Newark abandons crackdown on real offenders
A Newark, NJ program to crack down on firearm crime by actually cracking down on repeat and violent offenders has been scrapped, over the objections of police.
Apparently the assignments judge didn't like it. The primary reason for scrapping was that the only verifiable result was higher bails. Well, as with the BATFE effort discussed below, you really can't implement a local program, wait a year or two, and expect someone to produce objective statistical evidence that it affected crime. Crime rates go up and down for reasons we can only partially explain (classic case: murder trends tend to mirror trends in accidental motor deaths -- but why?). You can't just say rates went up or down after you did something, and that proves what you did worked or didn't work. At the local level, where numbers are smaller, there can be quite a bit of random variation.
I find it rather strange that efforts to enforce gun laws against serious offenders are subjected to a standard of "produce objective proof that this actually reduced crime," whereas enactment of additional regulations is tested by something more like "sounds like a nice idea."
Hat tip to Joe Olson.