Thoughts on Iran and Crime in Redding

April 10th, 2016

Comic: The April 10th edition of the Record Searchlight features on page 8A a comic of a giant missile heading toward the whitehouse with a letter attached to its nose. On the missile is written “IRAN ICBM TEST” and on its engine “Death to America.” The white house has a quote coming from it saying “Oh looky! Here comes the nuclear compliance report now!!” There are a number of things disturbing about this comic, only one of which is the idea that Iran is aiming its missiles at the United States. This comic is implying a number of things. One, that the United States has the authority to moderate the technological developments of other nations. Two, that Iran is developing weapons to use against the United States. Three, that Iran is flying in defiance of the United States’ regulatory powers. The United States has no authority over other sovereign nations. It is xenophobic to assume that another country developing weaponry is intended for use against the United States. It is also blindly nationalist, and presented for the sake of pitting the country we live in against an unknown aggressor to invoke fear, insecurity, and arrogance. Perhaps the powers that be in America feel this way because we developed nuclear technology in secret to bomb another country and are afraid of having that technology used on us. That fear is grounded, but should be considered as such and not as justification for suppressing others.

“People tire of all talk, no action” and “Stop the crazy catch and release” and “Time to stop criminals for good” Three letters to the paper in the April 10th edition of the Record Searchlight expressed the same sentiment: There is a lot of crime going on in Redding, and the police are not doing their job. I feel sorry for the members of the police department who are make organizational decisions. They are motivated by public opinion and what the public claims is impossible to address. Their primary concern is that crime is out of control, that business owners are suffering losses due to criminal elements. They want more police officers on the streets. At the same time, members of the police department are not adequately prepared psychologically for the reality of that criminal element. These criminals are not the podunk, back-country criminals that have historically been a part of this town. This town is becoming a city and with that transition comes new types of criminal. For one, there are criminals who resort to crime because they have nowhere else to turn. They have exhausted their options and have nothing to lose. For another, there are criminals who have known nothing but crime. Imprisonment is nothing to them but a reaffirmation that the system doesn’t care about the poor and a place to sleep for a while. For another, there are criminals who know what they are doing and are willing to run that risk. These are either independent or syndicated.

The first two types mentioned are easy catches. They are not professionals and they are not malicious. Their only fault may be ignorance though their crimes many. Again, they are easy to catch. They are probably satisfying to subdue, but they must be released again soon.

The third kind, the career criminal, is probably where the most frustration lies for both the public and the police. The public sees little difference between the career criminal and the casual criminal: both inflict the same damages on their homes and businesses. It’s gratifying and glorifying for the police to catch the casual criminal: they earn the public’s accolades. The career criminal takes more work, and with less glory. The career criminal is supported by many close to them, which may include cartels, associates, or members of the public or police force. These accomplices make it harder to catch the career criminal, and may result in their release or acquittal. Because of the complicity of their friends on the side of the law, these cases are obscured.