Sunday, February 20, 2011

Breedists, Misdirection, Lancaster Revisited

Breedist and fear-mongering organizations hold up Lancaster, California as an example of BSL done right. The city requires the mandatory castration of Rottweilers and Pit Bulls. The law was implemented in January of 2009. Last year, the mayor of the city touted the law as the reason gang-related crime had been reduced. In a miraculous turn of events, gang members decided to take the straight and narrow path because Rottweilers and Pit Bulls in the city had their testicles and ovaries removed.

The Antelope Valley of southern California once had a record high crime rate of 395. That is, 395 crimes per 10,000 residents. The valley is primarily comprised of two demographically similar cities: Palmdale and Lancaster.

In 2007, the Sheriff announced his plans to set a goal of reducing that crime rate to 300 per 10,000 citizens within five years. They called the effort the Antelope Valley Crime Fighting Initiative and it was started in March of 2007.

A lieutenant was appointed for the job and the two cities' stations were enhanced by several teams, including those related to gang violence. Four deputy positions were added. The community was involved and by 2009, neighborhood watch teams expanded from 75 to more than 500.

For problems associated with gun violence, authorities noticed that most gun related assaults occurred at large parties. So they created a weekend "Party Cars" program with faster cars and a better partnership with CHP to better respond to problems.

And both Lancaster and Palmdale implemented a Ceasefire Operation program that works directly with gang members to reduce gang-related homicides. Gang related homicides started to decrease, prior to the castration law, from 21 in 2007 to 15 in 2008. In 2009, that number went down to 7. Now according to the Sheriff's Department, that is because of this coordinated, focused effort. According to the mayor, it's because of a Rottweiler's testicles.The power of the testicle extends even into Palmdale, which has not implemented a mandatory castration law. Does one make more sense than the other?

The Sheriff achieved his victory by the end of 2009, three years ahead of schedule. The crime rate in the entire Antelope Valley dipped below 300 by the end of 2009. The valley saw their biggest reduction in crime rate in 2008, prior to Lancaster's implementation of its sterilization law. But if the mayor of Lancaster is right, the Sheriff was wasting taxpayers money and time with all of his fancy-schmancy programs; he should have just offered free spay/neuter days to all Rottweiler and Pit Bull owners in Palmdale and Lancaster and BAM! gang-related crimes would all be solved. Oh, if only.

It is absolutely impossible, by the rules of statistics and physics, for a January 2009 general mandatory castration law in Lancaster, California to cause a specific drop in gang-related crime in the ENTIRE Antelope Valley. It is not possible.

So breedists, please stop using Lancaster as an example of effective discriminatory legislation. It is not. Crime rate has been reduced across the Antelope Valley, not just Lancaster. Lancaster has NOT seen a significant reduction in crime since January 2009 that is statistically different than Palmdale or other smaller cities in the Antelope Valley. Both Lancaster and Palmdale have, in the past five years, seen about a 40% reduction in their crime rates. That has happened ACROSS five years, including three years prior to Lancaster's 2009 castration law. And it happened in both cities.

In Summary: Removing testicles does not reduce gang-related crimes.

Last year's post on this issue: Correlation Does Not Equal Causation

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