There’s a Term for Paying People Not to Victimize Others

Can we all get along? For how much? (Advance Peace/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “San Francisco thinks it may have an answer for its rising gun violence problem: Paying people to not pull the trigger,” The San Francisco Examiner reports. “The initiative will pair participants with newly hired life coaches from the Street Violence Intervention Program, known as SVIP, who will help them make the right choices and access services.”

They call it “Dream Keeper,” and it’s been tried already in Oakland, we are told, with $300 “incentives” if behavioral “milestones” were met. Since a perusal of recent headlines will show us that didn’t work, San Francisco is lowering the “standard,” dropping such requirements and just offering free money, with the promise of more if the recipients can comply with their probation terms, apply for a job (not get one), or meet with their “mentors.

We’re also told the Operation Peacemaker Fellowship program has been a success in Richmond, VA, where no less an authority than the American Journal of Public Health “linked the program to a 55% decrease in gun homicides and 43% decline in shootings since it began in 2010.” It pays, though, to read the fine print in the “study,” where we find admissions like:

“However, to our knowledge, there are no quantitative studies of the population-level outcomes of the program that control for other factors that may have contributed to declines (e.g., improvements in economic climate and broader crime reductions).”

That basically means they can’t really prove the logical fallacy that correlation equals causation, so they had to make some assumptions. And again, recent headlines suggest the problems are far from cured. (As an aside, it reminds me of NRA making similar claims about Project Exile years back – pointing to Richmond as a model for Philadelphia to emulate. Shortly thereafter the murder rate rose as national numbers declined.)

New York City, going through a murder renaissance of its own, tells San Francisco to hold its beer by offering $1,000.

“New York to Roll Out Pioneering Violence Prevention Program That Involves Financial Incentives,” an Aug. 11 headline in The Trace, the Michael Bloomberg “seeded” anti-gun propaganda site that presents itself as objective news, declares. “The Advance Peace model, which pairs young people with mentors and rewards them for reaching life goals, has achieved positive outcomes in other cities. It’s about to face its biggest test yet.”

“Mentors”?

“The program … will launch in one precinct in each borough and pair fellows — young people deemed at risk for involvement in gun crime — with formerly incarcerated mentors.”

“Advance Peace” … and I thought the Department of Pre-Crime was ridiculous. Pair budding criminals up with experienced ones. And add money into the equation. What could go wrong?

And why does an earlier similar effort come to mind?

“Hector ‘Big Weasel’ Marroquin, 51 — who founded the one-time city-funded group ‘No Guns’ in 1996, purportedly to work against gang and gun violence in the inner city — is charged with the sale of an assault rifle, a machine gun, two pistols and two silencers … It is his second weapons-related arrest in as many years.”

Is it any surprise that newer attempts are also a bust?  Even left-leaning, “gun control”-supporting sites like Vox are seeing it:

“Groups like Cure Violence and Advance Peace recruit members of local communities, particularly people who have a history with gangs or violence, to act as mediators who can deescalate interpersonal conflicts before they turn violent … But studies on interrupters have been largely disappointing. Reviews of the evidence have found that the approach often produces no significant effect on shootings and murders, and some programs were even associated with more violence.”

Still, before unequivocally declaring such programs won’t work we need to qualify that assessment. If it means they won’t work at making a meaningful impact on urban violence, that’s pretty clear. The problems there are way too deep for any feel-good Band-Aid approach.

But if we’re talking about transferring wealth from those who produce to those who take — and enabling opportunistic politicians and bureaucrats to continue swindling uninformed and gullible constituencies to the approval of virtue-signaling “progressives” — why that works just fine.

It’s extortion, a state-sponsored protection racket, but naturally one with no guarantees.

Nice place you got here. Shame if somethin’ happened to it.


About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea


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