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WSJ Comments on Europe

Here are two more voices in the "chorus" mentioned in Bill's post.  Joyce Lee Malcolm has this op-ed on the British riots:

As wild gangs of youths burned homes, shops and cars and severely beat anyone who tried to stop them last week, English people tried to defend themselves. Their desperation triggered a 5,000% increase in purchases of baseball bats from Amazon.

This is a sad symbol of the failure of the British approach to crime--with its sympathy for offenders, intolerance of self-defense, and unwillingness to pay for adequate crime control. A people once proud of their peaceful country and unarmed policemen had to resort to clubs to protect life and limb.

Bret Stephens has this column noting more generally that no, the European model doesn't "work" and that crime has been rising in the EU even as it falls in the US.

We have linked to quite a bit of commentary on the British riots lately, but I think there is an important lesson here.  This is where the self-proclaimed "smart on crime" people want to take us.


It turns out that to be "smart on crime" means to reject the things we know work to return to the things we know don't.

As we have learned from Philadelphia's response to flash mob thuggery in the business district, better to impose a curfew on those who progressives would term "at-risk youth" than allow marauding thugs to impose a de facto curfew on the law abiding public who wish to enjoy a night on one of the city's promenades.

The parallel between the flash mobs showing up in Philly and elsewhere in the United States, and the teenage rioters in England, is enormously instructive and even more frightening.

Your frequent warnings about what would become of a society that encourages illegitimacy and is too lazy or intimidated to punish its criminals have never looked more prescient.

Bill, it is worse than that. You don't even have to learn from all the blood spilled as a result of insane policies. Common sense tells you that tolerance of lawbreaking breeds more lawbreaking.

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