- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2001

Arrest statistics arent proof of police discrimination

Darren McKinney makes some excellent points in his April 19 Op-Ed piece, "Driving while black," but I wonder why no one has pointed out that if one compares the number of stops, arrests and convictions among various groups that one could argue sexual profiling is rampant in the United States.

Men are arrested and convicted of violent crimes by more than 9 to 1. No one seems to think this is a problem at all, and with good reason. Men tend to be more violent than women.

Imagine what would happen if the Justice Department concluded that arrests and convictions must be gender neutral and that the number of men and women arrested must be roughly equivalent? It would make real police work virtually impossible, as police would not be able to arrest real criminals and instead make them focus on rounding up more female scapegoats to try to even the score.

This, in effect, is what is happening, today. As Heather MacDonald has so ably demonstrated in a now-famous article for the current issue of City Journal, the federal government under threat of lawsuits to local governments is forcing local police to jump through hoops in pursuit of some statistically equal treatment, and wants local police across the country to spend thousands of hours to meticulously record racial information about everyone they encounter. These federal threats are costing cities millions and forcing police to waste time on bureaucratic red tape that does nothing to reduce crime.

If mere statistical inequality were proof of discrimination, then the federal government ought to clean house first. The federal government arrests and incarcerates Hispanics in hugely disproportionate numbers. That is probably because most illegal aliens are Hispanic, but if statistical inequality is all that matters, the U.S. Border Patrol must be the most racist group in the entire world.


PAUL CLARK

Director

Coalition for Local Sovereignty

Washington

A 'defeat' for Bush?

As usual, Don Lambro is right on target in his April 12 Commentary column, pointing out that Democrats have deceptively spun the Senates passage of President Bushs budget of $1.3 trillion in tax cuts as a defeat ("Upbeat rhythm on tax trims").

Nothing could be further from the truth. Going back just about a year, these same Democrats opposed any tax cut. Little by little, they began to cave first to a $250 billion cut, then $500 billion, $750 billion and $900 billion. Now, at last, a tax cut of $1.3 billion passed the Senate with 15 Democrats joining all 50 Republicans in voting for the package.

A "defeat" for Mr. Bush? With many more defeats like this one, the president will be able to enact his whole package of tax reform.


JAMES L. MARTIN

President

The 60 Plus Association

Arlington

International supervision of small arms

An article in The Washington Times is wrong in claiming that a proposed international agreement to curtail illicit small arms proliferation "could severely curtail U.S. arms sales abroad and cut deeply into Americans Second Amendment rights" ("U.S. negotiators wary of pact to curb small-arms sales," World, April 12).

The goal of the July conference is to enhance transparency and accountability in the transfer of small arms, an objective to which the United States is committed, not to restrict domestic possession. Supplier states need not worry about their sovereign right to produce weapons for legitimate purposes, such as self-defense, hunting or commercial interests. Nonetheless, with half of licitly traded small arms supplying illicit traffic, small arms should be made traceable through universal marking and record keeping.

Transparency is especially important for transfer of weapons of war that cause the most harm, notably fully automatic assault rifles, grenade launchers and so forth. These weapons have characteristics easily distinguishable from those being used for sports and recreational purposes.

While a blanket prohibition of transfer to "nonstate actors" (groups not recognized as representing a state) may prove unrealistic, civilian nonpossession for certain categories of weapons should be considered. There is a discernible line between possession by nonstate actors and civilian possession in general.

Recent interaction with U.S. administration officials encourages me to believe that the United States could play a constructive role, even if particular aspects of U.S. policy may be detracting from our goal.


MICHEL ROCARD

Paris


Michel Rocard, a former prime minister of France and head of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, is co-chairman of the Eminent Persons Group, an international commission of 22 world leaders.

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