Gun Violence Isn’t Always About Gangs And Drugs

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Domestic violence makes up half of Toledo’s homicides this year
City’s dirty little secret: Domestic violence behind many homicides

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Doug Berger 0:02
Violent Crime has spiked recently. Are we wasting time and money with more policing? Can having children be immoral? And where are the vigils and memorials for the thousands who died in the pandemic? one political party has blood on its hands, and its initials are G. O. P. I’m Doug Berger. And this is Secular Left

Doug Berger 0:45
Welcome to another episode of secular left. And one of the topics I wanted to talk to you about is that you’ve probably seen in the news they’ve been doing stories about it in on the nightly news in the newspapers. You’ve also seen it on conservative websites and news news networks like Fox News that there is a spike crime violent crime spike violent crime rates have shot through the roof and the largest in history, not history, but are just in 20 years and and we got to spend more money on cops and buy tanks and and be tough on criminals. And you see that in the election. At least in our area, we have a election for a state senator us a US senator seat this year and and a lot of the candidates on the Republican side have been touting how he’s gonna be tough on crime and something about fentanyl coming over the border. Anyway. So yeah, there’s been a lot of homicides, spike in homicides, gun violence, violent crime. Some people have attributed it to the pandemic and the lock downs, which is possible that you know, some people’s mental health kind of went in the crapper. While they were isolated and locked up and couldn’t get help. That’s possible. And so, you know, communities around the country and around the world are wondering, what are we going to do? Here in Toledo, where I’m from in Northwest Ohio, they decided that they hired this guy to be a what they call violence interrupter. And basically, it was a community effort, you would they would hire these interrupters. And if there was a hint of any violence, they would send these interrupters out to try to talk to people and try to try to de escalate any issues. And it’s had some success, where it was used. It took a while for it to ramp up. They had some people that didn’t stay that they left. Just recently, the director of this program also resigned. He’s leaving, going back to Columbus and the Toledo police department, they want more money to hire more police officers. They’re also doing a targeted and targeted enforcement areas. Now, they had one on in on Lagrange street. They just had one this past weekend in a neighborhood called five points on the west side of Toledo. And that’s basically they flood the area with cops. And they arrest people harass people ticket people trying to, I don’t know, reduce crime. It’s kind of kind of reminds me of the broken window program that they used to have in Toledo, Toledo, in New York City where they would arrest people for every little infraction every petty thing, like broken windows, if you broke somebody’s window, you would get arrested. And the main thing about that was if you left these broken windows unchecked, then crime would would go up or Or that’s what they were talking about anyway. So they did this, but then there was an article that came out in the Toledo Blade recently where they had released the crime report, I believe it was for. Yeah, it was for the January, January and February of this year. And the headline was, and I’ll have a link to this. This article. “Domestic Violence makes up half of Toledo’s homicides this year”. You know, let that let that sink in. That out of the number of people that have been killed or murdered since January, the first half of them have been murdered due to domestic violence, either an ex or husband or spouse, murdered the other person. And they also had a, the city, Dr. Michelle Grim, who’s on the city council also had a press conference just the other day, where they are going to hire more people to try to address the domestic violence issue, they’re going to put more money into it, they were going to hire another detective on the police department who investigates domestic violence cases. That’s the thing. They only had one detective investigating domestic violence cases.

Doug Berger 5:47
It contributed to half of the homicide rate. Since the start of the year, and they only have one detective. So and now they want to hire a second one to just do domestic violence cases. And so, you know, I was doing research on this on this topic, and, and I was doing a search, search on Toledo Blade’s website. And I came across another article, I thought it was the article I was looking for. But it wasn’t in this article was written by, at the time, Jeff Garrett, the deputy editorial page editor, and the date on the article was May 19 2013. So that was nine years ago. And the title of the column and it was a column that he wrote was “City’s dirty little secret domestic violence behind many homicides.” And so they had the story of this woman Winabi Triplet, who had kicked out her, her boyfriend, Robert Carter, and he did the thing that usually people that are dangerous do is that he harassed her, called her work, texted her, she had to change your phone number, she had to move her family. She got a protection order against him, etc. And yet, he was still able to murder her. And the cops didn’t arrest him until nine hours after he was dead after she was dead. But and so that was just just freaky as it was. But then I checked out further in the article, they have the city homicide data. And it says if if and this is 2013 says if you ask people in Toledo what’s driving homicides and violence in their city, most would say drugs or gangs. That’s true in Chicago where police estimate that 80% of the city’s 532 murders last year were gang related, but it’s not true in Toledo. The Toledo police department has only one detective assigned to domestic violence compared to 18 officers in the gang unit. Again, this is 2013. Yet for all the police resources and media hype heaped on gangs, they accounted for only seven of the 36 homicides reported by Toledo police last year. Meantime, domestic violence caused 14 homicides are more than a third of the total. Maybe domestic violence is still a dirty little secret that forces us to look inside the suppose it sanctity of our homes, and in the mirror, instead of it some other group of people that society already demonizes like young men of color. That Toledo police received 2860 reports of domestic violence last year, they issued more than 1700 charges and nearly 300 felony warrants and more than 1400 misdemeanor arrest. Police also reported more than 350 violations of protective orders. So this has been a common occurrence. It seems like in the last nine years, that domestic violence leads to a lot of the violent the homicide rate in the city of Toledo. And I’m sure that that is similar to other cities of Toledo size, you know, where we don’t have humongous gang population, and it’s not a hub for drugs, let’s say Chicago or Detroit or New York City. And so it’s domestic violence. So I’m thinking to myself, how about if we funnel some of that money that they’re spending on let’s say the gang unit and funnel that into addressing some of these domestic violence cases. You know, one of them is a misdemeanor, you get a misdemeanor for violating a protection order. And I also think that the the police should do a better job of tracking down these people, when they violate a protection order, or they make threatening remarks. I know, even if you make a threat,

Doug Berger 10:25
you can be arrested for domestic violence charges, even if you don’t physically abuse somebody, if you make a threat of hurting somebody, you can be arrested. And I think that’s what they should do. And we need to reallocate these funds, instead of buying a an MRAP, like the Toledo police want to do that we should put that more into addressing domestic violence cases. And then I think that would see a drop in violent crime. And it would probably see a drop in gun crime. And it’s just interesting that, that for nine years, it’s been the same, the same resources, the same thing that they’ve been doing, and it hasn’t worked. And so we need to change it, we need to do it, so that it works, and try to address these things. I mean, we could do the gun laws and, and ban guns. But some of these domestic violence homicides were stabbings. And so you know, you’re not going to address them all. But I think if we really work hard and address these domestic violence cases, make sure that these women get the help that they need immediately. Instead of waiting for their violent ex, or violent spouse to act, then I think we would see the homicide rate drop, pretty good, at least a third, based on the 2013 numbers, at least half by the numbers that we have currently, since the start of the year, which isn’t saying much. But I really think that we need to start putting our resources into stuff that has some data to back it up. You know, they did these targeted enforcement’s and I think they arrested seven people or whatever. No, that’s not going to anyway, because usually those people just move on, we just need I think that that one of the things that we can be doing to address domestic violence is to get to get more resources into it. And here in Toledo, one detective is just not going to do it.

Doug Berger 12:50
Hello, this is Doug host of secular left reminding you that I like to be validated. If you liked this podcast and want to thank me, feel free to buy me a coffee, go to buy me a and donate some cash to help make this a better show. To validate me as a person. You’ll feel better in the morning.

Doug Berger 13:18
If you’ve read my bio, and heard me talking in previous episodes, you know that I am the founder and president of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie here in Toledo. And one of the things that I’ve been trying to do since founding the group and being involved in the community is to let the news media know that I’m available if they’re looking for a secular or humanistic perspective on new news of the day. And I did receive, I was contacted by a reporter at the Toledo Blade recently for a feature story that that they were doing about anti-natalism. I’d never heard of it. I was not familiar with that term. The reporter explained it to me and then I also did some further research. But basically, there’s a group of people that have a philosophy that bringing children into this world or having children is immoral.

Doug Berger 14:15
You know, that’s a big step. When you think that an action is immoral. That means that it’s wrong. That’s your thinking that it’s wrong, and that you need to not do it. You know, it’s not something like well, I it’s not a matter of taste, you know, you think that it’s morally wrong to have children. And so, in looking at it, what it was is that they that some some people have different ideas about why they should not have children in the one thing is that the world is basically a dumpster fire. You know, you have threats of nuclear war, you have the war in Ukraine, the pandemic you’ve got polluted water, storms, wildfires, climate change. And then you have people that believe it’s immoral to bring in children because of suffering. They believe that children would suffer if they didn’t have the resources to help them like, like, children in extremely poor areas such as Southern southern United States or in places like Africa, where children are starving and, and our lack food, water, clean water, that that they’re suffering and and we don’t want to do that. So I had this reporter contact me and wanted to get the humanist perspective, a secular humanist perspective on this, this topic. And I was pleased that they wanted to include me because they talk to other faith leaders, they talk to a Catholic priest, they talk to a Buddhist, I believe a Muslim imam might even talk to a Wiccan maybe not sure I didn’t go through in detail to check everybody’s bio. But they included me and so I appreciated that they wanted to this reporter wanted to talk to me and include our perspective. And so let me just read to you. My part, it’s just and I’ll have links up in the show notes that you can go check this out. In online, we have an up in my humanist groups website in our clippings page, and it probably be better to check it out. But I’m sure not everybody that listens to this has a subscription to the Toledo Blade. And so they do use a paywall. So anyway.

Doug Berger 16:52
So in this article, it has Douglas Berger, president of the Secular Humanist Western Lake Erie, that’s me, said that none of his group members subscribe to anti natal ism, but that humanists in general are concerned about unchecked population growth, because of the effect on our planet’s resources. However, that doesn’t mean they support universal childlessness, especially in any kind that’s imposed from above. And then here’s my quote, we strongly feel any family planning should be up to the individuals involved without interference from the government or religion. The decision to have children or not, should be based on situational ethics. Can I afford to bring a child into this world for example? Anyway, so I was, I was very happy that they included me in the article, and that they included that quote, and they also put up a picture and see it here. They include a picture of me on the in the printed version, which doesn’t happen too often. And so I’m pretty pleased as punch about that. So if you do have a subscription to Toledo Blade, take, take a look.

Doug Berger 18:09
Now getting to the topic of anti-natalism, I understand it. I completely understand people I mean, because if you look at at least a religious view, and this is coming from, you know, history was that you had to have a lot of children. And the reason why you had to have a lot of children is you had a farm to work. You also wanted to have somebody to give your property to your your goods and property after you pass on. Because that would perpetrate the family. And then the other reason to was that you wanted to outnumber the people that were not like you. You know, that’s why they had you know, wars and other things so much was because they wanted to outnumber the people that weren’t like them.

Doug Berger 19:05
Currently, some extreme religious conservatives, there’s a group called quiverfull, where they have the philosophy that they need to have a lot of kids because supposedly, the Bible says have a lot of kids and they believe it’s, it’s they’re being endowed by God to have a lot of kids. Anything, any choices about reproduction, whether or not to have kids or not have kids is has to be entirely up to the individuals. That’s why humanists oppose any laws that restrict a woman’s reproductive rights. That’s why we believe that we need to give more resources for childcare so that women aren’t tied to the home, that they can go and do what they want and work if they want. And that it’s not a burden for women to have children because they don’t have the resources to take care of them. And, you know, we want to make sure that the social safety nets there for women who do have children and can afford to take care of them. And we want to make sure that they’re making all these choices of their own freewill and not from some dictate from a government official or from a religious person. And that’s what, you know, equality is about, that’s what freedom is about. And so, we may not subscribe to anti-natalism. But as long as people aren’t being forced to do it, we don’t. Most humanists don’t see a problem with it. I don’t personally see a problem with it. But it’s an article that, you know, if you’re not familiar with the term, you should really check it out. And might be some kind of philosophy that you want to take a look at later.

Doug Berger 21:00
This is Secular Left.

Doug Berger 21:08
Just recently, we have seen the omachron variant of the COVID 19 pandemic subside, the surge from over cron subsided. That means that there are less sick people going to the hospitals, hospitals aren’t as overwhelmed anymore. The number of deaths have dropped, and in the number of cases have dropped overall. And so of course, now that things are subsiding, the political people have said, let’s get back to normal. Let’s go drink and go out to the bars. Let’s worry about inflation and, and the war in Ukraine and zippity doo da. You know, we don’t have to wear masks anymore. Come on. And in fact, one of our politicians, I believe it was Jim Jordan said something about wearing mask. Diplomats trying to prevent the Ukraine invasion, were wearing masks and fist bumping instead of handshaking. And he said this is why they think America is weak. Because we’re wearing masks. The point that many of these politicians and the media seems to be glossing over. Ignoring purposely I don’t know, is that the United States has had more than 900,000 deaths. We are gathering steam and getting close to a million people. Think about that. The population of the United States is like 360 370 380 million people. And just think a million people just wiped off the face of the earth from a pandemic. Now, I’m not sure if many of the listeners listening into this podcast are old enough to remember 911 September 11 2001, where we lost close to 3000 people, over 300 firefighters, several hundred police officers, you can go searching for the news coverage from that day. But people lost their minds that we lost 3000 people people I mean, the country literally shut down for several days to process. The carnage. There were rallies, there were prayer vigils, candlelight vigils, at you know, people volunteer took time off and went to Ground Zero and dug in the piles. And they remove the piles in like 45 days because they had hundreds of people digging and that has led to people that were digging at Ground Zero have come down with cancer because you have the had these two towers that were built in the 70s when asbestos was fine, and other chemicals were fine to use a building materials that aren’t now and these building materials had burnt. People were breathing in these toxic fumes while they’re digging. And all they had on were dust masks. You know and people did that. There were were blood drives in almost every city because they thought they needed blood which they ended up not I mean, they built net, a national park, where flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. After it was taken over by terrorists, they built a national park. Then some of the debris after it was done with the criminal investigation was donated to any city that could haul it off. In Hilliard, Ohio, when I still lived down in Columbus, they got a steel beam from one of the trade centers, and they put it up in their park. And how and had memorial services we’ve had have memorial services just about every year and then bigger ones during the milestone, like to 10 15 20 year. And that’s just for 3000 people being dead. When hurricanes have killed hundreds of people, you know, the country practically stops and raises money and food trucks and, and volunteers and, and

Doug Berger 26:09
I know, when Katrina hit, people were taking people from New Orleans into their home, you know, to live for months, while they got other housing because the housing was destroyed. And they had candlelight vigils and rallies and raised money and, and had parks and things going on. Except for President Biden, acknowledging the COVID deaths during a speech I believe shortly after he took office. There has been no collective dealing with the mass casualty. We’re talking about mass casualty 900,000 Plus, people are dead. And it’s all about getting back to normal and mask mandates boo hiss and, and, and, and what’s what boggles my mind is these 900,000 Plus deaths, most of them were needless because either you had to lock the place down and wear masks constantly, or get a vaccine and people still are not. Ohio has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. It’s less than 50%. And during the Omicron surge, people hunt hundreds of 1000s of people were still getting sick. And, and people who are like, well, we’re just gonna have to learn to live but they’re saying that today we’re just gonna have to learn to live with it. But they’re still not acknowledging the deaths. One of the people I follow us on Facebook, one of the few people that I follow consistently is Connie Schultz. She’s a columnist for the USA Today network of newspapers that includes the Columbus Dispatch, Akron Beacon journal, and some other ones. I think the the Louisville courier journal or something like that. They own a lot of newspapers, and she does column for them. And in our Facebook account, the other day, she posted essay by Ed Yong, y-o-n-g, that was printed in The Atlantic magazine. And I’ll have links up on our show notes for to get that and I read the blurb the blurb that she posted with it is the point I’m trying to make and it’s just so poignant. And he writes, Ed Young writes,

Doug Berger 28:57
“Every American who died of COVID left an average of nine close relatives bereaved. roughly 9 million people. 3% of the population now have a permanent hole in the world that was once failed by a parent, child, sibling, spouse or grandparent. An estimated 149,000 children have lost a parent or caregiver. Many people were denied the familiar rituals of mourning bedside goodbyes in person funerals. Others are grieving raw and recent losses. Their grief trampled amid the stampede toward normal. I’ve known multiple people who didn’t get to bury their parents or be with their families, and now are expected to go back to the grind of work. So Steven Thrasher, a journalist, and author of the viral underclass, which looks at the interplay between inequalities and infectious diseases, we’re not giving people the space individually or society societally to mourn this huge thing that’s happened.

Doug Berger 30:06
And I believe it. You know, so this is something in the future that’s going to probably bite us on the ass. We’re going to have more probably suicides, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, clinical depression, PTSD. You know, there’s already stories that are being written about people that have long COVID. These are people that had been infected by COVID, before vaccines and our have complications, like breathing problems, heart problems, joint problems that they never had before. And now they have it. And this is something as a society we’re going to have to deal with.

Doug Berger 30:53
And is it going to be like pulling teeth like trying to get first responder help? For 911? It took 10 15 years to get them compensation for their injuries, for the cancers and the deaths from that. And we haven’t had a memorial, we haven’t had an official memorial service. You know, just imagine, you know, if you look at the news reports of, of the Ukraine, the Ukraine invasion, and everybody’s getting on board doing our part and, and the governor signs a Executive Order removing Russian vodka from the State liquor stores, which doesn’t do anything because it’s already paid for, and it was probably produced in the United States. You know, the symbolism of getting on the same page. Let’s go. We had that at the beginning of the pandemic. And then the Conservatives decided that they weren’t sick. They didn’t know anybody who’s sick. So it was a fake disease. Let’s get back to normal. They ignored science. They forced our government to ignore science. They made it political. And I’m telling you right now, the conservatives, the Republican Party, they have blood on their hands. They have 900,000 and counting on their hands. Jim Jordan, Josh Mandell, Jane Timken. Anybody any Republican who denies that COVID was a serious pandemic, it still is a pandemic, they have blood on their hands. I am never going to forgive them for this. Never. Never, I have never voted for them. I’m never supporting them. If I ever get in the same room with them, and I’m able to ask them questions. I’m going to ask them why. Why did they let these people die? Why did they have to make it political? Why did they have to encourage people not to get vaccinated? Not to mask up? You know, what are they going to do to make it right for little Jimmy and Timmy? Because their grandma is dead? From COVID where their mom and dad are dead from COVID. Maybe Little Timmy is dead from COVID. You know, what’s, what’s these people going to do? What are they going to do? What are they doing? Besides still denying science, downplaying the pandemic. And they’re murderers. Essentially. They cause these people to die. And they could have done a hell of a lot more to prevent it. And they did nothing. And I’m never forgiving them for it.

Doug Berger 34:00
Thank you for listening to this episode. You can check out more information, including links to sources used in our show notes on our website at secular Secular left is hosted, written and produced by Doug Berger and he is solely responsible for the content. Send us your comments either using the contact form on the website or by sending us a note at comma at secular Our theme music is dank and nasty. Composed using amplify studio See you next time

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