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Drugs fuel violence, not guns

January 10, 2013

Gun violence in our streets isn't fueled by guns, it's fueled by drugs....

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Jan-10-13 5:01 AM

Likely proven again last night....

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Jan-10-13 5:57 AM

Point made and taken.

Legalization and/or regulation for use and sale would solve more problems than the strict senseless laws regarding most drugs on the books today.

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Jan-10-13 6:27 AM

Listen, I agree with the letter, but the fact is, 90% of the drug problem in Williamsport PA, is located between Hepburn St and Cemetary St; maybe even not that far, maybe Greir St or 5th Ave even. Furthermore, of that # I'm willing to be 75% of that 90% is located between the streets of Campbell St. I'm sure you get what I'm saying, without me having to say it. I'm also willing to bet that about 75% of that 75% is originally from Philadelphia and probabbly has at least misdemeanor drug charges on them already. The areas between Hepburn St and Campbell St are probably some of the most dangerous within the city. There have been numerous shootings in that area, including at Timberland Apts and the basketball court. I 100% agree the problem is as a result of drugs, most criminals have guns to protect themselves because of their involvement with drugs, I'm sure if that's not 100% true its pretty close to being so. I am absolutely one of those people who think part of the answer is

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Jan-10-13 6:29 AM

to ship them back to Philadelphia when they get arrested and let them stay there in jail. We have enough problems here in Williamsport and I'm not really concerned about how callous or racial it sounds. The people in those areas are the biggest issue with this city; It's not JUST them but they are the biggest part of it. There are plenty of African American folk in this city who do not feel the need to deal in drugs or shoot people over basketball games or whatever. There are plenty of good hearted people of all races in this city. Also, let's not pretend that white people are innocent either, plenty of white people live in the area I'm referring to and they are as much the problem.

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Jan-10-13 6:33 AM

Sideliner, if you're strictly talking about Marijuana I don't disagree with you, not that I want my kid getting involved in that. But when it comes to ******e, Cocaine, etc.. The laws should be even more strict, as to keep people off the streets when they're arrested for involvement with such drugs. Thats just my opinion though. As for my previous comments, my intent is not to be offensive or come across as racist or anything like that. I'm being honest, I've lived in this city for a long time and the problem has grown in that particular area, and yes..most of the people who live in that area are African American but you will never hear me say they are the only ones at fault because that's b.s. Like I said, plenty of white people live in that area and I'm sure other areas of the city where they are also involved heavily in drugs.

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Jan-10-13 6:44 AM

I live in the area you mention (above High St), am white, and am not part of the problem.

People cannot be "shipped back" to anywhere other than the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed. And the "ship them back" anywhere would violate a Constitutional right to free movement in this country.

I too, however, believe a lot of the problem is related to non-residents. But what those non-residents do is supply a a very veracious drug appetite of the locals. Prohibition will not douse the flame in the belly of the beast here.

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Jan-10-13 6:47 AM

No offense taken, wwhickok, and I agree with some of your argument, however, if the Philly people leave be sure that the locals will be taking the trip to North Philly corners to get what they "need."

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Jan-10-13 6:58 AM

add to it, lacking parenting, lacking responsibility and unemployment. I'll bet if you look close enough you will see huge ties to unemployment and violence, drugs and even pregnancy.

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Jan-10-13 7:06 AM

Sideliner, I apologize I should've added, that I do know that there are plenty of good people that live in that area as well.

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Jan-10-13 7:08 AM

Idiottwo, Sideliner, completely agree with each of your statements. And I agree, i do think that they could 'transfer' them to other prisons for 'lack of space', however, I do see your point in it not changing anything because 'people will get what they need'.

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Jan-10-13 7:13 AM

I absolutely agree with the statement that parenting has a lot to do with it, but at the same time, I would also say, the individual has the ability to overcome bad parenting and make choices for themselves. They just have to want to. I speak from experience, this isn't an 'empty opinion'. My father is originally from Williamsport and spent most of my childhood in prison because of being heavily involved with drugs, from marijuana to cocaine and ******e. He both dealt and used drugs. It took him a long time but he's clean and out of prison now and no longer lives in the area. I have never used drugs in my life, I swore to myself when I was young that I'd never do so because I saw where it got my father. But everyone is different, some kids are able to learn from others' mistakes, some kids are led to follow in their footsteps. Good parenting though, undeniably is the best defense against criminalization at a young age, there is no denying that.

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Jan-10-13 7:59 AM

wwhickok - thanks for sharing some of that detail. Certainly has me look at some of your comments diferently. It might be you seek to speak to students that might be on the fence of trouble and explaining how your taking personal responnsibilty for actions and what you faced possibly help them to turn the corner. Agaiin, thanks for sharing.

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Jan-10-13 8:28 AM

25% of our children are on food stamps. I would suspect that you will see a tie to these children being more likely to be involved in voilence. You see lots of effort to get these programs with funding. You don't see near the attention to prevent the need for the program. More employment, less violence.

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Jan-10-13 8:43 AM

I don't believe drug abuse is tied to one race or another. It is a cultural thing and if you buy into that culture, you will use. If you read the paper, there are plenty of "whites" who have their names in for drug related issues. I think there are areas where there are more non-whites and so it may appear that it is their problem, but it exists in every socioeconomic and racial group. Bad decisions, bad parents, bad adults are everywhere. To say the problem is because blacks relocated here from somewhere else is inaccurate, we had plenty of home grown idiots before people started to relocate here.

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Jan-10-13 8:53 AM

Homegrown idiots. Have to agree with that one.

When you speak of drugs are you including alcohol. Not all violent crimes are the result of drugs and/or alcohol consumption.

If you believe that drugs is the problem then decriminalize drugs.

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Jan-10-13 8:59 AM

Charles, the shootings are mostly from drug related issues. Probably including the shooting yesterday. Yes, alcohol is a drug, but it is legal and controlled. I would bet most gun violence is gang and drug related, to that end it involves criminals and laws don't affect them. Perhaps we should learn something from the 18th amendment and how well it didn't work. We have similar problems with drug trafficking and distribution today as we had during Prohibition. We need to address our failure in the "War on Drugs" and come up with a better plan.

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Jan-10-13 9:02 AM

Decriminalizing drugs will only encourage young children/teenagers to use them. I see no smartness in that.

As for your comments nobud, I do agree with you, the 'area' I specifically mentioned, coincidentally has a lot of one race within that realm, not completely, just a lot of them, and 'coincidentally' that is an area of high crime within this city. I can only really speak of the city i live in because well..I don't live anywhere else so I can't really say what goes on there, i don't read their papers or have first hand knowledge. But i do agree that it isn't a race issue.

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Jan-10-13 9:14 AM

idiottwo, thank you for the compliment. Though I will say generally, students are best served by individuals who 'rose from the ashes' and had some success in life..that's totally not me. I have been a 'job leaper' and have made plenty of bad decisions. Right now I'm barely cutting 17k/year. I would say my life is more moralized and honorable by not following in my fathers foot steps. I don't know if I would say it's "better" but it's definitely not his kind of bad.

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Jan-10-13 9:28 AM

wwhic**** - no, you are a perfect person to address. You are first-hand. Don't know what type of jobs you jumped through but can think of a lot of places that would love to have you. People who have lived through these things, whether as a child or someone who has successfully recovered, do the best work. You didn't read about, you know. Thanks for telling us about your life.

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Jan-10-13 9:36 AM

"Decriminalizing drugs will only encourage young children/teenagers to use them. I see no smartness in that."

They are not all that discouraged now and then you add the guns to the mix. Most of those involved in gun/drug violence are young.

I find myself in agreement with nobud on this. The fight agsinst illegal drugs has failed miserably in this country and has only fueled and fed the illicit drug trade in other nations and some we are currently fighting.

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Jan-10-13 9:58 AM

Thank you Spike. Wouldn't really know where to begin to get myself involved in something like that. Btw, for those who are frequent readers/commentors, name's Wes.

To CM - Honest question, do you think that making drugs legal would devalue them and 'rid them' from the streets due to that devalue and/or decrease the crime related to them due to their legal exchange? If so, then I could see the validity to the idea.

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Jan-10-13 10:37 AM

There are two ways of eliminating violence attributed to illegal drug dealing. We can decriminalize the use and sale of illegal drugs, which would have to happen at the federal level, or we can dry up the market for illegal drugs. Drying up the market would require a zero tolerance for drug use on the part of everyone in the area. The names of known drug users should be published and employers and schools should discharge anyone known to use them and that includes recreational use.

As long as there’s a lucrative market for illegal drugs, there will be those eager to supply it.

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Jan-10-13 11:10 AM

Chuck,"If you believe that drugs is the problem then decriminalize drugs."

How does that help? Are you saying that if drugs are legal people would stop using them? If so, then why do we have drug stores selling legal drugs that people don't use? If that works why do you want to outlaw guns? By your theory that would increase gun use. You make no sense at all. There is a reason that when you buy a gun, one of the questions is if you use drugs. It's not legal for drug users to buy guns. Do you think that the government already knows that's the problem? Yes they do, but they want to take our guns so they don't mention it.

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Jan-10-13 11:17 AM

Are you required to submit to a drug test when buying a gun? If not..all you have to do is check no.. you don't have to be telling the truth.

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Jan-10-13 11:20 AM

Chuck,"When you speak of drugs are you including alcohol. Not all violent crimes are the result of drugs and/or alcohol consumption."

Not all, but a large majority of all crime is related to alcohol and drug use. Much of the rest is gang related. Do you think that gangs get their guns legally? Do you think that drug users or dealers, who are by definition criminals get their guns legally. As long as guns exist, they will get them and guns will exist as long as the government wants them, which will be forever. What you want is for good law-abiding citizens to be defenseless against these killers. Can you explain the reasoning behind that.

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