CA’s New Crime-Incentivizing Senate Bill, And The Tough Road Ahead (Subscriber Post)
Some thoughts after an outing yesterday, with some predictions of the future at the end
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Another day, another bill that makes its way through the CA legislature that wants to address crime by tackling it backward. Lots of thoughts came up while reading through the bill here.
Instead of doing the Right Thing and de-incentivizing criminals by punishing crimes small and large with a healthy helping of severity, SB-553, a new CA senate bill, wants to add to the increasing list of incentives to commit crimes by:
Creating a bureaucracy to oversee that every business with more than ten employees has an escape plan and reporting system for workplace violence.
Forcing every business in the state to collect and disaggregate reports of workplace violence
Use reports of violence to file temporary restraining orders against offenders.
Drops in an overflowing bucket
I was driving through downtown LA yesterday with my fiancé and the scene was striking, I try to avoid driving downtown if I can help it. Squalor as far as the eye can see and as stark and as gray as anyone can bear—tents, trash, drugs, bodies strewn invariably beneath every bridge and lamppost and tree. For some reason people are standing in the street and without going anywhere.
I practically step over a man on my way to get donuts. I tell my fiancé to get to the other side of me so I’m in between her and everything I’d like to abolish from her world. The only other people who are out are middle-aged runners, which makes me think a comic thought, “Well that makes sense, everything is going wrong and they’re running away.” And also, “They look confident in the fact that if crime strikes they’ll have a head start.”
Funny thoughts are interposed between thoughts of crime and money. Gas is the highest I think it’s ever been in the state’s history, I’m worried about filling up. Every gas station has several people standing around and staring at the people trying to get back to work or get home. I think back to the time I went to a Jack-In-The-Box nearby and had to place my order through the same bulletproof glass they use at my bank. I think about leaving the state, but then I think about how easy all these problems are to solve.
Solve for X
After pharmaceutical interventions for schizoaffective disorders became more advanced in the 60s they closed almost all the asylums. Cops have to deal with guys who belong in Arkham. But there are fewer than 10,000 cops in a city of 4 million. Even if there were more cops, retail theft is still practically legal. Felony gun charges were dismissed at historic rates in San Francisco under its former district attorney.
These are all reversible. None of it is inevitable. Social decay is someone’s decision, it’s not a rip current or a solar flare. You can stop it, you can put it back in the filthy bottle it came from and ship it to Sheol where it belongs.
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