A string of four horrific rapes in a North side Minneapolis neighborhood on the eve of Thanksgiving has shocked the Twin Cities - the four assaults occurred over the span of less than two hours. Even more disturbing were the ages of the perpetrators - two 14-year-olds, a 15-year-old, and a 16-year-old - and the cold-blooded viciousness of the attackers. The first victim, a 45-year-old mother who was cross country skiing in the park, was raped and robbed in front of her 10-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.
But even more inexplicable than the actions of the violent juveniles have been the reactions of some who live in the neighborhood. In place of the kind of outrage one would expect in the wake of such a vicious crime, there have been a number of area residents expressing sympathy - not for the four rape victims - but for the rapists!
A StarTribune article covered some of the responses by the Powderhorn community:
We noted the following tid-bits:
"...the young suspects, who are also accused of sexually assaulting two teenage girls after the attack on the woman, need help to 'reconnect to their essential goodness.'"
And this gem:
"It's the kind of neighborhood where, until recently, the neighborhood association had funds for a 'restorative justice' program that asked suspects to meet face-to-face with their victims, admit responsibility for what they had done and then listen to how their actions hurt the community."
Newsflash - these nasty little thugs did not hurt "the community" - they brutally raped and robbed real, live, flesh and blood human beings. And while "restorative Justice" programs can produce some results with shoplifters, burglars, and other property crime offenders, the idea that we can "restore" a rape victim or the mother of a murdered child is not only ludicrous, it diminishes their suffering to a level that is downright offensive.
By now you're probably getting a pretty good picture of the political leanings of most who live in the Powderhorn Park area. Ironically, the park's very name, Powderhorn, refers to the container (usually made from a bull's horn) used by Revolutionary War era frontiersmen to carry the gun powder they needed to load their muskets. That a place with such a name would be inhabited by so many pacifists is all the more perplexing. For example, their answer to these sexual assaults is, you guessed it, a candle-light vigil:
"Violence doesn't need to provoke a violent response from the community," said Soren Sorensen, a resident who said he plans to be at the vigil."
As for perfectly reasonable suggestions like volunteer foot patrols around the park, Sorensen's dismissal of such measures is illuminating:
"If we're not careful with that, all we're going to do is form a street gang of white progressives," he said.
Apparently, Mr. Sorensen cannot even distinguish between criminals, who randomly attack the innocent, and ordinary citizens protecting themselves from those very same criminals. This is a common problem with those who inhabit the "progressive" world - they are unable to differentiate between unlawful and immoral violence such as rape and murder, and the legally (and morally) necessary use of force as might occur in an act of self-defense. (Hint: It's called "justifiable homicide" for a reason.)
Most normal people recognize that a gang-banger who kills an innocent by-stander in a drive-by shooting (as recently happened to 12-year-old Guadalupe Galeno-Hernandez) is completely different from a woman who shoots a would-be rapist. But not Mr. Sorensen and those like him. To them, ALL violence is bad. They actually do believe that the execution of a killer like the infamous Tookie Williams (who brutally murdered four people with a sawed-off shotgun in a violent crime spree) is just as "unfortunate" as the deaths of Williams' victims.
Now, we can have endless discussions revolving around which philosophical position (to use force or not) is the morally "superior" - but what is most important in talking about what to do to prevent violent crime is not philosophy, but effectiveness. We must focus on which policies actually work, and which do not.
And on that score, the evidence is overwhelming - "peace" programs and "restorative justice" approaches do nothing to stop vicious violent offenders. Neither do "gun control" laws - none of the teenage offenders could legally buy handgun, yet they obviously had no trouble getting one. Meanwhile, the decline in violent crime associated with the proliferation of "concealed carry" laws across the nation has shown conclusively that deadly force, even the mere threat of it, truly does work to deter violent crime.
My heart goes out to the victims of these heinous crimes. But I fear that as long as the "bleeding hearts" continue to determine the policies of the Powderhorn Park area, they will only succeed in guaranteeing yet more (literally) bleeding hearts.