New Mexico and Violent Crime: Drive by Shooting at Family Restaurant

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Crimescenetapewsbt4Violent come is a severe problem in New Mexico, something that the State Board of Tourism and Chamber of Commerces and other leading agencies and Leaders do not like talking about. It needs to be addressed. The Body of Christ needs to be Salt and Light and carrying out the Great Commission and reaching the darkness and making the Kingdom of God visible. bringing others to Jesus Christ.

Last night around 9pm there was another drive by shooting in Albuquerque in front of a family restaurant. Imagine being at the Olive Garden on San Mateo with your family when shots rang out and three men are hit by gunfire! All Three are expected to survive.  Last week we lost an 8 year old girl to a drive by shooting in Albuquerque, she was a passenger in a car and thugs fired shots and killed her.

We have a severe problem, that needs to be addressed by the Church and many others. It has been ignored for too long.

From the Clovis, NM Journal March 2013……..

Dennis Kintigh, a former Republican lawmaker and retired  FBI agent, made a recent presentation on community violence to Leadership New Mexico.

Here’s a summary of what he had to say, as provided in a column he wrote for regional newspapers:

As I did research for the presentation, I found the data confirmed many previously held opinions. However, it also revealed surprising discoveries, and produced disturbing concerns.

With the exception of the oil patch in Southeastern New Mexico, the consensus of the participants was that the economic situation in New Mexico was not good. Objective data such as population growth in relation with our neighboring states, and poverty rates coupled with subjective rankings by CNBC and Chief Executive Magazine, confirmed this distressing evaluation.

Intuitively we recognize that violent crime has an impact on economic activity. However, that which is intuitive still needs to be confirmed empirically. Fortunately, there are serious studies that do this.

The Center for American Progress in a report on this issue in 2012 determined “… a reduction in a given year of one homicide in a ZIP code causes a 1.5 percent increase in housing value…”

Two researchers in Italy who were looking specifically at that nation concluded that “Criminal activity acts like a tax on the entire economy; it discourages domestic and foreign direct investment, it reduces firms’ competitiveness, and allocates resources creating uncertainty and inefficiency.”

The surprising discovery was the terrible nature of our crime statistics in New Mexico. Based upon 2011 data (the most recent available), the murder rate in the Land of Enchantment is the second highest in the nation.

Our violent crime rate is higher than any of our neighbors and fourth in the nation.

Another disturbing discovery had to do with our low incarceration rate (how many prisoners per 100,000 residents). In spite of our high crime, our incarceration rates were below our neighbors, except for Utah, which is a low crime state.

Statistics show New Mexico is  not putting criminals in jail like we need to.

It was disturbing that in the four years I was a member of the Legislature’s “Courts, Corrections and Justice Interim Committee,” I can’t recall hearing this revelation.

Curing New Mexico economic development doldrums will require a multifaceted approach as there are many factors dragging us down.

But we dare not ignore New Mexico’s serious violent crime problem.

Let us pray.

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