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Your Turn, New Mexico: Solutions For Violent Crime

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Our most recent episode of Let's Talk New Mexico on Sept. 16 focused on our state's recent uptick in violent crime. And, unsurprisingly for a topic that’s been on so many folks’ minds, it wound up generating a lot of discussion. We weren't able to take everyone's input on the air, but we still wanted to highlight some of your comments that we just didn't have time for.


First up, we asked a few questions on Twitter to gauge how people have been feeling about these issues. Here are some of those questions as well as a few of the responses we received:


At the same time, our email box was blowing up!

Chris took exception to our guests'  focus on responding to crime rather than trying to tackle bigger issues that they believed were behind the rise of violent crime in the first place:

I’m listening to your show this morning and it’s just ridiculous. I’m sorry but these are all still reactive measures! None of these are going to work in the long run to give us aNone of these are gonna work in the long run to give us a healthier social standard and safer environment. Right now, we have a very sick social standard in this country. Half the country believes in health and human services, quality education, community and coming together. The other half of the country believes that we all need to sleep with a gun next to my bedside table and that protects us. There’s an essential split in philosophy. And as long as we have such a huge number of people in this country that govern through fear, and such a huge amount of guns in this country, we’re going to have this kind of Violence!

We have to make an essential shift where we believe in early childhood education and parental support at home after a baby is born and brought home in quality education not compulsory education… all that. As
long as we govern based on fear and enforcement instead of learning how to get along with each other as a community, we’re going to continue to have these huge issues in our world in our society.

Similarly, Paul wondered about the connection between income and crime:

The cost of living continues to rise. We consistently rank lowest in education. Our communities are flooded with drugs and guns. The minimum wage followed productivity from 1938 to 1968 and today would be $26/hr had that continued. How does income affect crime levels and types of crime in our communities? Has crime risen with income inequality?

Finally, Kyle underscored the importance of the issue, and warned that Albuquerque would face a dire future if we couldn't find solutions to the problems of violent crime.

Albuquerque’s violence and rampant drug abuse is suffocating the city's promising future. It is literally killing its innocent residents by means of violence... Lets face it, life is a competition and ABQ is starting to decay from the inside. We need to address the issues or face other cities in the US pulling even farther ahead of ABQ. 


Do you think Businesses think twice before they make investments in communities that can’t keep people safe? Businesses want a community that is going to be able to house and support its employees. Being #9 of the most violent City’s isn’t going to help attract new businesses.



Thanks to all those who wrote in, and let’s keep these conversations going! Follow our twitter at @KUNMNews, email us at LetsTalk@KUNM.org, and make sure to tune in every Thursday morning at 8am.

Ty Bannerman has been writing about New Mexico for over a decade. He is the author of the history book Forgotten Albuquerque and his work has appeared in New Mexico Magazine, Atlas Obscura, Eater, and the American Literary Review. While at the Weekly Alibi, Albuquerque’s alternative newspaper, he served as food editor, features editor and managing editor. He co-hosts two podcasts: City on the Edge, which tells Albuquerque stories, and Anytown, USA, which virtually explores a different US county each week. He has two children and way too many dogs and chickens.
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