Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Drugs? Guns? Bad Parents? Which IS It?

There's no agenda here, of course...except to point to "GUNS!!!!"... and the "It's For the Children" chorus wails in the background:

Homicide in Milwaukee is running behind last year's torrid pace, but a disturbing trend surfaced in the past six months: Victims on average are younger.

The trend continued last week when five teenage boys were shot, the youngest of whom was 13. Two died, both in what police called drug-deal slayings. The only person arrested in any of those shootings was a 14-year-old boy.

Deputy Chief of Police Brian O'Keefe said the recent surge in boys getting shot is probably an anomaly but it underscores the importance of the department's efforts to work with schools, social agencies and others to prevent gun violence.

The JS article includes a few charts which are interesting. But they are designed for the Handgun Control Inc. bunch, obscuring the age markers or cause-of-death as much as possible.

Despite the "Children Are Dying" headline of the article, we learn that 43% of homicide victims in Milwaukee are between 22-35 years old and 61% are over the age of 22. Only 14% (seven victims) were under the age of 16.

Of the seven victims under the age of 16, four died at the hands of parents, relatives, or caretaker-(boy)friend. As mentioned in the story's text, at least one died in a drug-related shooting.

The propaganda about "guns" will continue. However, as usual, it's the killer, not the instrument, which counts.

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