Young and Foolish, ‘crimes of poverty,’ and ‘white privilege’ have had their 15 minutes

Tell us this, Brandi Grayson: Were the three shootings over the weekend on the southwest side and at West Towne Mall “crimes of poverty”? Tell us this, Paul Fanlund: Are police the problem or the solution? Tell us this, County Sup. Leland Pan: Is the county jail an investment in a livable community?

So examine root causes, beat your breast over the ever-elusive “white privilege” (what does that mean, anyway?), but turn the page. Flip the equation.

“While it’s important to examine the root causes of the shootings,” Chief Mike Koval said (as reported in the Wisconsin State Journal), “My gang is going to have to come down, and come down hard, in holding people accountable.” And his “gang” are better shots.

All right, we’ve got a mayoral campaign going on in Madison. Let’s start the timer. Who will be the first to address the gang problem? Mayor Soglin? His challenger, Ald. Resnick? How about Young and Foolish? Ald. Matt Phair? TV bloviator Neil Heinen? The State Journal editorial page? Dave Zweifel? Brenda Konkel? Are you kidding?!

No, we’re too worried about police walking troubled neighborhoods, forgetting that high-crime areas are also high-victim areas. We’re counting the wrong numbers. That the ratio of black inmates in the county jail is upside down from the population in the larger community is meaningless. What matters is the percentage of perpetrators. Better yet, what matters is the behavior, not the skin color.

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But yes, let’s examine the cult of victimhood. Question the politics of envy. Audit the results of redistribution, free this and that, and subsidized indolence. How long can we justify a behavioral double standard?

I can tell you who has been talking about public safety. It’s Vicki McKenna on WIBA-AM radio. It’s Mitch Henck at Common Sense. Former Ald. Jed Sanborn and your humble scribe. In the community, it’s people like Dave Glomp.

Haven’t we tried liberalism long enough to get these lousy results? Madison does no one — not even the life-is-cheap gang members — any favors by guilt-tripping law-abiding people.

If you think the gang shootings are bad now, wait ’til it warms up this summer.

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