Councilors: More than just police on the street needed to stop current wave of violence

At-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley today called for a citywide "trauma response" team of behavioral-health experts to work with friends and families of shooting victims to help them and stem the tide of retribution that often leads to still more shootings.

Pressley said the city needs to make "a strategic and formidble investment" quickly.

City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) agreed, and said help is needed in schools, such as Madison Park, where one of this year's murder victims was a student. He said that the first 72 hours after a shooting is critical to help people and stem further violence.

He addded that while the number of shootings overall is about the same as last year, the number of homicides is far highter. "Sadly, the folks who are shooting are on the mark right now," he said.



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behavioral-health experts to

behavioral-health experts to work with friends and families of shooting victims to help them and stem the tide of retribution that often leads to still more shootings

Or they could break up the gangs. The gangs are more family than the kids' real families and that is a large part of the problem.



Poor people aren't allowed to have children. Well, that solves quite a few problems. I don't know why nobody thought of this solution before.

Now, would you like to sterilize them permanently or just temporarily while they're poor?

Not what you meant? Oh, it should be a voluntary thing that the poor should just do (or not do, as the case may be) on their own? Well, great. We're right back where we already are now except you wasted our time with a non-solution and redefinition of the problem.


It's not reasonable to create

It's not reasonable to create people whom you have no way of supporting. I'm not talking about people who hit a rough patch, because that's what these services are for. I'm talking about people who can barely take care of themselves having kids, and then expecting everyone else to absorb the social and financial costs of that situation. There's a reason that many of us practicing family planning, because we know that we don't have the resources to support three, four, five kids.


You still haven't defined the solution

Being wealthy to the point that even simple investments would yield more money than you would ever be able to spend in life, and then firing half your staff in order to become more wealthy isn't reasonable. Unreasonable people exist regardless of class.

So, what's your point? You (and the commenter below who has hung up the poster child of unreasonable poor people) have declared that unreasonable poor people exist.

Your original premise was that unreasonable poor people shouldn't exist in order to reduce the number of people who become reliant on gangs, drugs, violence, and other illegal means of supporting themselves. So? What's your final solution here? By what means are you going to stop the "baby momma/baby daddy" situations that you abhor and believe need to stop?

You have defined two incongruent premises: 1) unreasonable poor people exist; 2) unreasonable poor people need to stop existing. What's your plan, chief? Kill them? Sterilize them? How do you sort out the unreasonable ones from the ones that "deserve the services" that support them? You're all pent up with rage at the people you think overrun and cause society's problems (they don't, by the way, they're just the cherry-picked examples in order to justify demonizing the entire lower class). But your panacea seems to be attempting to will them into non-existence.

Good luck with that.


What is an employer's obligation on your planet?

Being wealthy to the point that even simple investments would yield more money than you would ever be able to spend in life, and then firing half your staff in order to become more wealthy isn't reasonable.

Is your position that, having hired someone to do something for some period of time (say, f'rinstance, mow your lawn next Saturday) you take on a moral obligation to continue hiring them to do that thing indefinitely into the future?

The solution is to stop

The solution is to stop having kids you can't support and don't have kids if you're a single mother. Seems pretty obvious. At the very least we could not reward them for it, basically the easiest way to get on welfare is to be a single woman with several children.

Congrats on solving it!

The solution to unreasonable people acting unreasonable is for them to stop being unreasonable. Yes, and the proof that the Bible is the word of God is because God said it is, in the Bible.

The reason it seems pretty obvious is because you just reached all the way around a tiny circle and grabbed your own tail.

As far as rewarding them? Feel free to live on TANF for 24 months (but no longer)...let me know how rewarding your life feels.


A lot of the kids raised in those "baby-mama/baby-daddy" situations aren't being raised poorly due to finances. There are tons of social programs to help you if you cannot afford to care adequately your child, and plenty of poor parents or those on public assistance raise upstanding citizens.

However, if you are not ready to roll up your sleeves and do some parenting, all the money in the world won't make your kids turn out well.


I don't think anyone said

I don't think anyone said poor people weren't allowed to have children. But why can't we expect a little responsibility? Why are we not to even dare think of such things when these are the things that need to be addressed.
Can we force baby daddys to be responsible, if not emotionally - financially? Maybe they are already supporting their families and we're not hearing about it but I am sure there are a number of mothers that could use the help. And to ignore the elephant in the room helps no one.


Expecting responsibility does what exactly?

I expect bank CEOs who have all the advantages in the world to be more responsible. Let's see where that got me in 2008...ah, nowhere...still.

The question isn't if there's an elephant in the room (if, by elephant, you mean overblown crises about welfare queens that aren't based on the reality of the lower class situations when actually studied instead of just talked about by right-wing talk radio hosts). The question is what the solution is. Want to stop poor people from being irresponsible and having babies they can't support who all evidently grow up to be criminals (since that's the premise this was brought up in, in the first place)...great, what's your solution?

Expecting responsibility from unreasonable people is like trying to will the sun not to rise. Don't get an aneurysm trying it, it won't work.


Do some math

What's an average starting salary in Boston, and what's the take-home pay once taxes, insurance, etc are taken out? Pretty damn low I would imagine, since there's so many young professionals living with roommates, barely making ends meet.

Now, let's see how much an average "welfare queen" gets. TANF alone is a pretty small amount, but let's not forget SNAP and WIC. Medicaid isn't a cash payment but health insurance isn't free and comes out of a working individual's paycheck every month. Now the big one, section 8 - that's at least $1,500 worth of rent that doesn't need to be paid every month. Add it all up, and suddenly it turns out a "welfare queen" is better off than a working professional. I don't understand why anybody WOULDN'T be upset abut it.


Dumb comparison

Getting a paycheck doesn't prevent you from getting SNAP or WIC. Subsidized, even to the point of free, healthcare also doesn't care if you're on TANF or earning below the poverty line from an employer. Section 8 either.

A "working professional" making minimum wage in order to support 2 kids could have all of that except TANF...which pays less than minimum wage AND has time constraints as to how long you're allowed to draw from it (24 months total within any 60-consecutive month period).

If you think you're better off than working, you're just assuming the same Reagan-spawned Welfare Queen myth that's been debunked long ago, over and over again.


Welfare Queen

I think those would be corporate criminals who manage to not only keep their jobs after massive market fails, but get bonuses paid for with massive amounts of tax money.

But do persist in 1980s class and race hate.

Thats been white peoples suggestion for years

Let me say this, if you was to take white families with two working successful parents, but they have to raise them in Dor, Rox, and mattapan with all the same elements these black kids deal with. How many of them would over come? Yeah, just like the whites kids in southie, north dorchester, charlestown etc. That fall victim to bad drugs. Why because that's what they are surrounded by.ask they're. Parents where they went wrong or where was the father. Parents can only do so much. The embodiment influence thee kids.. I had two hard working black parents that preach to me daily, but growing up in Codman Suare in the 80's and 90's drugs and gangsta's was what we encounter everyday outside. You bec.. ome acceptable to it all. You people really don't have clue, looking at it from the outside, but you will soon, because its only gonna get worse and unfortunate for you, gangs are already claim turf all over hyde park, so I hope you got better solutions ..

I am not an outsider looking

I am not an outsider looking in, I am from Dorchester, have lived here my whole life. Some people grow up in tough situations and strive to do better, some like to use it as an excuse to not do better. We all have free will. People do not do drugs bc they are from a certain area. There are drug addicts everywhere, they come from all different types of families. I know fine upstanding citizens of different races from the areas you have mentioned,that have overcome the temptation of the "gang" lifestyle, or possibly had no interest in partaking in that lifestyle at all.

Racism much?


OK, so we all know that one characteristic of African American Vernacular English is that it forms the possessive positionally rather than with apostrophe and 's', hence, "John car" rather than "John's car", and, of course, "My baby daddy" instead of "My baby's daddy".

Now, do you think that holding that particular speech pattern up to ridicule is likely to elevate the discussion, or even to inform it at all?

Flame on

I'm sure I'll get flamed but..

OK we've determined that punishment (i.e. Jail Time) isn't working.. How about the stocks then?

I've said this before and I'll say it again. Some of these kids think they are 'bad ass'. How about cutting them down a few notches, and putting them in stocks on the common for a few days. Then the general public can poke fun at these 'bad ass' gang bangers, we'll know who they are by face, and maybe even get to throw some rotten tomatoes at them. I think after a few days of basting in the sun they'll get a bit more humble and be a bit less 'bad ass'

Just saying, desperate times call for desperate measures. Of course it would never happen here.. ever.



maybe not.. being public might be a deterrent...

You know, think of it like the sex offender registry. no one wants to be on that list... same with the stocks. its an embarrassment. And embarrassing someone is the fastest way to get someone to stop from doing something. Some of these gang bangers have such a big ego, some embarrassment to that ego might just do the trick.

I always thought the military

I always thought the military would be a good place for these "tough guys". Let's see how tough they are when they see how real tough guys behave and survive while fighting our wars in the Middle East. Then again, why burden our military with babysitting since they would most likely prove to more of a danger than anything else. But, I wonder if something couldn't be created along the idea of the military. We all know of some kid Boot Camp has done wonders for. One in particular I know of is now a proud strong Marine.


the military doesn't want them

You have to graduate high school now, for starters. They also require a fairly clean record, as well.

Why? Because they need people who know how to get to work, how to learn, and who won't be kicking up trouble outside of duty hours. Gone are the days when the military required more people and fewer specialized professionals.


That's why I said something

That's why I said something "like" the military. I am sure with a little creativity from those that know how boot and training camps are run, they could devise some kind of "camp" (a little better than the alternative, jail) that would maybe turn some of these guys lives around. I know Marine boot camp comes close to breaking you in order to so that you learn to trust your peers 100% since that is what is going to save your life and the lives of your fellow soldiers. I know guys that could never take direction come out of the army a different more productive person.

It's a thought.

Pressley and Jackson Unaware of BPS Supports

City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) agreed, and said help is needed in schools, such as Madison Park, where one of this year's murder victims was a student.

There IS a Behavioral Health Department of the Boston Public Schools and there WAS an immediate trauma response at Madison Park- as there is with all crisis situations in the BPS. Do the City Councilors not know about the hard work of the BPS social workers and school psychologists? Maybe they could suggest giving more resources to this over-stretched department, rather than overlooking it.


Boston isnt even having

Boston isnt even having Violence issues. they had one bad week of murders thats it. i bet there wont be another murder for a few weeks. Boston has less shootings than cities do murders. Boston doesnt even average a murder week or shooting a day. there is no issues. Boston is coming off of it safest and least violent year in years and almost ever last year things are fine

A matter of geographic scale

Boston as a whole doesn't have a problem.

A relatively small area of Boston seems to be having a big problem.

That not only demands attention, but it offers the opportunity to make a substantial dent in the problem since the problem is both localized and likely to be the result of a number of common - and identifyable - issues and factors.

One 17th century philosopher's opinion:

Thomas Hobbes described gang life surprisingly well. He could be paraphrased as describing the gangbanger's life...

In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth... no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Or as I've heard, "The average life span of a gangbanger is short."



I grew up in South Philly. Violence was commonplace, shrugged off. Growing up, life seemed cheap. Now I live in Boston, and the violent death of a few people draws a public outcry and a call for action from the local government. I wish I had the people of Boston, be they yuppies or locals, when I was growing up. Stop fighting amongst yourselves. We live in an infinitely more manageable city than my hometown. We can defeat this "culture of violence".