I'm not sure how I wound up on the listserv of the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Web news (I certainly didn't sign up), but it comes every day — and occasionally I read it. Last week, I was particularly drawn to a news item by editor Tim Redmond entitled, Why Homicides Are Down (Hint: It's Not All The Police).
Redmond begins his editorial item claiming to have been fascinated by the idea that homicide numbers in San Francisco have decreased while what he calls “near-fatal” shootings have remained the same. “While the mayor trumpets the falling murder rate, the number of people shot in the city isn't dropping at all,” he writes. (Actually, that's not true, which I'll explain later).
He goes on to say he agrees with Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who is quoted in a recent San Francisco Examiner story pointing to San Francisco General Hospital, the city's only trauma center, as “the unsung hero” in regards to the falling murder rate.
Finally, Redmond worries that the looming budget cuts could affect the trauma center. “At that point, will the homicide rate go up?” he wonders.
It's hard to know where to start on this lazy, throw-away piece of non-journalism, but here are the main issues I have with it: