Referring back again to our OK Coral weekend, I was struck by two discussions of fear. The first were some callers to talk radio (Jeff Wagner's show, I think) who said they were afraid to go into the city at all. They said they would no longer go downtown; wouldn't go to Summerfest; will avoid South Shore Park, etc.
This is unfortunate. We have an epidemic violence that is occurring within the city of Milwaukee, but it's in a very small part of the city. There are parts of town in which I would not want to be at certain times of the day, but most of the space within the city limits are reasonably safe.
The other was Jay Bullock's rant (or was it a ramble?) that he doesn't like concealed carry because he doesn't want a society ruled by "fear." This is a common liberal failing in issues of crime. Concealed carry does not create fear, although some of the support for it may arise from a fear that already exists. The American left has a long history of attempting to dismiss fear of crime as "racist" or hysterical.
This never works. If people are anxious about their security, it will just not do to tell them that they shouldn't be. Nor will it work to say that crime is caused by some underlying imperfections in our society and that, in the long run, when we have created Paradise, we will at last be safe. To parapharase Lord Keynes, we know we'll be dead in the long run. But we'd like to stick around for the short run.
I would not attribute this to Jay, but sometimes I wonder if the real racial indifference lies in traditional liberal approaches to crime? If my first observation is right, most white folks aren't at risk. (Jay's right about that.) But people who live in the parts of town where violent crime is concentrated are. What could possibly justify the lack of urgency (and suggesting that the solution lies in jobs and midnight basketball is precisely that)on this?