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Gun violence more likely in Richmond County than in Georgia, US

US, state rates topped

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It’s three times more likely that a gun will be involved in an aggravated assault in Rich­mond County than the nation as a whole, according to the latest crime data from the FBI.

The FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Report showed that 56 percent of aggravated assaults in Richmond County ended in someone being shot. The national average is 18 percent; in Georgia, 25 percent.

The Richmond County percentage is actually down from previous years. In 2007 and 2008, more than 70 percent of aggravated assaults were shootings – four times the U.S. rate and nearly three times Georgia’s rate. Data for 2009 were not available.

Lt. Calvin Chew oversaw the Richmond County Sher­iff’s Office’s violent crimes division until January, when he became the administrative lieutenant over criminal investigations. He attributed the county’s high numbers to the wide availability of guns, legal or otherwise.

“It’s not a hard thing to do to get your hands on a gun,” Chew said. “Guns are just more available in the South and the criminal element is well-armed.”

William Reese, a professor of criminal justice and sociology at Augusta State Univer­sity, said the area’s high rate of gun violence could be attributed to two major factors: Augusta’s location and the culture of the South in general.

“Here in the South, there’s a tendency to settle interpersonal disputes with violence instead of discussion or calling the police to intervene,” he said. “Firearms also carry prestige around here. It’s a symbol of status and kids want that reputation, that mark of manhood.”

Reese also said Augusta is part of a long corridor of illegal guns regularly moving up the East Coast. Weapons come to the South on boats and planes and make their way up the coast, especially to New York, he said.

Reese said the corridor was becoming more evident on the federal level. He thinks many illegal weapons finish their journey north early when they find their way into the hands of area criminals.

“The availability of the guns is really all you need to know,” Reese said. “When the culture dictates that you solve those things with violence, shootings become statistically predictable.”

Chew said the tide has turned in the battle to get guns off the street and that the situation is improving.

“This became our main concern – to make the public safe,” he said. “Getting illegal guns off the street is a great way to do so, and we’re not going to stop until there are no illegal guns out there being
used during violent crimes.

“We’ve seen violent crimes and assaults committed with guns decrease every year since 2008. The progress from year to year has been gradual, but dropping from 73 percent in 2008 to 56 percent in 2010 is a huge step.”

Chew said recent sting operations – Operation Augusta Ink, Operation Fox Hunt and Operation Smoke Screen – led to the drop. The three undercover stings in the past five years resulted in more than 200 arrests and the seizure of at least 600 firearms.

Despite those successes, the battle against gun violence
is far from over, Chew said.

“We’ve let the criminals know we’re going to be actively going after them,” he said.

AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS

AREA - 2007 TOTAL - WITH GUNS

United States - 855,856 - 158,059 (18%)

Georgia - 22,569 - 6,042 (26%)

Richmond County - 185 - 133 (72%)

AREA - 2008 TOTAL - WITH GUNS

United States -  834,885 - 153,476 (18%)

Georgia - 20,206 - 5,476 (27%)

Richmond County - 238 - 174 (73%)

AREA - 2010 TOTAL - WITH GUNS

United States - 778,901 -  138,403 (18%)

Georgia - 20,287 - 5,160 (25%)

Richmond County - 273 - 153 (56%)

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. All statistical information was pulled from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, 2007-2010 or from Richmond County Sheriff’s Office monthly crime reports. The 2009 Uniform Crime Report for Richmond County did not include a breakdown of the weapons with which violent crimes were committed, The 2011 report is yet to be released in its entirety.

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Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 08/20/12 - 09:28 pm
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I have one word...Harley.

I have one word...Harley.

Riverman1
84253
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Riverman1 08/21/12 - 07:08 am
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Where Harley and I Differ

Well, I too agree with much of what Harley said. I lived up north for a few years and saw the discrimination against one of our black army guys who was sent there with us. He really had a hard time finding an apartment because of that. This town we were all in, Hershey, Pa, had no black people and they weren't used to seeing any.

I, also, agree with Harley about government programs that encourage dependence. However, I also realize the history of apartheid in the South. It was real, legislated and enforced. Even the mills wouldn't hire blacks in the 60's. They were under employed, educated and fed. All that didn't stop with school desegregation in the late 60's.

When I was at University Hosp. in the 90's you could still barely make out a sign in the ER waiting room that had been painted over..."Colored." The waiting room was divided into white and black sections if anyone remembers.

Integration was a slow process. Those slums and crime in large parts of Richmond County are gradually being eliminated, but they are a result of the segregation era. I'm not absolving individual blacks of the responsibility to work, obey the law and succeed, but I do realize history has something to do with their predicament.

oldfella
620
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oldfella 08/21/12 - 08:31 am
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Not quite accurate on promotions

"Why do Army promotions favor black officers in percentages far greater than their representation in the force?"
Not really. The Army promotes minority Non Commissioned Officers at a higher rate in the Senior NCO category (E-7 and above). Actual been-to-college Officer promotions are at a slightly lower rate. Don't get me started - I did 22+ years Air Force and Army. I could write a book on the "stacked deck" of NCO promotions. All us military know the deal, and accept it as status quo.

harley_52
23468
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harley_52 08/21/12 - 09:02 am
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oldfella..

I'd be interested in seeing your data on the Army Officer promotion rates if you have some. I can't find recent data. I do see that there were a number of law suits in the late 90s-early 2000s on the issue so maybe it has changed since I retired from the Army in 1986 after 21 years. I can say with absolute certainty that when I retired the promotion rates were heavily skewed in favor of minorities and that it was conscious and purposeful policy of the DOD that it be that way. If it has changed toward a merit based promotion system of late, I applaud that change. (But I doubt it has).

harley_52
23468
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harley_52 08/21/12 - 09:20 am
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"... I do realize history....

... has something to do with their predicament."

And so do I, Riverman, and so does everybody I know. The issue isn't really whether there has been racial discrimination and slavery in the past, as I've tried to point out several times in this discussion. The issue is how long we allow these sins of the past to be used as a crutch by the society of "victimhood" we've developed in the United States and how long we will throw money into policies and programs that exacerbate and prolong the very problems we claim to be trying to fix.

We're now into the fourth generation of "victims" we're trying to save via massive government spending for social programs that provide "free stuff" to millions of Americans every day. Half the population pays no income taxes. Some percentage of those get money refunded that they never paid in the first place. Many of these "victims" get free food, free housing, free education, free health care, and free spending money all paid for by people they believe hate them and are purposely keeping them "down." And what has been the success rate of this massive spending and the concurrent low expectations we've placed on all these "victims?" Their numbers have expanded and their situations have deteriorated. We've bought ourselves a society of "victims" who are uneducated, illiterate, undisciplined, often drug or alcohol addicted, and anti-social.

It's time to abandon the entire notion of "victimhood" and raise our expectations on this under class of losers and criminals we've created with all our misguided pity and misplaced "compassion."

I'll say it again.....I don't believe there are ANY citizens now living in the USA who have ever experienced ANY effects of slavery in the USA and few, if any, who substantially suffer from decades old discrimination in this country. I mean except the kind of racial discrimination that has caused all the politically correct do-gooders to spend about five trillion dollars and about forty-five years making the entire situation worse than it was to start with.

Riverman1
84253
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Riverman1 08/21/12 - 09:41 am
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Harley said, "The issue isn't

Harley said, "The issue isn't really whether there has been racial discrimination and slavery in the past, as I've tried to point out several times in this discussion. "

Then I don't know where you are going because the past racial discrimination is ALL I've made a point about. If you agree there was discrimination then I agree about government promoting a welfare class with it's handouts. Drum roll. We have landed.

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 08/21/12 - 09:41 am
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Those dadgum
Unpublished

Tea Party members just keep shooting people from the hood. Ain't no black person gonna shoot, rob or murder nobody cause the civil rights act of 1964 told them to be CIVIL.

Riverman1
84253
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Riverman1 08/21/12 - 09:44 am
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My recollections of the Army

My recollections of the Army in the 80's are much like Old Fella's. There were a few statements made about ensuring blacks were given equal opportunities, but the studies I remember were much like what Old Fella said. There was not an official program that I recall enforcing racial quotas.

harley_52
23468
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harley_52 08/21/12 - 10:14 am
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"There was not.....

...an official program that I recall enforcing racial quotas."

Did you ever sit on a D.A. level promotion board? I did.

"New Guidance For Officer Boards Stops Race, Gender Preferences (03/06/00 - pay/subscription site)

According to the Army Times: "Responding to a flurry of reverse discrimination lawsuits, the Army has changed the affirmative-action and equal-opportunity instructions given to officer promotion, school and command selection boards.

"The changes involve board procedures that have evolved over the past three decades to encourage the selection of women and minorities at rates comparable to the dominant race/gender group under consideration, which for most boards is white males.

"The old instructions required boards to compile an order-of-merit list and set a tentative cut line for selection. If a board did not meet its equal opportunity goal, it was required to conduct a file review of officers in the affected race or gender group to look for past discrimination.

"The new instructions do not set [racial] goals, and they do not provide for race/gender file reviews or the revoting of files.

"Board members are told the equal opportunity guidance "shall not be interpreted as requiring or authorizing you to extend any preference of any sort to any officer or group of officers solely on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender."

"In recent years, the type of practices required by the old rules have come under attack in lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of affirmative-action policies. The federal courts generally have ruled affirmative-action measures must be designed to remedy specific instances of discrimination.

"A 1995 Supreme Court case (Adarand vs. Pena) is important for the Army because it ruled against affirmative-action contracting by the Department of Transportation, a federal agency. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote in the majority opinion that "federal racial classifications ... must serve a compelling interest, and must be narrowly tailored to further that interest."

"Citing Adarand and similar cases, several white male officers have filed suits over the past three years that challenge the legality of promotion panels and Selective Early Retirement Boards." (From Army Times, by Jim Tice, 03/06/00)
[link to Pay/Subscription Site: http://www.mco.com/mem/archives/army/2000/at0306af.htm ]"

harley_52
23468
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harley_52 08/21/12 - 10:23 am
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All Of Which...

..goes to show that if oldfella retired in the past decade or so his observation was absolutely correct. But I can also say with the same certainty that there used to be. I saw it with my own eyes.

oldfella
620
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oldfella 08/21/12 - 11:17 am
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Glad they fixed it then

Well if The Army finally stopped the quota system, it's about time. What's the phrase the Republicans are using now? Equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. Theoretically the selection board was unbiased. But in reality it was like watching a fight where someone totally dominates their opponent in front of God and everybody, but the judges see it otherwise and turn the loser into a winner. And just like a fight, how the judges choose is a secret. Anyway, BACK ON TOPIC FOLKS! We all live an an area with heavy gun violence. There's no easy, fair solution that will occur within our lifetimes. All we as individuals can do is practice situational awareness 24/7 and minimize our time in the danger zones as much as possible.

harley_52
23468
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harley_52 08/21/12 - 11:59 am
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This Entire Discussion...

....has been "ON TOPIC." There are multiple reasons for the "heavy gun violence." One of them is (and I think this is the most profound one) that we have a significant majority of black citizens in Richmond County. Some significant percentage of black citizens suffer from all the social problems we've been discussing here and are, therefore, prime candidates for "gun violence" on one side of the barrel or another. If we want to stop "gun violence" one of the first things we should do is insure we have effective law enforcement and tough judges. The longer term thing we need to do is stop all these programs that have brought about the situation in which we now find ourselves and stop rewarding citizens for destructive, anti-social behavior. What we DON'T need to do is waste more money paying to rid ourselves of guilt for things none of us had anything to do with when all we're doing is making the problems worse.

Personal responsibility, high expectations, equal opportunity, reverence for the almighty, and family values are things we should be embracing for all of society.

Until we get there, make sure you get yourself and your eligible family members a WCL/GWL.

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