The Killing Can Be Stopped!

Published March 14, 2006

Link to The Killing Can be Stopped (PDF)

On Friday, March 3, 14-year-old Starkesia Reed was killed by a stray bullet as she gazed out her window in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. Eight days later and just a few blocks away, Siretha White, 10, was struck and killed in her aunt’s living room as she was about to blow out the candles on her birthday cake.

These tragedies have resulted in front-page stories in the city’s newspapers, extensive television news coverage, and a national debate over how to make our cities safer places to live. But they are eerily familiar.

Fourteen years ago–on October 13, 1992–a seven-year-old boy named Dantrell Davis was killed by a sniper’s bullet while walking to school from a Chicago public housing project, Cabrini-Green. His tragic death also generated front-page stories and national debate … yet few of the public policies contributing to Dantrell’s death were ever changed.

A few weeks after Dantrell’s murder, The Heartland Institute released The Killing Can Be Stopped, a penetrating report by seven authors pinning blame for the culture of violence in inner cities on public policies affecting education, drug abuse, low-income housing, welfare, and job creation.

Because the recommendations reached by The Killing Can Be Stopped are still urgently needed, The Heartland Institute is re-releasing the report today and urging reporters to contact its authors for their reactions to the latest killings:

  • Randy Barnett, J.D., at the time a professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, now a prominent author and legal scholar at Boston University. He can be contacted by email at [email protected];
  • Joseph Bast is still president of The Heartland Institute, though he is now author or editor of 12 books. He can be contacted by phone at 312/377-4000 or by email at [email protected];
  • Michael Finch, then a policy analyst for The Heartland Institute, is now executive director of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in Los Angeles. He can be contacted by email at [email protected];
  • Robert Genetski, Ph.D., was and still is one of the nation’s most prominent economists and financial analysts. He can be reached by email at [email protected];
  • Dave Padden is a Chicago businessman and chairman emeritus of The Heartland Institute’s board of directors. He can be contacted by email at [email protected];
  • Daniel Polsby, J.D., was a professor of law at Northwestern University and is now faculty dean of the Law School at George Mason University. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]; and
  • Herbert Walberg, Ph.D., was research professor of education and psychology at the University of Illinois – Chicago and is now distinguished visiting fellow at The Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He can be reached by phone at 312/951-6044 or by email at [email protected].

In his introduction to The Killing Can Be Stopped, Padden wrote:

The authors of these essays offer bold and imaginative programs for permanent improvement without regard to short-term gain. Many suggestions contained herein are specific, but more importantly they illustrate an approach that needs to be taken if progress is to be made in harmonizing the interests of all Americans. The details of implementation will be affected by the politics of the moment. The more important contribution of these authors is to point out the correct direction for others to follow.

The Killing Can Be Stopped makes a critical contribution to the public debate over how our cities can be made safer. Tragedies like those we’ve witnessed in Chicago these past weeks need not occur again.

For more information about this report, its authors, or The Heartland Institute contact media relations assistant Michael Van Winkle at 312/377-4000 or email [email protected].