Guns

California City Pays People to Stay Away From Guns

A novel fellowship program seems to be reducing crime.

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City pays high-risk men to stay away from guns
Wikipedia

The fatal flaw in the reasoning behind gun-control laws is that criminals by definition don't follow laws. Where there's a will (to get a firearm) there's a way.

So instead of trying to restrict supply, one California city is combating the demand side of things—by paying "several dozen men a monthly stipend between $300 and $700 to stay away from guns," reports Business Insider.

In 2007, the city of Richmond, California, had a murder rate almost ten times that of comparable California cities—45.9 per 100,000 people, vs. 4.7 elsewhere. In response, the city founded the Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS), an organization tasked with "reducing firearm homicides in the city," according to its director, Devone Boggan.

From the Business Insider piece:

This is how the process works: ONS identifies the 50 people in Richmond who are most likely to be involved with guns and establishes a rapport with them in hopes of recruiting them to be a fellow in the program. Once they agree to join, ONS works with the men to establish a "life map" and personal and professional goals. The fellows are paid once a month based on how well they adhere to the goals they set.

The program seems to be working. By 2014, Richmond's homicide rate was down 76 percent. From the article:

According to the evaluation of ONS by [the National Council of Crime and Delinquency], Boggan's approach has yielded positive results for the majority of men involved. Of the 68 fellows to go through the fellowship since it began in earnest in 2009, 64 are still alive (94%), 57 have not since been injured by a firearm (84%), and 54 are not suspected of firearm related activity (79%).

Although the ONS receives part of its funding from the city, the stipends paid out come entirely from private donations. And the program's operating cost, about $25,000 a year for each fellow, pales in comparison to the $267,000 per inmate California spends on incarceration, Boggan says.

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  1. What happens when the men decide the $700/month is too low? Government raises taxes?

    1. Well, let’s see, depending on how you look at it, that comes out to a little over $4 an hour.

      $15 NOW!

    2. Might work in California. In Texas I’d want at least $700/month/gun.

  2. I want on that list. I am virtually assured to not commit a crime and I would like $700 per month.

    This country sucks more every day.

    1. Three felonies a day.

    2. Probably have to commit a crime first.

      Just shut up and let us keep incentivising bad behavior.

    3. That’s what I’m wondering. I’ve got 4 guns, my friend who I share the house with has at least two. We’re about as involved in guns as you can get without being, you know, *rich* enough to afford your own shooting range.

      I’ll sell off what I’ve got, you pay me $700/mo, and then I’ll buy a self-defense pistol sub-rosa off Facebook.

  3. Interesting.
    Richmond is not noted for reasonable approaches to problems; it was one of the places that was going to take foreclosed property from banks by E.D. and return it to the deadbeat who couldn’t pay the mortgage.
    Oh, and they just adopted rent control, since I guess they like soaring rents.

    1. How does erectile dysfunction net you foreclosed properties?

      I’m asking…for a friend.

      1. With this one weird trick..

        Click here for details..

        1. Will I believe what happens next?

      2. That’s not helpful. This is a serious topic.

        1. Yes, Mr. Manhattan….

  4. I sure hope all the people in this program are police.

  5. Is this some bizarre twisting of the coase theorem?

    1. Or of goatse?

  6. IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
    To call upon a neighbour and to say: ?
    “We invaded you last night ? we are quite prepared to fight,
    Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

    And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
    And the people who ask it explain
    That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
    And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

    It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
    To puff and look important and to say: ?
    “Though we know we should defeat you,
    we have not the time to meet you.
    We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

    And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.

    It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
    For fear they should succumb and go astray;
    So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
    You will find it better policy to say: —

    “We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
    No matter how trifling the cost;
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
    And the nation that plays it is lost!”

    1. It’s a man’s obligation
      To stick his boneration
      In a woman’s separation…

      1. Thought for the day:

        Human males are the only male primates that lack a baculum, or penis bone. Now, in Genesis we are told that God removed a rib from Adam to create Eve.

        Are we completely certain it was a rib?

        1. Look, it says right in the Bible that the Bible is the unerring word of God.

        2. Man is created in God’s image. God doesn’t need a stupid “baculum” to keep a raging magnificent godlike boner up. This is why God is great and monkeys are stupid. QED.

        3. Human males are the only male primates that lack a baculum

          This is not strictly speaking true. Neither spider monkeys nor woolly monkeys have the fortune of sporting a baculum.

      2. Without assent, incarceration!

  7. For the love of all the Aesir and Vanir, this just about does it.

    First: how do they go about identifying the 50 people in Richmond who are most likely to be involved with guns. I live in KS, and used to live in AZ for 20 years. The 50 people I know most likely to “be involved with guns” are also the least likely to commit crimes.

    Second, since 2009 64 out of 68 of these men are still alive. Setting a pretty high bar there.

    Third, so they are paying $500 a month to each person to not commit crime (and I mean real crime here like armed robbery). I tell you what for $200 a month I won’t commit a crime.

    So I guess that’s the answer. Just go to the worst inner cities in the country and just hand out money. Problem solved. Next up, world hunger!

  8. Ok, so – I do not think I drink enough.

    Not having anything to do today, I picked up a pizza and a six pack of Redd’s Green Apple Ale. Two of them and my eyes are crossing.

  9. Between this and the city ordinance just passed in L.A. outlawing all hi-cap magazines (including those previously grandfathered in), California should be a crime-free paradise very soon now.

    1. Jax Teller is dead, so we’re headed in the right direction.

    2. Between this and the city ordinance just passed in L.A. outlawing all hi-cap magazines (including those previously grandfathered in),

      How’re they planning on enforcing that?

      1. How’re they planning on enforcing that?

        Like any other gun control law, it enforces itself: once it’s on the books, the banned item will disappear, with a corresponding drop in violent crime.

        1. So no door-to-door searches yet? Funny how progressives leave themselves with no other choice when their laws are passed.

          1. Last year when New York State passed the SAFE Act, which outlawed the further sale of “assault” weapons and mandated the registration of the ones grandfathered in, there was open defiance, including rallies where stacks of registration forms were shredded. Additionally, a couple county sheriffs openly stated that their agencies would have no part in enforcing the new law. Now I don’t know much about New York State – for all I know, it’s gun-friendly once you’re outside the city – but if that sort of defiance can take root there, maybe it can happen in California too? Of course, this law doesn’t give people the same soapbox as the SAFE Act, as there’s no option to register magazines, but I would like to think, at the very least, that absolutely no gun owners will be parting with their hi-caps.

            1. I think that defiance can and will happen. It’s the response over which I’ve got my eyes closed in anticipation.

    3. It will be once we build a wall around LA and use it for an open-air prison.

  10. about $25,000 a year for each fellow, pales in comparison to the $267,000 per inmate California spends on incarceration, Boggan says.

    How long before the Unions get hold of this and shut the program down?

  11. ONS identifies the 50 people in Richmond who are most likely to be involved with guns and establishes a rapport with them

    The Richmond Police Department?

    Seriously, I’ll wager “establishes a rapport with them” is basically “starts giving them money”.

    1. Just give them free heroin. That would cost about ten dollars a month.

  12. I’ll probably never know, because I will probably never, ever get seated on a jury, not that this will stop them from making me drag myself down there every couple of years.

    If my memory serves me, you can be ejected from jury duty quite literally based on hunches from either legal team. There doesn’t have to be a ‘reason’. I believe that each team gets X number of out-of-hand rejections from a prospective jury pool. This may differ from district to district, but I remember learning some of these odd jury-selection rules after the O.J. case.

      1. Regardless I’m going to answer your question. Each side get 3 peremptory challenges that can be used for pretty much any reason and unlimited challenges ” for good cause” where it’s up to the judge.

  13. The fatal flaw in the reasoning behind gun-control laws is that criminals by definition don’t follow laws.

    Even if they’re really well-intentioned gun-control laws???

  14. I foresee no possibility that this will create perverse incentives. None at all.

  15. sounds more like the 80/20 rule than anything else.

  16. They identified the fifty men who were responsible for 75% of homicides?

    I would hope that such linchpins of murder would be in prison.

  17. Or they could just end the War on Drugs which would cost nothing and in fact bring in revenue from sales taxes.

  18. Its remarkable how similar the effects of this program are to “people getting jobs”

    California seems to do everything they can to make it hard for people to ever be offered jobs, but then rushes to pay them when they’ve decided to turn to a life of crime.

    its also interesting how there’s no mention in the article about the city/state’s gun control laws and their relative inability to @*#&$@ anything at all to keep homicide from becoming 10X the national average.

    1. I also think its hilarious how the ‘absurdly high cost of incarceration’ is used to justify the relative affordability of just “giving criminals money” instead.

      As if those were 1-1 comparisons.

      As has been noted before – the justice system of incarceration isn’t entirely about ‘crime reduction’…. and is in fact supposed to serve as a preventative deterrent by being a form of Punishment.

    2. $700 a month job? Hell, I made more than that when I was private in the Army. In 1982.

        1. Yeah, it’s not as if he was AF.

  19. And the program’s operating cost, about $25,000 a year for each fellow, pales in comparison to the $267,000 per inmate California spends on incarceration, Boggan says.

    Put another way, it costs between $16,600-21,400 a year to give each man $3600-8400.

    What’d the study people do, that we’re handing them this cash so they won’t be out bothering proper folks?

    1. And a lot of that $267K per inmate is fixed costs that won’t go down because 50 guys aren’t in jail.

  20. They call them “fellows”?!!

    Like they won an award or something.

    Sheesh.

    1. They have to show a portfolio of work – “here’s the liquor store I knocked over, here’s the guy I pistol-whipped because he sold me inferior cocaine, here’s my purse collection from my various purse-snatchings, and here’s the jewelry I grabbed off the women I raped.”

  21. “Once they agree to join, ONS works with the men to establish a “life map” and personal and professional goals. The fellows are paid once a month based on how well they adhere to the goals they set.”

    So this sounds like some sort of spiritual renewal program administered by the government – some social worker guiding them on the path to righteousness.

    If it works – and they claim it does – it means these would-be killers have turned their lives around, gotten jobs, and become productive citizens.

    In which case them having guns wouldn’t be dangerous any more.

    So why the focus on guns? That seems to me to be mere cargo cultism.

    So the community would be better off if one of these reformed guys set up their own shop, but one day an un-reformed guy came in and robbed him? But at least only one of the guys has a gun, now!

    1. And, yes, I totally believe that a government office can run a successful program of spiritual/moral reform, why do you ask?

      1. /sarc

        1. “Crime doesn’t pay – but we’ll pay you *not* to commit crimes.”

          “Pay me! I haven’t committed any crimes!”

          “No, you don’t understand – you have to *give up* a criminal career to get the money.”

          “Oh, just a minute…[sound of footsteps as the guy runs out, sound of car window being smashed, sound of car alarm, sound of the guy’s footsteps coming back…OK, you’re in luck, I just started my criminal career, but if you pay me I’ll stop again.”

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