Pubdate: Thu, 09 Oct 2008
Source: Peninsula News Review (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Black Press
Author: Daniel Tourigny


Today I received a 'fear request card' from Conservative candidate
Jack McClintock, a 25-year police veteran. The headline was "Have you
had enough?" and it featured a photograph of police tape sealing off a
door. On the back was a promise to make our streets safer by "getting

My answer to Jack: Yes, I have had enough . of scare campaigns targeted at
raising our fears in hopes of enacting ineffective policies.

Of the statistics I am aware of, our streets are not unsafe. Yes,
street crimes do occur, but is the effective solution to 'get tough,'
such as by mandatory minimum sentences?

No. You only have to look south of the border to see how well the
logic of getting 'tough on crime' works - more prisons, more fear,
fewer freedoms.

Not all law enforcement professionals ascribe to the 'get tough'
mentality. In fact, thousands of voices from law enforcement are
speaking actively against 'get tough' and in favour of 'getting real.'
They form an organization known as LEAP - Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition - which includes current and former police officers,
judges, and prosecutors. Their belief, based not on outdated political
fear-mongering, but instead on sound science and careful analysis, is
that the war on drugs must end.

It doesn't make sense to offer solutions that have proven not to work.
But there is another way, via compassion and understanding. The
'answer' to our social ills is here and now. The question is: have we,
society, felt enough pain from the laws that reflect our addiction to
anger? Are we ready to try another way?

'Get tough' must end. We are no safer with it, only more divisive and

Daniel Tourigny

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