Curb Violence In Steubenville

Strictly from a statistical viewpoint, Steubenville has become a very dangerous place.

A 40-year-old man who was stabbed to death this week, allegedly by an 18-year-old, became the city’s sixth murder victim of the year.

Even some cities viewed by many people as very dangerous places have lower homicide rates than Steubenville’s. Chicago, for example, has plenty of drug- and gang-related violence, but a murder rate only about one-third as high as the local city’s (homicides per 100,000 of population).

Most Steubenville residents have little or nothing to fear from gun- and knife-carrying assailants. Still, the frequency of shooting incidents increases the possibility of innocent victims getting caught in the crossfire. And merely living in the same community with the large number of violence-prone people apparently present in Steubenville can be disquieting.

Not much can be done to prevent a certain type of violence, that among people who, for one reason or another, allow personal differences to escalate to assault.

But when other types of crime are the root cause of violence, finding ways to crack down on them can make communities safer.

We’re thinking of the illegal drug trade, of course. A substantial amount of the violence in Steubenville is linked to it, with much of the drug supply coming from outside our area.

Local law enforcement agencies work very hard to find and arrest drug pushers, with frequent successes. But rather than viewing the threat of arrest as worrisome, some pushers view it as a way to get competitors out of the way.

Police are vastly outnumbered by professional drug pushers. More help from state and federal authorities is needed – and should be provided.

Otherwise, the count of murders in Steubenville will continue climbing, and it is only a matter of time until one or more innocent bystanders is killed.