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How You Get People To Stop Killing Each Other

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I have been reading about the latest surge in murders in Philadelphia. Philadelphians are again questioning whether their city is as safe as Iraq. I do not know what the statistics are for the murder rate are in Iraq, but I know it does not matter in a city where “another surge in murders” is an ordinary occurrence. Why are people killing each other in Philadelphia?

Anyone who has to grow up under some of the same conditions these kids have to grow up under would be more likely to commit violent crimes than other people. The teachers at countless public schools across the city understand this very well. I spent four years teaching at one of Philadelphia’s “persistently dangerous” middle schools. Lex Street (the largest mass murder in the history of Philadelphia) happened during my first year a couple blocks away from the school. The year Jasmine McDonald (one of our brightest students) was murdered was my last.

The faithful decent people with enough conviction to endure urban America’s hardships from birth through adulthood while maintaining optimism and charactor are the people who will guide our cities to better days. The truly fortunate thing is that there are far more of these people than you might expect, considering the circumstances.

Could it be that the kind of money we are spending in Iraq to insure Iraqi freedom could find just as constructive use at home in our own cities? To insure that our American freedom will be present in our cities, somewhere along the line people are going to have to decide to stop killing each other. How do you get people to decide to stop killing each other?

People who grow up feeling safe and cared about are less likely to kill other people later in life. The government will need to see that every child who is not already getting the kind of attention and support needed to secure a happy and healthy life will get that kind of attention and support.

Where to go from here? I can only imagine that it would be a painful transition. Parents would have to face up to the fact that if they cannot put their child first, someone else would have to. We would have to replicate this in every city across the US. Such a great change in what has become our American identity is ambitious. It would take at least a generation or two before a system of nurture and care becomes a self-sustaining cycle. It might come at a bigger price tag than any war we have fought yet, but there will be far fewer casualties. The Iraq war was a pressing issue of national security and preservation of American freedom. This is just as pressing.

What are the other options?

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About David Miller

  • I suppose my timing *was* a little off.

  • Sorry, David. I mistook your post for a late April-fools joke – sort of a super-naive parody of a blog post. I didn’t think you were looking for serious responses.


  • Jesus

    Yes David, I am here. Did you call me?

  • “To answer the title rather than the drivel which follows it – you get people to stop killing each other by killing them first.”

    Dave- you’re an idiot.

    Is there another form of blogcritics for people who have half a brain cell? This has been a real disappointment- no offence to the owner of this site or the people who took my post seriously. I mean, some of the stuff here (like Dave’s post) is just not at all even slightly funny or interesting.

    I can’t believe how stupid some of it sounds. Jesus.

  • Blogcritics is the weirdest place.

  • gonzo marx

    the Duke sez..
    *Comment 32,
    Peace through superior fire power.
    right on.*

    inaccurate to me…

    i believe the correct cliche to correspond with Dave’s statement would be..
    “kill ’em all, let God sort it out”

    the Duke sez..
    *I’ll go with the character… cuz, if you have character, everything else falls into place. Family, friends, true value. Paid with character.*

    this Statement i can go with…


  • The Duke

    Comment 32,
    Peace through superior fire power.
    right on.

    But check out 31, conspiracy theory. They, them, the rich, the guvmint, the… who cares, who ain’t gonna be there to help. Doin’ nothin’ does absolutely nothin’, if the “wealthy” don’t want to play, then I would assume that they are “poor in spirit”, if that’s the case, all the money in the flippin universe won’t make ’em happy. They just have money, that’s all. No spirit, no love, no human character.

    I’ll go with the character… cuz, if you have character, everything else falls into place. Family, friends, true value. Paid with character.

  • To answer the title rather than the drivel which follows it – you get people to stop killing each other by killing them first.


  • “A check in the mail, won’t work…That is what gives life purpose… making a positive difference.”

    This is exactly the stand wealthy people would want the masses to take. What is going on in the inner cities doesn’t effect wealthy people at one bit, so why should they invest in it? Especally when people like you are saying money won’t fix the problem.

  • The Duke

    The church has money. Followers of “The Way” tithe 10% of their increase. That money is used (is used according to scripture) for admin, outreach and 10% is given to missions.

    I don’t believe in religion, but I do believe in Faith, and I personally know as I stated previously… If you want to see results YOU(me and everybody) have to show up in someones life to make a difference… boots on the ground, dude. A check in the mail, won’t work… it hasn’t yet.. it takes face time, mentoring, effort… and that means personal committment. If you want to get started… help out with something like habitat for humanity, or the red cross, or some youth group with boys clubs or YMCA or whatever… there is a bunch of places you can contribute to… and make a difference in someone’s life. That is what gives life purpose… making a positive difference.

  • “The government ain’t gonna help, they just apply band aid…Jesus can help…”

    Jesus doesn’t have any money. The government has money. Things don’t get done without money.

  • Tristan

    silli wabbit~~~~~~

    i tot i saw a puddicat …………

    why ARE we all still up at his obscene hour ~~~~~~~??????????

    ohhhhhhh~~~ i just read post #1 up above—-

    brought to mind—-
    if there were less children around—this whole posting wouldn’t need to be here!

    use those condoms!

  • gonzo marx

    silly Knight…

    there will be two 2am’s this morning

    just for you


  • Tristan


    enuff with the rotted wood pilings ~

    or straight up or that other Inferior stuff…whatever it was!
    (damn this Wild turkey 101 is good stuff!!!!) ——

    back to how to save the children….

    what is all this “commands out of SYNC” dialoque ~~~
    I never get that unless I’m drunk on Wild Turkey ,,,, NOT!!!!

    was that spring back—fall down???
    what time IS IT …???
    is there really no 2 O’Clock this morning ?

  • gonzo marx

    heh..not the Pontiff’s death, Isolde luvver..

    perhaps Aenima…

    as fer young..umm..not me..just getting ripe at 43

    thanx fer playing tho, plz try again…



  • Tristan

    I see the Pope’s DEATH has affected young Groucho deeply—-
    (bringing out the Turrett’s Syndrome ….)

    and what’s with all these: “out of que” dialoques popping up tonight ….are we in the midst of another technical horror approaching on BC …?????

  • gonzo marx

    Personal Responsibility

    that’s what it all is about folks..

    fuck blaming games, guns, movies, comic book, D&D, the kid next door or anything else..

    fuck saying anything but YOURSELF can save you..not your neighbors, the cops, your shrink,the government or the church

    all these factors can Influence someone, but ..ultimately…it is the Individual who does something..both for the good, or the bad

    before he died Bruce Lee wrote a film script that told a Parable…

    in it, the Hero..Chord, was on a mission to win a Tournament and gain the Prize…the Book of all Knowledge..

    he won the fights, and went out on the Quest to find the Blind Man who would lead him to the Book

    various Trial and Tests awaited him..he made it past them all, and found the Book

    upon opening it, he discovered the Secret held within..the pages were Mirrors…

    and so, Sifu Lee taught the same Parable as the Christ and the Buddha

    one said “the Kingdom of Heaven lies within”

    the other..”Elightenment and Paradise are inside all to find”

    the film was named “Circle of Iron” and was made..poorly..by David Carradine, after Lee’s death

    the Lesson remains

    nuff said?


  • The Duke

    I ain’t advocatin’ disarmament, cuz I don’t think it’s gonna happen in my lifetime. That said, I ain’t willin’ to be the first to disarm neither! But I will admit that urbanites tend to get fussy, cuz they’re cramped up together like a purdue chicken in a chicken house. That, and constant exposure to crappy television (I shot mine years ago), violent video games, all that stuff is blowin’ their minds! It’s conditionin’… you have to remember that these are kids, very impressionable, you were one too, remember… santy claws, tooth fairy… you believed it all, just like everyone else. And now we got em hyped up on other more violent fantasy games, television shows, uncle ernie’s porn videos… all that crap, the sponge (their impressionable brains) are being filled up with vineger, when it should be gettin’ filled up with pure water, the water of life.

    We can treat the symptoms till we’re blue in the face, but the disease will continue unabated. Taken weapons away, might stop killing, but not erratic behavior, or violent tendacies… NYC and DC have the strictest gun laws in the country… and the highest murder rates.

    Are guns a problem? sure, but you have to consent that exposure to “unhealthy” mind altering, violent media is having profound effects on the minds of the youth. If you’re thinking about taking “some” action, it won’t be good enough. Like cancer, it would have to be all, or nothing at all. Guns, knives, sharpened screwdrivers, baseball bats, bricks, pipes, chains, steel toe boots, spiked belts, forks, car antenna’s. Where would the list begin, and where would it stop?

    As fer stealing the ’nuff said caveat…. that’s been around for years… years I tell ya. But I digress, can’t remember the first time I heard that, but it wasn’t here, that for sure. Anyway, enough tryin’ to solve the worlds problems.

    I said it earlier, and I’ll say it again. It takes some personal committment, and love to turn any thing around. Sometime you (and me) have to show up, to make a difference in somebody’s life. The government ain’t gonna help, they just apply band aids, the courts will just send them off to jail, where they’ll learn to be even tougher criminals. Jesus can help, but people are too proud or ashamed to speak about it, or apply it. I’ve seen the miracle of saving someone through Christ REALLY make a difference.

    One person at a time, pass it on.

  • gonzo marx

    ok…this “the Duke” guy has gone over the edge..

    i found it all quite humorous..but the blatant plaigerism of my “Style” bits..

    ie: “but i digress” and “nuff said”

    not the first one i have seen lately..and i KNOW i have ripped off…err..paid Homage to..the originators for quite a bit of it..

    but damnitall…they’re MY catch-phrases!!

    the preceeding was completely satirical, any resemblance to actual criticism , real, imagined, or implied is strictly coincidental


  • Duke, I think your point is about how would you actually get people to disarm?

    If so, I,d imagine it would take the usual mixture of sticks and carrots that leads heavily armed nations to reduce their stockpiles. That or the realisation of where the best interests of people lie.

    and David, you didn’t actually say that you were now living in Alaska. That may be one of the places where there is a legitimate need for some weapons ownership but probably not in the urban centres…

  • Duke, do you think there would be less murders down the road if the needs of our urban kids were met?

  • The Duke

    “I know this isn’t an original observation but I still can’t shake the idea that if there were less weapons around, there’d be less weapons used.

    Unarmed disputes tend to produce less deaths and are easier to manage.” –Alienboy

    Dear Alienboy,

    I like ma gunz as much as the next guy…. jist how would you propose we go about gettin’ all them gunz into the guvment and melty’d down?

    Since everah body on this heyah web site are all conspriratorial in thought… FBI, CIA, Conservative Sumbitches, and the other half are left winged chickenspittin’ (gawd bless Frank Perdue), socialist democratic, Youthinasia advocates… how would ya know if all the gunz on a global scale were sucked up?

    Furthermore, them poleece ain’t obligated to respond to a 911 call (and that’s a REAL FACT), cuz litigation would eat ’em alive if they ever failed to respond if they absolutely had to. But I digress…. If sum sumbitch didnt’ turn in their gun for meltdown, and was now breakin’ in yer door to git a little offa the wife and steal yo’ butt blind, at gun point. What would ya do? Some folks, bein’ chicken and all, would plead and cry and beg for mercy (when they ought to be a prayin for deevine intervention), but still theya crying and carryin’ on and git blasted for bein’ an agravating pussy.

    So what’s a poor ole boy, with no way to defend hissef, goin to do?

    I ain’t got no answer neither, but this is a no B.S., I pray to Gawd, fer protection, and to keep me outta trouble, and fer no trouble to come ma way… it’s called the 91st psalm, and if yer interested, try readin on it some, it’s good stuff. Mix that there 91st psalm with a little faith, and believe it… you will receive it. That’s what the word sez… but it’s not what the world sez….

    ’nuff said? bye now.

  • People who have their basic needs met don’t grow up killing other people as a form of problem solving. I’m arguing that it is an issue of national security to see that such basic needs are met.


    That’s why people should have to use firearms properly before being licensed to carry. Otherwise you’re just another story on the nightly news and another statistic, if you’re lucky, someone will cite your case as to why we need to do “something about crime in this city.”

  • Scoota Rey

    Hey, I’m from inner city Philadelphia. And yes, it sucks.

  • All I know about self-defense, I learned from DOOM and other first person shooter games.

    The basic rule goes like this: if bad guys attack you with guns, all you need to do is kill them and take their guns.

    That’s why I never have to waste any of my money buying guns for myself. If the need ever arises, the bad guys will provide the means for their own destruction.

  • JR

    Arm everyone and the real criminals will think twice.

    Arm everyone and the real criminals will have a bonanza taking guns away from the majority of law-abiding citizens who have no expertise in defending themselves.

  • Andy, I did not call you any names. Your response, not yourself, was what I called microcephalic and microcardiac. If you were to read more carefully, you would realize things like this without the embarrassment of someone having to point them out to you.

    Likewise with David’s point. To a careful reader it’s very clear he aims to reduce government expenditures, over the long term.

  • I’m not suggesting government handouts. I’m figuring out how raise a generation of adults who won’t be dependent on government handouts.

  • Well Gee Victor I just don’t know what to say…I’m underwhelmed that you think I have no heart or brains. But of course anytime someone says to hell with handouts and government programs some liberal will start calling names. Your dumbass comments are allowed to be satire, but anyone elses that doesn’t agree with your left coast idea of what life’s supposed to be about is brainless and heartless?

    I’d say April FOOLS’ Day was made for people like you.

    Have a nice day.

  • I’m almost tempted to carry on with my satire, after the head-swelling experience of being compared the Jonathan Swift.

    Alas, I cannot take credit for the idea of arming the homeless. It’s been surfacing on the occasional April 1st for at least a decade now.

    I will take this opportunity to state for the record that the target of my satire was not David’s proposal, but the microcephalic and microcardiac response from Andy Marsh, one of those unfortunate souls for whom every day is April Fool’s Day.

  • It’s too bad a serious issue raised by David has deteriorated into name calling and wierd ideas. (Unless Victor was pulling a Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal,” which then makes him brilliant…but a mite obscure, although lots of people misunderstood Swift too.)

    But to the point, man, get to the point!

    I share your dismay, Eric. I won’t get involved in the gun issue. Might as well talk about abortion.

    There are times the government intervenes to remove a child from a dangerous environment, but I think that’s something that has to be done with great care and as a last resort.

    I’m more than willing to strip the military of the money they’re wasting in Iraq and loads of other places, but I think the problem has to be tackled in its entirety.

    The family, as battered a unit as it has become, is still the a powerful influence. People need jobs, they need decent housing, they need safe neighborhoods, they need to believe that there’s a future for them and their children. And they need to believe that society values them as human beings.

    On some level, yes it’s the typical liberal move of pouring money into a problem, but it has to be a program with high expectations and significant support. Not a give away.

    For example, after years of supportin bilingualism, I’ve come to believe it’s the worst idea we liberals ever had. You move here, you learn English. If you don’t, you’re consigning yourself and your children to the lower depths forever.

    And equally as important, as a society, we must accept that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We will never succeed in creating a just society until we bury the “I got mine” society. That doesn’t mean socialism or mass redistribution of wealth, but it does mean understanding that citizenship has responsibilities most of us are ignoring.

    I did a post on my blog, “What’s wrong with wealth” which I’ll put on this site. There’s a couple of statements that’ll raise hackles, but screw ’em.

    Keep fighting the good fight, Eric.

  • Don’t give “everyone” guns! Only the homeless! And don’t let them kill each other off, either. That would be a waste of ammo.

    We have to train our new homeless militia to follow very specific rules of engagement, so they will only kill evildoers attempting to commit violent crimes against people who are too poor to have their own guns, but not poor enough to receive guns from this new government program.

    By the way, this new program will have to be administered under the Department of Homeland Security, so nobody will be able to question it unless they are America-hating traitors or communists.

  • Eric Olsen

    while neatly providing self-confidence for our most downtrodden

  • OK, so that’s another option, sure. Give everyone guns and let them kill each other off. Hadn’t even thought of that. You’re brilliant.

  • Let’s arm the homeless. It’s a standing army, quite literally standing about (well, okay, sometimes laying about) in all of our large cities.

    Let’s make them our well regulated militia, which the Constitution does mention. Let’s provide the homeless with the guns and ammunition they need, so they can defend themselves from crime and provide backup to our overwhelmed police forces.

    In a few years, the veterans of this program would be ready to take over for the exhausted service members currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Other options? How about we just let them kill each other off? Why is it the govt. responsiblity to make sure someone is loved? Nothing in the constitution about love…

    I live in Virginia Beach, not a bad place, murder rate is fairly low, but head through the downtown tunnel or across the bridge to Norfolk or Newport News and it happens every day. I hear it on the news every morning. Another shooting in Norfolk, or Portsmouth or Hampton.

    Arm everyone and the real criminals will think twice.

  • It’s interesting that you mention the need for less weapons. Where I am now, there are many more weapons avalable to children, yet no one is killing each other.

  • I know this isn’t an original observation but I still can’t shake the idea that if there were less weapons around, there’d be less weapons used.

    Unarmed disputes tend to produce less deaths and are easier to manage.

    *Ducks to avoid incoming fire from NRA supporters*