is what Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd is getting at when he mocks those who speak of “low-level non-violent crime” in reference to drug dealing and property crimes — there is a connection between these different types of crimes. If you start showing leniency toward drug offenders, burglars and thieves, you will sooner or later experience a rise in violent crime. There are patterns in human behavior, and veteran law enforcement officers like Sheriff Judd see this every day.

As for me, I’m just a guy with a blog, but I could easily link a hundred headlines about shootings like this one in Kansas City that started with a “beef” between young black males. Such shootings happen more or less routinely at shopping malls, on public transportation, in parks, at birthday parties, at funerals, etc. All you have to do is pay attention to the news, and the pattern is easily apparent. Why is it, then, that the professional journalists at NPR are so obtuse about this subject?


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