Is Fort Worth’s youth homicide rate a problem of overcrowding?


OPINION AND COMMENT

Editorials and other opinion content provide insights into issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our newsroom reporters.

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In the mid-twentieth century, John B. Calhoun experimented with rats to develop his “behavioral sink” theory.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Is it just too many people together?

Sunday’s front page headline read, “101 Dead: That’s the number of Tarrant County teenagers who have died of gun violence since 2016, and it’s getting worse.” Are we ready to call this a crisis? Too bad no one is looking at John B. Calhoun’s mid-20th century rodent studies that led to his theory of the “behavioral sink” caused by overpopulation. Even if you disagree with the conclusion of his work, the research could provide some insight into the increase in violent behavior we are witnessing today.

Fort Worth and surrounding areas have experienced substantial population growth in recent times. Cramming more people into one area can have unintended effects. The behavioral well might provide the pathway to understanding why.

-Thomas Corne, Keller

Putting the political party before the country

Kurt Bardella’s commentary, “When the GOP adopts an authoritarian playbook” (Xtra Opinion, May 1) mirrors Russia’s fascist regime and reveals the current state of the Republican Party. Their goals align, and almost strangely, so do the tactics. And they share the same underlying philosophy: opposition to democratic ideals of pluralism and the rule of law.

We can see parallels such as party-sanctioned homophobia, insults by political opponents as “groomers”, allowing citizens to surrender or sue their neighbors for exercising their constitutional rights and, of course, l book ban to suppress historical facts and unpopular ideas.

It is unthinkable that in 2022 the Americans can again give power to this party which opposes all our American ideals.

-Charles Stonick Granbury

What’s really behind inflation

The author of a Sunday letter to the editor (5C) is correct in saying that excessive money creation is a factor of inflation. But it has the mechanism of creation in reverse: the Federal Reserve and the government are responsible.

Even after it was determined that we were entering a period of excessive inflation, the Fed embarked on an aggressive bond-buying program. Now the Fed is trying to dry up the money supply without creating a recession, but it may be too late.

The stimulus money poured into the economy to counter the “shrinkage” caused by the pandemic has gone to local governments and businesses, and much of that money has just hit the streets and is contributing to inflationary pressure. Timing is everything.

This isn’t the first time Democrats have let inflation spiral out of control. I’m old enough to remember those 18% mortgage rates under the Carter administration.

-James R. Anderson, North Richland Hills

What Passes for a University Event

The author of a Sunday letter to the editor took offense to Carlos Turcios’ April 24 column on free speech on college campuses. (5C, “Students are learning all the wrong lessons about free speech on campus”) The reader points out that when she was a student, students protested the Vietnam War. These protests brought to light the lies and wrongdoings that were killing American military personnel.

It seems to me that the idea that students today have of freedom of expression is to shout, to play an instrument and even to physically attack those with whom they disagree. They say that a speech with which they do not agree is violence against them.

Protesting against incorrect gender pronouns, discussing Abraham Lincoln and Christopher Columbus, and trashing statues is not quite the same as protesting the Vietnam War. These protests gave rise to debates. The last thing students seem to want right now is a debate. They want to shut down or cancel anyone whose views don’t match theirs.

– Randy Weeks, Roanoke

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