Editorial: Why so many Tulsa homicides?

The bad news is that Tulsa set a record for homicides in 2016.

The good news is that the police solved most of those cases.

Tulsa broke the record with 82 homicides in 2016. And 2017 did not start well with two separate homicides on January 1. Both were shootings.

These murders happen all over Tulsa but there are areas that seem to be more dangerous.

Why is there an increase in murders in Tulsa?

We don’t have a definite conclusion but here are some speculations.

Domestic disputes seem to be high on the list of fatal shootings. People just don’t seem capable of getting along with others they live with and this seems especially true in some apartment complexes in some high-crime areas, like South 61st Street and Peoria Avenue.

When 2016 crimes stats are revealed, don’t be surprised if there is a jump in armed robberies. It seems like some Quik-Trip or Dollar General Store is being held up almost every other day.

What you won’t hear in media reports is that property crime and armed robberies are up because of the increase in legalized gambling. The Tulsa World and the local TV stations rely heavily on casino advertising and there’s no way they will do a serious investigation of the impact of tribal gambling on local crime.

And guess what? In 2018, we are liberalizing Oklahoma’s liquor laws. That means that instead of stealing cheap 3.2 beer from a convenience store, low-life criminals will be able to walk out with hard beer and wine.

Do you think homicides will go down when you can buy wine at almost any grocery, convenience store or pharmacy?

Crime is going to increase in Tulsa. The police can’t be everywhere. Even with more police, a culture that promotes gambling and alcoholism (and illegal drug use) will see more criminal activity.