Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They Sell Printing Presses To Anyone

Your character doesn't matter. There isn't even a background check. Fork over money, receive printing press, try to lose money fast enough to meet payroll. And then, you get to write headlines like "IS RIGHT THE NEW LEFT?" It piqued my interest...until I read the subhead, which told me it was about strange new kinds of traffic intersections.


It turns out that "peaceable assembly" thing is wide-open, too; you're not limited to just one a month and as long as it is peaceable, it doesn't need to have a sporting purpose or nuthin'.

You're (often) good to go even if some of the assemblees aren't very peaceable -- take the recently-ended Indiana Black Expo, for instance. I'd like to tell you the shooting that marred Saturday evening was an unusual occurrence, but it keeps happening. After years of having some level of violence break out in and around the teen-focused events Saturday night and making vague promises to fix the problem, IBE's CEO has announced the formation of a task force; this time, in addition to working on ways to make the event safer, they are to "look at the root causes of youth violence." Yeah, "look," that'll make gangs less attractive to young folks. Especially with no one younger than 30 on the committee. Mostly, they're talkin' serious levels of weapons screening and fencing-off: kind of like prison, but with music. It seems suboptimal.

Event organizers very rightly point out the remainder of the Expo does not suffer this sort of trouble; the health fair, job fair, resume help and (for lack of a better term) grown-up concerts (etc.) are safe and positive events.*

At least one member of the task force gets it: Rev. Jeffrey Johnson, no stranger to task forces, points out, "There are reports this thick from task forces that are sitting on desks all over this city. ...We have not figured out a way to implement them." Me neither; it only takes a few ijits to mess up a whole evening.

(Interesting story in this vein from Ruth Holliday, addressing the incident and the media sugar-coating out-of-control youth -- have a look).
* Y'know how we point out that if guns cause criminal behavior, 99.99999% of the guns in the U.S. must be broken, 'cos it's a vanishingly small percentage that are used in crime? If crowds cause violence, this one is broken, too: out of well over 40K people, one or possibly two moron gangstas initiated force. And cast a very big shadow over the entire event.


Anonymous said...

I am sure there are simmilar acts at all the major events in indianapolis there just not being reported. That has to be it, no reporting, ye thats right.

Anonymous said...

Oddly, no.

No shootings at the Indy 500, the Brickyard 400 (350K Nascar fans=lots and lots of guns, so if there would be a shooting because of guns, it would be there), and even no shootings at the Indy 1500 Gun Show. I don't know about GenCon, I mean all those geeks with light sabers and neckbeards--it could get ugly.

"Officer, Harold failed his saving throw against my phaser and then he took my retainer."

Shootin' Buddy

Old Grouch said...

And the Star's Matt Tully starts out well, then falls over his own feet (as usual):

We have to ask whether the current Expo leadership is up to addressing the problem. We have to be willing to acknowledge that these types of problems have not been associated with other conventions. We have to ask about the expense to taxpayers of securing the event. And we have to ask why this city buckles in fear of offending the National Rifle Association, so much so that it has refused to aggressively tackle the deadly issue of illegally possessed guns.

Yeah, like the NRA is so in favor of "illegally possessed guns."

Anonymous said...

Can anyone see the dead elephant in the room?

Tam said...

"Can anyone see the dead elephant in the room?"

No. Do tell, though.

Roberta X said...

Yeah, Anon, I can see the dead elephant -- I just can't tell if it's a Blood or a Crip.

40K adults and a sizeable number of young people -- most of them with a higher melanin content than me or the President -- attend Indy Black Expo and did NOT shoot one another. One young fool with a prior history of getting into gang-type trouble downtown (persona non grata at Circle Center Mall) did.

I can see the elephant. Can you, or is it too dark in here for ya?

Montie said...


Having seen the news coverage on this event, I wondered when you would comment on it. We have an annual event here that results in much the same outcome every year, the "Indoor Fun Fair".

Primarily geared to youth, it always attracts the gangbanger element. When I was working a patrol assignment, I would pretty much count on being called along with every available unit to show up with riot sticks and helmets due to shootings and violence on the last day.

There is always much hand-wringing and excuse making afterward without much being addressed toward the real problem.