The City of Fresno, California is considering funding a program that would, according to the San Joaquin Valley Sun, “pay stipends to gang members to curb gun violence.” Right away, I become suspicious when anyone uses the term “gun violence.” This assigns agency to an inanimate object instead of a human being.
City council member Miguel Arias, who offered the proposal, said the budget would fund $75,000 for “the administrative element.” The program would be a local version of the “Advance Peace Initiative” used in other cities. I don’t fault anyone who says they’re interested in reducing violence. But when I read that Advance Peace is a “social justice” organization, again, I become suspicious.
As a retired cop who saw so much money and resources wasted on leftist, social justice initiatives, I cringe when I hear someone offer to pay criminals not to commit crime. And with the social justice industrial complex being the money vacuum it is, my suspicious meter buries the needle.
Fresno would base the program on one started in Richmond, California. Mother Jones reported the program uses “pseudo-social workers,” ex-cons, to keep an eye on gang members and try to talk them into giving up violence and joining the program.
However, with stipends ranging from $300-$1,000 per month, I’m wondering if that will entice gang members used to running guns, drugs, and other illicit contraband and illegal enterprises, or just make them laugh.
How would verification work? Unless police arrest a gangster for “gun violence,” how would anyone know the gang member is not still shooting his gun at people and using the stipend to buy ammo?