About every two weeks or so the Trinity Park listserv lights up with people who have heard what they believe to be gunshots. I’ve heard them, too, on occasion in my area. The cops are always notified in such instances, which is as it should be.
Gunshots in neighborhoods, any neighborhood, are not good for the city’s image or the health of residents. Durham Mayor Bill Bell was seeking a $300,000 minimum bond for anyone who discharges a gun illegally in Durham, but the legal eagles of the city watered that down to apply only “when an alleged transgressor had been out of bond for unrelated charges and had been convicted of a firearms-related crime sometime in the past five years,” according to The Herald-Sun.
It’s right and proper for the mayor to be concerned about people firing guns like the Taliban after a beheading. But his comments to local judges yesterday show that at least some of his concern is misplaced. He blames the victims in the inner city for not raising a hue and cry similar to that raised by residents of more affluent neighborhoods, not the criminals for doing the shooting:
“In some of our inner-city communities, when you hear parents come up and talk about gunshots, and how their kids jump under the bed or get in bathrooms and stuff, that’s not something we need,” Bell said. “If you were in Croasdaile, if you were in Emory Woods, if you were in Hope Valley, if you were in any of these communities and you were hearing gunshots, you would bet you’d find much more outcry about what’s happening in this community. And it shouldn’t be that way.”
“The same type of pattern that we have for Hope Valley, Emory Woods and Croasdaile should be the same standards for have over in North-East Central Durham and Southwest Central Durham,” he added. “For me, it’s not tolerable for people to fire guns in the city of Durham.”
A question Bell leaves unasked is why are gunshots so rare in these affluent communities, and so prevalent in the inner city? Why do residents in Durham’s inner city, to hear Bell tell it, seem to have more of a tolerance for gunfire, and don’t raise similar outcries in their community than do people in Trinity Park, Hope Valley, or Croasdaile.
Maybe it’s because they know, from Durham’s long history of coddling inner city criminals, which many have dubbed the “Hug-a-Thug” approach to law enforcement, that nothing will be done about it.Read full article » No Comments »
Climate change alarmists won’t like the results of a study that shows the 20-somethings aren’t all that concerned about the environment.
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Steepest of all was a steady decline in concern about the environment and in taking personal action to save it.
Researchers found that, when surveyed decades ago, about a third of young baby boomers said it was important to become personally involved in programs to clean up the environment. In comparison, only about a quarter of young Generation X members — and 21 percent of Millennials — said the same.
It’s not uncommon for university boosters to donate money or property to the alma mater. It would be wrong to assume that the schools always honor the donors’ wishes. Recently, I talked with George Leef, director of research for the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, about the problem of recipients diverting funds to uses the donor wouldn’t approve of. You can find the entire Q&A here, but here’s a sample.
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Martinez: You mentioned earlier Henry Ford and the Ford Foundation. I think everyone, no matter how little we might be involved in philanthropy personally, has heard of the Ford Foundation. What was it that Henry Ford wanted done, and what happened?
Leef: Well, the Ford Foundation was taken over by philanthropy professionals who had very left-wing ideas about how Ford Foundation resources ought to be used. Henry Ford didn’t like any of them, but when he approached his attorney in about the mid-1930s, I believe, and asked, “Can we get out of this, can we undo this somehow?” he was told, “Sorry, too late. You can’t.”
Martinez: Oh, my gosh. That would be so discouraging. You think you’re doing one thing …
Leef: It would be discouraging, and that’s the message of the paper [by Martin Morse Wooster]. If you want to endow a chair, for example, you’ve got to be very careful because you might get someone in that chair teaching beliefs that you find abhorrent, eventually. But, unless you’re really, really careful, that can happen.
Martinez: So what is the cautionary tale here, not only for very wealthy donors, but for those of us who may make much smaller donations but want to make sure that we’re giving this money for a specific purpose?
Leef: Well, it’s not easy to do. If you just write a check to the university’s general fund, well, they’ll use that according to their own purposes, of course. Even if you have enough money — let’s say $1 million — to set up an endowed chair, those don’t always turn out very well. In fact, Martin gives us a funny case involving the [late] columnist Robert Novak, who thought he was setting up a chair to support the teaching of Western civilization at the University of Illinois. The person who wound up in that chair, you might think, has his own version of what’s important in Western civilization. One of his books is on the importance of comic books. Well, [that’s] probably not what Novak had in mind.