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Cleveland Safety Director Has Wrong Idea About City’s Problems

The city of Cleveland has some problems. 

In that way, they’re not all that different from a lot of other large urban communities. There’s something about packing people in that tightly that makes problems seem so much worse. The more multi-family homes you have, the more you see violent crime.

So Cleveland isn’t unique in this.

Nor are they unique in trying to address the problems, obviously.

Speaking with local news, the city’s safety director talked a bit about what Cleveland looks to do to address the issues. Some of it sounds pretty sensible.

Cleveland Safety Director Karrie Howard tells 3News’ Kierra Cotton the city is focused on finding creative outlets for the youth as well as employment opportunities, hoping to increase the number of positive interactions they have with our youth.

Probably not bad ideas. Employment opportunities will probably do a lot more good than just potentially reduce violent crime, so that’s a big win even if it doesn’t do anything about violence.

So far, so good, right?

Well, don’t get too excited. Howard had to introduce a bit of dumb into the discussion.

Howard also addressed gun violence as a whole, saying there’s a need for help from legislation to make a lasting impact.
“We are in desperate need of laws that keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Howard tells 3News.

The problem is that there are already laws on the books to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them and guess what? Cleveland doesn’t seem to be able to stop them from getting guns.

“But the legislature-“


Yes, Ohio passed things like constitutional carry, which some are more than willing to blame for the increase, but as Cam has noted previously, the homicide rate dropped in most places throughout the state, just not in Cleveland where it went up.

That suggests there’s something unique about Cleveland–and Columbus, too, since theirs increased as well–that counteracted any potential benefit from whatever factor caused the drop elsewhere.

However, for Cleveland city officials, it behooves them politically to blame their issues on the lack of gun laws in the state. That’s because there’s almost no chance this is an issue the state is responsible for since the homicide rate dropped almost everywhere else. It’s something Cleveland is doing that is causing the problem, and they can’t let voters know that.

So, they call on the state to do something to make their problems go away and just kick the can down the road for someone else to deal with.

Typical, but sad.

Now, I’m not going to pretend I have all of the answers out there. Cleveland’s been in a sad state for quite a while. Back in 2010, Reason did a series with comedian and Cleveland native Drew Carey called Reason Saves Cleveland where they touch on a lot of the city’s problems.

Those problems remain, many of which may well be contributing to the violent crime issues. Local leaders didn’t listen to Reason back then and they’re not going to listen to me now.

Instead, they’ll just pretend the state has to restrict people’s rights because they can’t address the problem.

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