A timely warning from John Farnam about homelessness and crime

We’ve met shooting and self-defense instructor John Farnam in these pages before.  He’s just published a training note that I think is important for all of us who live in, or visit, major cities.  He begins by quoting a correspondent in Salt Lake City concerning its problems with the homeless.

‘We must separate drug dealers and other ‘real criminals’ from the homeless….,’ or so goes the party line.

Yet, when talking with local police officers, you’ll hear a completely different story! They’ll tell you about ‘the homeless’ breaking into parked cars and houses, urinating in public, defecating on front lawns, assaulting people in public places, stealing everything that isn’t nailed down, etc.

The ‘homeless’ are the ‘real criminals!’ They are just the bottom rung. Drug-dealers are slightly more enterprising!”

John comments:

Denver, LA, San Francisco, and a dozen other liberal-run metro areas all share this same manufactured “problem.”

Downtown areas have become so crime-ridden and dangerous that tourists now hesitate to go there. Cities then desperately fight to keep these areas “safe,” the only way they know how: a “wall-to-wall” police presence, particularly on weekends. That, of course, leaves no police for the rest of the city!

Some cities, like Detroit and Philadelphia, have given up! Once-lively downtown areas there are now mostly boarded-up.

It’s the trend!

“Catering to criminals,” a liberal linchpin, is rotting once-grand cities, from the inside out.

There’s more at the link.  Highly recommended reading.

Of course, the homeless are often violent towards each other.  As one Fresno, CA activist pointed out earlier this year, “we are starting to see an increase in client violence because it is kind of like the street justice, they are taking care of their own out on the street“.  This is, in turn, producing a backlash from residents of those cities.  Just yesterday, an as-yet-unidentified motorist deliberately ran over three sleeping vagrants in Tulsa, OK, killing one.  That’s far from the only so-called “hate crime” directed against the homeless – and the problem isn’t restricted to the USA, either.

One can argue ad nauseam about the causes of and solutions for homelessness.  The fact remains, it appears to generate or exacerbate a great many social ills, including crime and violence.  Those living within reach of the problem need to be aware of that risk, and conduct themselves accordingly.



  1. Yeah, but what if one should come by unfortunate circumstances beyond their control?
    Like losing all your money via identity thief who empties your savings or checking account?
    Losing your home and all your belongings in a natural disaster?
    Losing your job or occupation and your remaining funds finally run out?

    …and if any of those scenarios, or any other ones similar, should befall you and you end up destitute as a result, would you appreciate all others around you suddenly being all paranoid of you and profiling you as someone degenerate and dangerous?
    Would your present predicament suddenly render you a completely different person overnight?

  2. Tal Hartsfeld:

    What's your damn point?

    We should treat a criminal underclass with kid gloves because among them could be some good people?

    As a group, homeless people congregating in non-disaster cities promote crime. Some of them are innocent. Some are guilty. Reducing their numbers and dispersing them reduces the problem.

    You use the word "paranoid". I don't think you understand "justifiably suspicious" very well.

  3. Government planners have a use for these people. With zoning laws, they keep homeless feeding charities and shelters in particular areas where they are interested in the real estate. The property values in that area drop to bedrock, driven by the crime and waste. Then the government steps in, condemns the land for pennies, kicks the homeless and charities out to the next area, and builds away. It takes a few years to implement, that's all.

  4. Urinating in public is a crime. But if the public restrooms are locked, and businesses won't let you use the bathroom, what do you do? You break the law.

    Laws against the homeless are like any other, in that you can't eliminate the problem by making it illegal. If it were, nobody in Chicago would ever die of a gunshot wound.

  5. @Antibubba: Bear in mind that many city governments actually pander to the homeless by enacting policies that invite them in – but then fail to provide facilities for them. Businesses, intent on keeping their customers happy and their premises sanitary, don't allow the homeless to use their facilities. I can't argue that businesses are heartless: they're not. That's not their function. The city councils are all too often at fault.

    John Farnam's words – and mine – are not directed against the homeless, but against those who make the problem much worse by not doing something effective to help them. Wanting to look social-justice-warrior correct is not helping. It's making things worse.

    Utah's solution seems to be working, with the caveat that it still involves a great deal of taxpayer money. See:


    However, it costs less than the alternative; so, if taxpayers are going to be saddled with the burden anyway, it might be a path forward. However, I still disagree with cities actively offering such programs – because they inevitably attract those who want freebies. Why place that burden upon already overburdened taxpayers?

  6. There's homelessness, a temporary condition that can be fixed with hard work, creativity, and determination.

    Then there's Homelessness, a lifestyle choice brought about by choices made in the past, usually revolving around drugs or medication, or lack thereof.

    They're all sad stories, each one. Some have circumstances that were not of their choice. There will never be enough resources to enable their existence without an unbearable cost.

    That cost will be paid up to the point it can't. Then nature will cull, through any of the various mechanisms it has used before. That's not nice to think about, but that's one of American's main weaknesses; niceness.

    Is it compassionate to artificially support such populations to the point of a mass die-off? I sure don't desire to live through such a period, but it looks like I might have to.

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