All posts by Jim

The Real Reason Behind the Murders in Indianapolis – One person’s opinion

Much has been made of the murder rate so far this year in Indianapolis. With 87 murders in Marion County (as of 7/28/2014), the rate has shown an increase and appears to be headed for record numbers. Many solutions have been proposed to address this increase and the accompanying increase in other crimes as well. One of the most commonly proposed fixes is to increase the number of police that patrol the streets. This will not solve the underlying issue as it does not address the root causes of the murder rate. The only real, meaningful way to reduce the murder rate is to have major reforms at the federal, state, and local levels of government.

The war on drugs has one of the overall biggest influences on the murder rate in the city. In nearly all of the news reports that flow through the local media it can be easily noted that nearly all victims knew their attackers before the attack. This generally is code speak for drug dealers. Reforming drug laws at all levels of government is needed. Drug producers and suppliers are the source of large portions of the violence that surrounds Indianapolis.

Many people believe that catching more drug dealers and locking them in prison will help this problem. That thinking does not hold water. Drugs, like all other things, live in a supply and demand market. People have shown us that there is a demand and that it does not go away due to the illegality of a substance. Therefore, supply will be met. Further, it will be met in a black market that does not operate in a transparently where the buyer can make a safe and informed decision. It can can easily be deduced that the black market leads to dangerous situations by simply looking at the Indianapolis murder rate. If marijuana or cocaine were legal and sold at the corner drug store, people would not be in many of these situations.

To expand on that argument further. Many drug dealers are held in prisons across America today. These are men and women with families, with young children. With them in prison, there can be no family unit as moral crusaders will imply is the root of this problem. These are people removed from their family for victimless crimes.

The war on drugs is a large part of the reason behind the high murder rate in Indianapolis, but it is far from alone. Another one of the leading factors contributing to the murder rate is the over regulation of society. Licensing, permits, regulations all add costs to a person trying to start a business. Before nearly as many of these restrictions existed, a person could start a business with simply an idea and a small amount of space in their home.  That cannot happen today. In the world of today, a newly formed business must spend money it does not have on all the necessary legalities before operating. This hurts the lower-income communities much harder than middle and upper class families. People with lower incomes no not have the capital to meet all of the unnecessary, burdensome requirements to start a simple business.

When people in the lower income communities cannot take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities due to these things, they must turn elsewhere to find sources of income.  Society limits them through regulations, so that they have no other option but to turn to the black market. Once in the black market, drug dealing is commonly seen as a way to make a large sum. Until regulations, licensing, and permits are reduced or eliminated, there will not be an end to those seeking to make money in a black market. These people simply will continue to work underground because they cannot afford to make money in the normal market.

While there are other factors that have led to the increased murder rate in Indianapolis this year, these factor cannot be ignored. The war on drugs and red tape have damning effects, especially in lower income communities.  While many changes would still be needed at the federal and state level. The city would benifit greatly by attempting reform on these the avenues. More law enforcement is not the answer, repealing the laws and regulations that got us to this point is the only logical answer.

Asian Massage Parlor Closed – Thank heavens they can still focus on the important things with the murder rate skyrocketing!

Not feeling so well, I headed home from work early today. I couldn’t get into the garage when I got there. Why? The police were blocking it with a paddy wagon, loading a couple asian women in the back.

Let me go back a few weeks . . . I share an alley way with several houses and businesses along a major street in Indianapolis (the alley is on my side yard and the back yard for the houses on the main road).  One house has been empty since I moved in last September. It always had signs saying “office space for rent,” so I always assumed some business would lease the building. I was just hoping that if a business came, that they would have the alley plowed in the winter (no businesses came during the record snowfall and my car did get stuck). But, approximately a month ago, renovations began. I saw sheets of drywall, 2×4′s, and other building material flooding the building. I was glad to see someone would be using it.

Then, I came home one night and the sign was up “##### Massages.” I was less than enthusiastic. I was hoping that the business wouldn’t last that long. However, their business was thriving. Cars all day and night. The flashing neon open sign was still flashing every night when I went to bed at 11pm. It was easy to tell what was happening. Cars were blocking the alley and driving me nuts.

So when I came home today, I already knew the story. And I can’t lie, I was glad to see the business go. But the other side of me that loves freedom keeps screaming in my head. Do the police really think that arresting these two women and taking their money will end the world’s oldest profession? Do they even think it will stop these two women in particular? I’m certain it won’t.

While I didn’t like this business being in my backyard, I’m even more concerned with the idea this is what they are spending my tax dollars on and this this is how they are restriction more freedoms. This is a waste of taxpayer money. Further it  is the real war women that democrats won’t talk about. “My body, my choice” should mean more to liberal women that killing babies. I don’t have to like prostitution, but even when it take s my own neighborhood down a notch, I will fight for its existence.

I keep hearing on the radio and on tv that the city is experiencing a large murder epidemic. I’m sure glad they devoted undercover resources to raiding massage parlors that were making people happy (I guess a little too happy in their eyes). Maybe they just need more funding! Disgraceful.

As a side note to all of this, the WTHR article and news story bothers me almost as much on two different fronts. First, Steve Jefferson rode along with police. I’m really not a fan of the media being in bed with the police department. I also watched their cameraman as they were being frisked while being put into the truck.  He took shots unrestricted and incredibly up close (including of the lower regions) during the pat down. I found them to be highly unprofessional. (Thankfully the lower shots didn’t make it on air).

Second, WTHR points to my neighbors opposition in leading to this shakedown.  Even interviewing a neighbor who applauds the police action. I’m disappointed in my neighbors. “I don’t like it, so let’s call the police.”  It’s all too common of an argument in today’s society. I might be disappointed, but I’m certainly not surprised. I personally didn’t like it, I even hoped their business would fail, but I never would have called the police.

At least they eventually got out of the alley and I could get my car in the garage.

Deer Hunting Farms, Is There Really An Issue?

I opened the IndyStar this morning an a large lump of articles popped up on the home screen attacking Deer Farms where hunters pay for the opportunity at a trophy buck. I haven’t read through every article yet, but I’m already getting the concept. They clearly think that these types of places need to be regulated and possibly completely eradicated.

I hunt, and yes, I would even like a trophy buck someday. No, I do not understand why someone would want to go to farm to hunt trophy game. That takes away from what I like about hunting.

But, I don’t see what is so fundamentally wrong about the concept. Indy Star writers do seem to have a lot of insight on how these types of farms can spread chronic wasting disease (CWD).  I’m certainly no expert on those issues, but do wonder how much things like CWD are really effecting the deer population. Maybe its the cynic in me, but I often wonder if the effect is greatly overstated. Do other diseases at other types of farms have similar, higher, or lower rates? The truth is that I don’t know and can’t answer that.

I’m just going to stick with arguing their ethical and political concerns.  I don’t see the ethical issue here at all. We farm many other types of animals in much worse conditions than most of the deer “preserves.”  These animals have a much more free life than other farmed animals. Hunters might be able to shoot them much, much easier than a deer in the wild. But I can walk up to a cow or pig on any farm and end its life with little fanfare. I must reiterate that I don’t understand “hunting” in this manner, but I don’t take issue with it at all.

On the political side, it is clear that the Indy Star has an agenda for more laws and regulations. I don’t see the need. Central to the argument that is presented is that there might be a problem, so we need more regulation. Why? Have you proven that the problems exist or just that there is risk that they could exist? Further, I don’t see this industry growing too large. Most hunters don’t want to shoot at caged animals.  The industry will never grow as large as the authors of these articles seem to imply. So, even if there is a problem, will it ever grow large enough to cause any actual concern? I’m doubting it. But it’s clear that the Indy Star as a whole has joined in on the “we need more laws and regulations bandwagon.”

I can’t say I’m an expert on these matters. I don’t have all the facts. I’m just a hunter who gets put off by the idea that anything and everything needs regulated. Most sportsmen whom I know, take better care of the animal population and environment than anyone else. They will continue that without laws and regulations.

Please, if we are going to err, let us err on the side of freedom.

Pence Approves Mass Transit Bill – Hopefully taxpayers will be smart enough to shoot it down.

Gov. Pence signed the central Indiana mass transit bill this week. The issue now goes to the taxpayers in six counties for approval. A referendum will be held to determine if taxpayers will volunteer for increase income taxes to fund the system. A proposal for a light rail system (which are notoriously underused and incredibly expensive) was removed from the bill.

If voters do approve, it would be a huge waste of money. Traditionally, all mass transit comes up short of supporting itself and always demands increases in funding. Simply put, not only will it allow a tax increase to fund the proposition, but will likely result in ever-growing requests for funding in the future. Taxpayers would be wise to vote against the idea when it shows up on the ballot.

Like it or not, America is extremely devoted to their cars. Mass transit might make some trips cheaper, but it doesn’t always make sense to ride the bus, nor does it seem that it is any more environmentally friendly.  Cars are more convenient and more economical for longer trip commutes.

Indianapolis already has IndyGo for people commuting within the city. When you boil this bill down, it is about people in the surrounding counties being able to get from the suburbs to the city. When viewed like that, an increase in taxes for something that will probably cost more (via taxes and rates or rates alone) does not hold water as a sound idea. The ridership will probably be lacking, as most people who live in surrounding communities, work in those surrounding communities.  And for those who don’t, probably will drive into the city regardless.

Since central Indiana counties have flat tax rates, this will be a situation where the needs of a few, are subsidizing the rest. If you were to live in Carmel, and work in Carmel, why would you want to increase your own taxes for the benefit of those who wish to commute into Indianapolis. Yes, you might like to take the bus into town once a month on the weekends, but will that make up for the cost you will pay in increase income taxes, likely not.

Overall this just seems to strike as a bad idea for central Indiana residents. Hopefully taxpayers will put this issue to rest once it is on the ballot. However, knowing how many people tend to vote, don’t hold your breath. If there truly is a demand for this, can’t we propose a free market solution that will work out better for all that are involved?

Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole posted a good article on this subject back in 2013 and it still bears for a good read today.

Guns Now Allowed in School Parking Lots

It’s a small victory for liberty minded gun toting folks in Indiana, but Governor Mike Pence approved the law allowing guns is school parking lots (as long as they are locked in a vehicle and hidden from sight) on Wednesday.  Students still cannot keep guns in their cars, but those picking up their children from school can no longer be prosecuted when bringing a firearm with them on school grounds.

Previously, a parent or other legal gun owner could be prosecuted with a felony for even inadvertently having it in their car on school grounds. And even after the passage of this bill it will still remain a felony for people to bring their gun inside of the school.

Critics of the law seemed to dish out their usual argument lacking logic and in some cases outright lying.  Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America put out a press release in their opposition to the bill that pulled the typical emotional appeal that lacked any real evidence. Shannon Watts, the founder of MDA stated, “this bill would allow loaded guns near our children in the place they should feel safest -their schools.” That statement is clearly meant for national appeal and has no empirical evidence to support it. The bill still does not allow guns in schools (something I wouldn’t mind seeing), but allows for guns hidden in locked compartments in one’s car.  If they can’t see it, they don’t even know it’s there. If you get it out, it’s still illegal. Further, children, if they did know, should feel safer knowing that the protection of a firearm is nearby, should some dangerous situation arise.

All this new law really does is make unsuspecting people who have a firearm in their car no longer potential felons. It is a small victory for people who believe in liberty and wish to see constitutional rights upheld, no matter the situation. In our current situation in the United States, we have to take all of the small victories that we can get.

Thanks for this one Governor Pence.