Seal off criminal-rich neighborhoods to tackle the public health emergency of gun violence?

CBS yesterday:

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an emergency public health order that suspends the open and permitted concealed carry of firearms in Albuquerque for 30 days in the midst of a spate of gun violence.

Gun enthusiasts are saying that this is unconstitutional, but that’s irrelevant if there’s an emergency. KOAT:

“I can invoke additional powers,” Lujan Grisham said. “No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute.”

It’s only for 30 days and it is intended to address what the governor has characterized as an “emergency”, so it is unclear why anyone could make a good faith objection to this order. The governor herself summarizes the situation succinctly (nytimes):

“I have emergency powers,” she said. “Gun violence is an epidemic. Therefore, it’s an emergency.”

Let’s look at some history and consider what might be a more effective approach to ending the gun violence emergency…

Prior to 2020, Americans believed that the U.S. Constitution guaranteed each of us the right to leave his/her/zir/their home to assemble, e.g., at work or school. However, it turned out that the Constitution did not prevent lockdowns of young healthy Americans on the grounds that there was a statistical chance that the lockdown could save the life of an old person somewhere.

That the societies with lockdowns had as-high or higher overall excess death rates compared to lockdown-free and mask-free Sweden isn’t relevant to this post. Even if no lives were saved, the idea was that lives might be saved and therefore the Constitution could be set aside. #BecauseEmergency

The majority of Americans, among the world’s meekest and most compliant humans, seem to be happy to have traded what had been their rights for the promise of safety. (Dutch friend at the time: “All of the rights that Americans fought and died in multiple wars to defend, they gave up in one governor’s press conference.”) Here’s part of a recent comment on Twitter, in response to a freedom-lover who complained about lockdowns, forced vaccinations, mask orders, etc. and asserted that they were unconstitutional:

Coercion is not the same as force and weakens your argument when you conflate the two. A majority of society agreed protect public health, that’s democracy.

Nobody was forced to get vaccinated. It is just that a person could have a job or be in a public place only if he/she/ze/they accepted the experimental injection. The lockdowns were okay because they were a product of democratic processes. My response:

Democracy undiluted by the Constitution sounds good. Freedom from crime is an important element of public health. What if a majority of Americans voted to seal the borders of any neighborhood in which the residents had committed more than a certain number of violent crimes? See below for how it could work in practice.

Our democratically elected federal and state governments took away various freedoms based on statistical hopes and using an “emergency” as a justification. Do we have what we need to justify locking down neighborhoods from which we can expect criminal activity? From CNN:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, acknowledged Sunday that gun violence in the US is a public health emergency.

What would it look like in Detroit, Michigan, rated #1 in “Total Crime Index”? Referring to the map below, the neighborhoods in the darkest color (?!?) would be walled off as a reasonable public health measure. Residents could leave their houses only during certain daylight hours and only for purposes deemed essential, such as buying marijuana. (See this March 23, 2020 article: “Michigan marijuana shops may remain open during the COVID-19 coronavirus stay-at-home order issued Monday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer”) There would be checkpoints at a few points in the wall where people could be screened for guns and drugs on the way in or out (in those situations where the governor was permitting residents to go in or out).

Is there any flaw in the above reasoning? Separately, if you haven’t seen District B13, I recommend it!

Related (loosely):

14 thoughts on “Seal off criminal-rich neighborhoods to tackle the public health emergency of gun violence?

  1. That’s what I am saying, if dumping the constitution, better to do the great bang for the bucks stuff!

  2. I’m wondering why it is that guns are spontaneously causing “gun violence” in New Mexico?

  3. Perplexity says Wyoming has more guns per capita than any other state, but the guns there must be “friendly” because they don’t appear to shoot people very often as compared to those in New York city, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago etc.

  4. Since [black people] commit most crimes why not pass a law outlawing them and just make them them property of white people? Has this been tried before?

  5. Her declaration is lawless and pointless, Bill of Rights protects people from government overreach and 2nd Amendment specifically prohibits (government) infringing on in-born right to keep and bear arms, including by pointless 30 days declarations. I do not think that her declaration is enforceable. I also think that it is criminal, it makes those who are vulnerable defenseless against violent attackers, assuming that the vulnerable honor this illegal proclamation. Locking her up will go long way towards reducing violence

    • Philip, I was against all “covid” lock-downs. Although, as a member of laptop class, I benefited from not heaving to travel to the office, I was last person to come to office at my workplace in April of 2020. And I did not get coronavirus until late 2021. In my area, nobody but businesses followed our governor edicts, and as a result of the senseless closures of some businesses but not others , concerned voters in non-partisan way took away governor’s unilateral ability to declare emergency situations.
      I think that New Mexico situation is not just a random lock-down, it is a sinister tryout of infringing on a right with special prot4ective close in US Bil of Rights. Bill of Rights was partially suspended only during American Civil War, and not 2nd Amendment, right for self-defense remained paramount. Wondering if our ruling elite got bored with not very predictable electoral process and would not mind having a civil war or two instead and now encouraging it. Banking system on ESG / DEI / corporate socialism – crony capitalism now resembles a ponzi scheme, much of work is either outsource-able or never done in America. For a while now corporation have been moving businesses into world’s conflict zones. Maybe it is an overall plan for US as well.

    • ” I do not think that her declaration is enforceable. ”

      Anything being enforceable is a matter of who has the power. They can make people stand on one leg if they wish so and have the power on their side.

      The Constitution is mere suggestions.

    • As a matter of fact this particular illegal declaration is not being enforced. And not by accident, Albuquerque sheriff said he would not enforce it and DA said that it is not enforceable and not legal to enforce. Constitution is the basic law, but much of it not being enforced either. This could change one day, there is nothing that prevents enforcement of US Constitution in principle.
      It much harder to make US into new China, it would be at a huge cost.

  6. Michelle Lujan Grisham has a BA and a JD from the University of New Mexico. I wonder what her professors think about the following statement:

    > I have emergency powers. Gun violence is an epidemic. Therefore, it’s an emergency.

    I wasn’t a philosophy major, but in terms of strict logic this seems to be a non sequitur.

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