Criminal Control Works, Gun Control Does Not Work
Criminal Control Works, Gun Control Does Not Work
Date: May 25, 2008 10:36 AM
The article mentioned by Williams is down below the Williams piece.
This is not rocket science, deal effectively with violent criminals or else…
Sunday, May 25, 2008 3:42 AM EDT
WALTER WILLIAMS: Control criminals, not guns
Every time there’s a highly publicized shooting, out go the cries for stricter gun-control laws, and it was no different with the recent slaying of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, in a letter to the state congressional delegation demanding re-enactment of the federal assault-weapon ban, said, “Passing this legislation will go a long way to protecting those who put their lives on the line every day for us. ? There is no excuse to do otherwise.”
Gun-control laws will not protect us from murderers. We need protection from the criminal-justice system politicians have created. Let’s look at it.
According to former Philly cop Michael P. Tremoglie’s article “Who freed the cop-killers?” for the Philadelphia Daily News on May 8, all three homicide suspects had extensive criminal records. Levon Warner was sentenced in 1997 to up to 15 years for robbery, one to five for possessing an instrument of crime and five to 10 for criminal conspiracy. Howard Cain was convicted in 1996 on four counts of robbery and sentenced to five to 10 years on each count. Eric Floyd was sentenced to five to 10 years in 1995 for robbery, rearrested in 1999 for parole violation and later convicted in 2001 for two robberies.
If these criminals had not been released from prison, long before they served out their sentences, officer Liczbinski would be alive today.
So what’s responsible for his death: guns, or a prison and parole system that released these violent, career criminals?
Tremoglie cites other examples of criminals, with convictions for violent crimes ranging from robbery and assault to murder, who were paroled and later killed police officers.
An April 2006 New York Times study of the city’s 1,662 homicides from 2003-05 found 90 percent of the killers had criminal records. A Massachusetts study reported that on average, homicide offenders had been arraigned for nine previous offenses.
John Lott’s book, “More Guns, Less Crime,” reports that in 1988 in the 75 largest counties in the United States, more than 89 percent of adult killers had criminal records as an adult.
A few days after the slaying of Liczbinski, Gov. Rendell told a news conference, attended by state elected officials and top law-enforcement officials, “The time has come for politicians to decide. You have to decide whether you’re on their side ? the men and women who wear blue ? or whether you’re on the side of the gun lobby.”
Instead of saying “whether you’re on the side of the gun lobby,” Rendell should have said “whether you’re on the side of the criminal and the courts, prosecutors, prisons and parole boards that cut soft deals with criminals and release them to prey upon police officers and law-abiding citizens.”
If there is one clear basic function of government, it’s to protect citizens from criminals. When government failure becomes so apparent, as it is in the slaying of a police officer, officials seek scapegoats, and very often it’s the National Rifle Association and others who seek to protect our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. We hear calls for stricter gun-control laws when what is really needed is more control over criminals.
There are many third-party liability laws. I think they ought to be applied to members of parole boards who release criminals who turn around and commit violent crimes. As it stands now, people on parole boards who release criminals bear no cost of their decisions.
I’ll bet that if members of parole boards were held liable or forced to serve the balance of the sentence of a parolee who goes out and commits more crime, they would pay more attention to the welfare of the community rather than the welfare of a criminal.
You say, “Williams, under those conditions, who’d serve on a parole board?” There’s something to be said about that.
Walter Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.
Article referred to above:
Posted on Thu, May. 8, 2008
Who freed the cop-killers?
By MICHAEL P. TREMOGLIE
Once again, a Philadelphia police officer has been shot and killed by a criminal who should have been in prison instead of free to commit more mayhem and destruction.
Over the last two years, I’ve written more than a dozen columns about the murders committed by repeat offenders already convicted of a violent felony (sometimes murder) who spent little or no time in prison.
These columns always ask why those in the criminal system – judges, police, lawyers, probation officers, parole boards, prison officials and elected politicians – aren’t held responsible for permitting such people to roam free. Unfortunately, nothing happens – except more people are murdered.
This time it was Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, shot and killed responding to a bank robbery in Port Richmond.
All three suspects in the killing – Howard Cain, Levon T. Warner, Eric Floyd – have convictions for violent felonies.
Warner was sentenced in 1997 to 7 1/2 to 15 years on a robbery charge, one to 5 for possessing an instrument of crime and five to 10 for criminal conspiracy.
Cain was convicted in 1996 of four counts of robbery, carrying firearms without a license and criminal conspiracy. He was sentenced to five to 10 years for each robbery charge, two to four on the other charges. He had also been arrested for aggravated assault, carrying firearms without a license and reckless endangerment.
Floyd was sentenced to five to 10 years in 1995 for robbery and rearrested in 1999 for violating parole. He was released early, and convicted again in 2001 for two robberies in Lancaster.
Yet Mayor Nutter repeats the usual sophistry about guns. Hizzoner said, “That officer was assassinated on the streets of Philadelphia. There was nothing that could have protected him – that weapon penetrates vehicles.”
His statement illustrates why our elected representatives are unable to reduce violent crime.
The mayor’s lack of knowledge of weaponry notwithstanding, there is one patently obvious policy that definitely would have protected the officer.
If Levon Warner had served his full sentence, he would’ve been in prison until 2012. He could not have committed any crime in 2008.
If Howard Cain had served his full sentence, he would’ve been in prison to 2052. He would not have murdered anyone in 2008.
If Eric Floyd had served his full sentence, he’d have been in jail, not robbing banks, in 2008.
But all three served less than the max and committed more violent crime. This time a cop ended up dead. Why isn’t the mayor addressing this more easily remedied and more salient issue?
The man who pulled the trigger should have been in prison – it’s that simple. All the unconstitutional gun laws that City Council passes and the mayor signs wouldn’t have prevented men like this from robbing that bank and killing Liczbinski.
The only thing that would’ve prevented this homicide was the one thing politicians, judges, prison officials in Philadelphia don’t want to address. Warner, Cain and Floyd should have been behind bars at the time they were committing the robbery.
Tragically, this is not an isolated incident. Here are just three of many more examples:
* Jerome Whitaker, who shot Officer Mariano Santiago, had an arrest for a 1994 homicide. He served just 11 years before being paroled in July 2006. He was arrested about a year later for violating parole and released a few months later – only a few weeks before shooting Officer Santiago.
* Mustafa Ali killed two retired officers working as bank guards. Convicted in 1993 of robbing a bank, he was sentenced to only seven years, despite being eligible for 11 1/2, according to sentencing guidelines. Ultimately, Mustafa didn’t serve even the seven years of the plea-bargained sentence.
* Solomon Montgomery, who killed Officer Gary Skerski, had a record of violent crimes. He was also acquitted by a lenient Philadelphia judge after being arrested for shooting someone.
It’s time to address the real issue: the incompetence, ineffectiveness and insensibility of a system that doesn’t seriously incapacitate violent criminals. *
Michael P. Tremoglie is a former Philly cop and the author of “A Sense of Duty,” available at Barnesandnoble.com
The Second Amendment IS Homeland Security !