He said one unintended consequence of focusing on firearm prosecutions is that young, urban black men are overwhelmingly targeted by prosecutors, which makes the communities in which they live more distrustful of police and law enforcement.
Instead of focusing on gun prosecution, Kennedy said, it would be more effective if law enforcement seeks to identify the people most likely to commit violent crime and engage in outreach.
He cited Oakland, California’s Operation Ceasefire, which identified the less-than 1 percent of Oakland residents who were associated with two-thirds of the city’s gun violence and provided them with coaching, social services, jobs and other assistance.
According to a study published Aug. 22 and conducted by Northeastern and Rutgers University, shootings in Oakland decreased by 52 percent between 2011 and 2017.
Now, this doesn’t solve the problem of mass shootings, which are governed by another set of variables. But liberals, who understandably tend to get very law-and-ordery where gun violence is concerned, might consider that social outreach efforts, a little do-gooderism, might be effective at making safer communities.