August 21, 2023
Let's just put the answer out right up front: Yes. "In the big picture, religious presence seems to [influence] the amount of violence and crime in a community, it matters to blacks, whites and Latinos." OK. So, everybody? A separate study analyzing crime and religion data from 182 counties in three states similarly found that violent crime decreased when greater numbers of people were religiously active in a community.
June 7, 2023
We all know there is an epidemic of gun violence and we are all shocked every time we hear of the latest murder. But did you know that far more kids are killing themselves with guns??? I didn't know it. Yet, a little research into youth gun violence uncovers the horrific number of children who use guns to kill themselves. Suicide with a gun is 60 percent higher than Homicide with a gun among youths. Here's why...
September 6, 2022
Over the last five decades, allegations of abuse combined with the reality of funding shortages caused the closings of mental hospitals here and across the country. It was probably time for a reset, but the pendulum swung too far, cutting services for many who have needed a hospital environment. When mental health problems are not addressed, we see increased addiction issues, self harm, and violence against others. Those with addictions, or violent tendencies often end up in incarceration over and over again.
June 21, 2022
It's a scary time in our country. We've cooked up a big old fear cocktail, made with a bottle of violence, a mixer of economic problems and a couple shots of distrust. I was talking with a friend about about all the things people are worried about today, and It reminded me of how afraid I used to be of flying. As I look back I realize that's the last thing I should have been afraid of. But there I was, in my 20s, on a plane to visit my husband who was training at Ft. Benning. In the seat next to me was an Air Force cadet from Mississippi and he noticed how nervous I was. He leaned over and spoke to me, almost in a whisper.
January 24, 2022
Most people don't shoot someone because they had a fight with their girlfriend, or because someone owes them twenty bucks. People get jealous every day. Lots of folks loan money they'll never get back, but violence never enters their minds. The very thought of shooting someone is crazy, right? But for some people, whose lives have been steeped in turmoil and violence, it is the only response they know. The fact is: There can be no widespread violence without the learned experience of violence.
December 21, 2021
Here it is: The last blog post of 2021! It's hard to believe that Covid is still among us and issues we have been facing for years still hang heavy over our heads, but still, I feel a change coming. I believe violence is reaching its zenith, that illness is no longer going to control us, and that a wider, more tangible feeling of good will is coming over our country and our city. I see a trend that serious issues are attracting the attention of the wider community so that many hands can truly equal lighter work and better results. There is a time for everything. I have to believe this is reaping time.
August 23, 2021
As Mayor Joe Hogsett announced a $166.5 million anti-violence plan that focuses heavily on public safety, I was beginning to read a book by criminologist Byron R. Johnson. His book, More God, Less Crime, assesses the many studies that have been done on the effect of religion in crime reduction. It is a subject that the many in the secular world find somewhat distasteful, relegating the very positive findings to the bottom shelf of actionable measures. Yet these findings are clear. The injection of a moral code, delivered by trusted community faith leaders in relationship with those leaning toward criminal behavior, produces dramatic change.The "Boston Miracle" of the 1990s is a case in point.
July 21, 2020
I've got to stop watching the news. It's too hard to see the violence and hate. An argument over a Black Lives Matter vs. all lives matter ended in a woman being shot in the head--right here on the Canal Walk in Indianapolis. She was a mother with two small children, and whatever any of us thinks about her views, her murder is tragic. Have we all gone stark raving mad?
February 7, 2020
With 153 gun-related homicides last year, it's clear we haven't solved the problem of gun violence in our city. A new "Gun Violence Intervention Program" has been in effect for more than 10 months here, and while it has promise, utilizing tactics that had its roots in a successful effort in gang-ridden Oakland, CA., there is not a lot of evidence the effort Is succeeding. At the dawn of 2020 city leaders proudly claimed the success of reducing gun homicides for 2019. But a closer look reveals non-death shootings were actually higher than the previous year. Pretty obviously, if the shooters had been just a little better at hitting their targets, we would have been unable to claim a reduction in gun-related homicides.