Biden's "Minority Report"
Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope 2011/10/22 18:31:34
Vice President Joe Biden has once again created a bit of a stir in the news recently when he argued that Obama's "jobs" bill must be passed or else rape, murder and other violent crimes will continue to increase.Leaving aside the fact that national violent crime rates are actually down for the past four years in a row, according to FBI data, Biden's overly simplistic equation -- more cops = less crime -- is extremely dubious in it's own right. But his explicit assertion that having more cops on the payroll can have an effect on the incidence of rapes is both patently absurd and evinces childish thinking.
Think about Biden's examples and ask yourself: have you ever heard of any instance when a police officer has ever interrupted a rape in progress? And how often has a police officer actually stopped a robbery or homicide in progress? It just doesn't happen very often, if at all, in the real world.
Unfortunately, the sad reality is that almost 100% of law enforcement consists of following up on crimes to catch criminals after the fact -- in other words after it's already too late for the victims in Vice President Biden's lurid examples. That's the sad, unpleasant reality, and hiring more cops will never change that reality.
We don't live in the science-fiction world of "The Minority Report" where law enforcement uses psychic powers to monitor the thoughts and intentions of the populace in order to interdict crimes before they ever happen.
Biden is either a extremely ignorant for making this childish argument, or he's a shameless political hack and fear-monger for making that argument. Personally, I lean towards the latter.
But what Biden's argument does illustrate, after sober and non-hysterical reflection on the subject of crime and crime prevention, is the reality that there are practical limitations to what law enforcement can actually do to make us safer.
And it also beautifully illustrates the truth of the arguments that the NRA and other 2nd Amendment advocates have been making for decades. And that argument is that when a crime is immanent or actually in progress and you really need the police, the police are always minutes away. Indeed that's why they're called "Law Enforcement Officers" rather than "Crime Prevention Officers." And it will always be thus because we don't live in the alternate reality portrayed in Hollywood movies such as "Minority Report."
The best (and only) actual crime prevention measure ever enacted by any government in human history was the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which enshrined the right of an armed citizenry to protect themselves.So what do you think? Is Biden just fear-mongering to scare people into passing Obama's so-called jobs bill, or does he genuinely believe the nonsensical claim that violent crime is going to increase unless we hire more cops? Or is this just Biden being Biden once again?
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