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Some speculative truth about Canada’s new gun crime - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 20 2012 | The Globe and Mail | James Sheptycki.

So we have a poisonous mixture: A pistolized culture of masculinity. A socio-economic structure of exclusion. An illicit opportunity structure in the market for illegal drugs. And rising levels of gun availability on the streets.

There is probably even more to it than that, since society’s reactions are often one-sided. Some people advocate cracking down on the drug economy. Some advocate drug decriminalization. Some say banning guns or bullets will work, or that we need stiffer penalties. Others want better social programs.

These policy struggles, playing out in the context of fiscal crisis, are most often discussed in hyper-masculine terms. Looking for the cheapest bang for the buck, we end up “combatting gangs” or “fighting crime” while going to “war on drugs.”

These amount to attempts at repression. But repression does not solve problems; it displaces them. This suggests that the solutions become part of the problem.

This issue is extremely complex, but these speculations are the start of a plausible explanation to what has been taking place in Canada for some time. But they are only a start.

There is a demand for quick and easy solutions, and the solutions had better be cost-effective and inexpensive. There is impatience when the response from academic criminologists is for further research.

But in the face of such complexity, and to test our understanding, Canadians need to demand evidence-based policymaking. Rationality and reason are required, as well as political will. Gut instinct is no good.
criminality  drugs  economy  evidence_based  guns  gut_feelings  illicit  masculinity  policymaking  political_will  research  social_exclusion  Toronto  violence 
july 2012 by jerryking
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