Deadly violence is on the rise in the city of Richmond. Twenty-one people have been killed in Richmond so far this year, the same number of homicides as in all of 2010. Police say a rise in gang activity is partly to blame.

Gayle McLaughlin, Richmond mayor
Chris Magnus, Richmond police chief

  • Colin

    Shouldn’t Richmond, and the State of California, be focused on creating jobs for law abiding citizens rather than creating “placement” or “assistance” programs for offenders?  

    • The people who are “offenders” need something to do, to not be repeat offenders. Idol hands…

      • Colin

        But how is the State or Richmond responsible that?  Neither of those two institutions are responsible for the actions of the offenders (a word for which your quotation marks are not necessary) so why should they have to help these people.  The State and the City are not responsible for me, a law abiding citizen.

        • Attacking my grammar is unnecessary. You could proofread your own comments if you wish… Who is responsible for these people? If you were recently released from incarceration and were not able to support yourself because you can’t find employment who do you turn to, what would you do? I am not speaking from personal experience, but in that situation, I might feel that unlawful means of survival might be the only option.

          • Colin

            These offenders, upon release, are responsible for themselves just as you or I are.  It is not the role of our government, state, local, or federal, to dispense compassion.  Its role is to dispense justice.  Why do some feel that the state must support everyone, including criminals?  We’ve already wasted enough money putting them in prison, should honest taxpayers have to spend more to help them after they get out?

          • I agree with what you are saying about the amount of money being spent on incarceration. Our jails are overflowing. They are in need of radical reform. What if jail was a place where taught life skills that would empower people to be able to support themselves legally on the outside? Hypothetical: You are an employer and someone convicted of a violent crime and paid his or her debt to society, applies for a job that they are qualified for, do you hire him or her? If not then who will?

          • Colin

            Again, these people have committed crimes and were deemed by their fellow citizens to be such a danger to others that they must be removed from society for a period of time.  Why do you wish to reward these people with free education or skills training when you have hard working people who have not committed crimes who could use such services as well?  Having been an employer, I can tell you that I would prefer NOT to hire a convicted criminal, but that criminal should have considered that when they committed whatever crimes they were found guilty of.  Why should I, as an honest employer, settle for anything other than the best candidate that the free market has to offer?

          • This thread seems to be going in circles and my text box is getting incredibly small. So the question at hand is they are here, what do they do? I really don’t see their other options. if they can’t find a government job, and they cant get one in the private sector, all that is left are going into business for themselves or turning to crime.

  • I would like to ask your guest about who are involved on both sides of these violent crimes. Who is the shooter and who is getting shot? Are these motivated crimes directed against individuals or if they are more random victims?

  • Jose

    I was born and raised inRichomd. I think education is a major enabler for the violence. In a city where kids need structure and a sense of responsibilty, the system , even in the 80’s ehenI was a kid , perpetuated the soft racist approach of excuse making.

    Kids are in school most of the day (or suppossed to be). There I learned to fight, smoke and hustle.

    Richmond, and most urban areas, are a disgrace. How are they (teachers, admin, district etc) held accountable.

    • Colin

      Teachers and schools don’t raise children, they educate them (reading, writing, arithmetic.)  Families raise children.  Ultimately, the individuals citizens are responsible for themselves and their children, not the state, not the city, not the federal government, and if things are going to change (is there an echo in here from Obama?) families will have to start making those changes in their own households.

      • I agree with you that it should start at home. But what do we do when administrators turn a blind eye and allow this kind of unacceptable behavior to happen in schools. I went to Portola Middle and El Cerrito High. I coasted through these schools with a D average due to not being challenged by the curriculum.  What did I learn? 6th grade I got picked on so much in PE that I got a waver and took martial arts. 7th grade art class I got picked on so much till I reached my breaking point when a bully put a thumbtack on my chair to which I responded by breaking his face… oh in 10th grade English I spent most of the time in the back of class playing dominoes, became quite good at counting in a base 5 system. I learned how to roll a joint, that trigonometry class is more interesting on hallucinogens. Where were my parents in all this you may ask? They were busy putting food on the table and knew quite well that the education system was flawed and not right for me. My point being is we are raising disengaged youth who feel that they don’t fit into this highly flawed system and don’t want to be apart of it. In case you are worried I took the CHSPE and got out (btw this is the requirement to be released into the world… big problem!). My college GPA is 4.0  and I am a happy, well adjusted, contributing member of society. My goal is to help outcast and social deviants find their place in the world. We all need to belong or we will parish. “No man is an island” John Donne.

        • Colin

          Steven, what you are saying is that ultimately, you decided to use your own mind, which is the primary tool that a human uses for their own survival, to figure out how to make yourself stable and independent (I hope).  These convicted criminals must do the same and no amount of sacrifice from other’s is going to replace that.  No man is an island?  So if I can’t pay my bills, will you?  If I can’t find a job, will you give me your job?  Society is a collection of individuals, not a herd of cattle.

          • If you need my job more than me, which in all honesty I don’t, you can have it. I do not depend on it and if you want to work 4 hours a week making coffee, I will talk to my boss about it. I am blessed to have the privilege to be a homemaker during the week and only work on Saturdays just to get out of the house and be with my friends. My time free time is spent building edible gardens for people to help them be less dependent on money. You might see me walking around the area with my son, I am the tall gentleman pushing a green stroller picking up litter. If you do see me feel free to say hello I would love to chat with you. I truly value others opinions, and appreciate you taking time out of your day to converse with me here on the forum page. I believe that though we may have differing views, we all have the same goal of a better society, with less violence. I want our children to inherit a world that they can take pride in being apart of, not the one that I am ashamed of, for there is to much why bother and NMP attitudes that are holding up progress. When did become such a Hippie?

          • Colin

            I appreciate your offer, but I don’t need a job, or anything from anyone, for that matter.  In fact, my philosophy is that it is fundamentally wrong to expect help from others, which, obviously is where we disagree.

          • Being self sufficient and independent are concepts that have been on my mind quite a bit recently. With the current impending economic collapse. My wife and I have discussed many times the idea of leaving the world behind and going to live on the family farm in a closed loop system free of the dependance on money. Unfortunately I am addicted to culture and am not willing to give up living amongst people yet. I truly hope that you are able to sustain your independence permanently. I personally have had the benefit of dependance on help from others. A few years back I had an eye injury that I was not financially ready for. Through the kindness of many I received the cornea transplant I needed to save my eye. I was without employment for months during recovery and was living with my brother rent free. All Im saying is in my experience in a long enough timeline everyone needs the help and charity of others. As young able bodied men we are able to support ourselves, but our bodies are deteriorating at an alarming rate and by the time we are lets say 70 we most likely will require a little assistance. There are people who contribute to society and people who depend on it and most people lie in the middle, that is why we have a society in the first place. You and me we are apart of the system whether we like it our not.

          • Colin

            A society is a group of individuals which engage in trade.  If I were to have a medical malady befall me, I would be fine because I have had the austerity to prepare for such an event.  In other words, I could trade something of value to those who have the skills which I would require.  This is not dependence as I have traded for that which I require.

          • But our society seems to be a failing system. Economist who I may not agree with say that we are on the verge of collapse. Would you feel the same way if the dollar became just a piece of paper? Many say having a 50 lbs bag of sugar will be more valuable than gold. It has been predicted that though we have demonized calories now due to misinformation, in an economic collapse we will turn to a caloric value system.

          • Colin

            Our society is not on the verge of collapse, our government is due to overspending.  There is a distinction.

            The dollar is, in fact, just a piece of paper.The US long ago opted for a fiat money system, meaning that the dollar is not a bank note nor is it backed by gold or any other precious metal.It is just a piece of paper.This, partly,is what has led to goverment overspending.  

          • I find it a little funny to have this conversation on a website for a radio station that depends on the financial help of its listeners…

          • Colin

            There is an important distinction between a donation and a sacrifice: one is done voluntarily, and the other by force. As an objectivist, I do not believe that a sacrafice is ever positive.  I believe that one shouldalwasy trade for something of value.

      • Colin my friend,
        I’m back up here where we can still read. I was wondering if you have seen the most recent Zeitgeist Movie Moving Forward? I would really like to hear you thoughts on it. My E-Mail is

  • LHB

    I called in a question this morning during this segment but have to say that I was disappointed in the responses from Mayor McLaughlin and Chief Magnus. I am interested in becoming involved in volunteering and other community building opportunities of which there seems to be a dearth. Our church lays a wreath at the site of a violent crime – a lovely but impotent gesture. How can I help make a difference in my community as an ordinary citizen?

    • My neighborhood meets once a week at Burg park to patrol. Check out the North East website for more info. . I love my city, I want more people to remember this is a city of pride and purpose.

      • LHB

        Thank you for the invitation, Steve. I live outside the described boundaries of the N and E Neighborhood but am interested to find out about the neighborhood council in my area near downtown Richmond (Harbor Way/Barrett Ave).

        I was initially reluctant to move here but limited personal finances, the lack of affordable housing in what then were more desirable neighborhoods, and having a friend who owned property here (and has become my landlady), made this area very appealing. In the past 3 years here, I’ve gotten to really know my neighbors (something which was unusual in the “nicer” parts of WCCC) and I now feel very much at home in this part of the Iron Triangle. 🙂

        The sound of gunfire is distressing. I am concerned for my family’s personal safety, for my neighbors and for the future of my city. The idea of sitting back and doing nothing is frustrating, dis-empowering and utterly unacceptable. So I will be getting in touch with the City of Richmond to find out about the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council… no mention of that group on the N and E web site. :-/

        Again, I appreciate your reply and look forward to perhaps meeting you one day.

        • I heard your call in, and really appreciated your question, and felt that it was not given responded to very well ether. I feel that 30 mins was not long enough to address the issue. I also felt that the mayor was just using talking points to give us the run around, and was glad that the host called her out on it. You may live outside the NE but we are neighbors and we all want Richmond to be a safe place to live and raise our families. If you don’t have a neighborhood watch program in place, I’m sure that ours could cross the invisible line and come help yall start one. Crime still happens here, on my block last month two houses were broken into. There is much to do and the world needs more willing people like you, all you need is a forum to connect with other like-minded individuals. A great place to meet neighbors and build community is at the farmers market. I wont be at this weeks due to other commitments, but I will be there next week. Hope to see ya there!

    • Trish Clifford

      I’m a Richmond resident and I’m very involved in volunteering in community building activities. I think Richmond has plenty of opportunities. One is Urban Tilth, a group that runs urban farms at the high schools and trains youth in agriculture. Solar Richmond trains low-income youth to install solar panels. Richmond has a Transition Town which is working to build community by re-localizing everything we need to thrive in the face of the larger environmental and economic problems we are facing as a country and in the world.

  • Forum needs a new thread system. After 8 replies we are down to three word to a line.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor