Over the past weekend, San Jose experienced a crime rate similar to one of the most dangerous cities in California. With three shootings within a few hours, San Jose is starting to become less like the “sleepy city” we talk about. Should we be alarmed, or was this violence just an anomaly?
We don’t yet know what the root of the violence was or if these were gang related. All three took place in East San Jose, which has been a hotbed for crime and gang activity for years. Many people who are pushing for more police presence are now saying that we need it even more with these new developments. However, would more policemen have prevented these murders? I find that hard to believe. They would have been there to respond after the violent crimes were already committed, so how would more policemen help deter these crimes? Perhaps a better solution would be if we had more manpower in the prevention of crime, rather than just cops on the street.
Our society is becoming more violent everywhere. It is easier than ever to gain access to guns, and kids grow up in a society where violence is glorified through movies and video games. I am not blaming these things for the violence as such, but when children have no parental influence or positive anti-violence role models, they can succumb to the life of gangs and violence.
Maybe this weekend is just a symptom of our city’s growth and our problems are now on a par with larger cities. If we need more cops on the street, I hope we get them, but I am afraid this violent weekend is going to be used by politicos as a “see, I told you so” about how many cops are on the street. I would like to see us try to get to the root of the problem rather than point to this weekend as an excuse to spend more money in areas where we may not necessarily need it.
Until then, I hope this is the last time we are compared to Oakland—ever.