Clinton Pledges `Discipline' and `Caring'

PRESIDENT Clinton answering a question about crime in a White House news conference on Nov. 11:

``When children start shooting children the way they're doing now, and little kids go around planning their own funerals, what that means is that there are a whole lot of people, millions of people, in this country who literally are not even playing by the same set of rules that all the rest of us take for granted. And we have learned in this country to accept many things that are unacceptable. And I think the president has a pulpit, Teddy Roosevelt's bully pulpit, that I have to use ... to try to help rebuild the conditions of family and community and education and opportunity.

``What a lot of these folks that are in such desperate trouble need is a unique combination of both structure and order and discipline, on the one hand, and genuine caring on the other. It is impossible to structure life in a society like ours where there is no family, or at least no supervising, caring adult, on the one hand, and on the other hand, where there is no work.

``If you go generation after generation after generation and people don't get to work ... You think about your lives, think about what you're going to do today, what you did this morning when you got up, what you'll do tonight when you go home. If you think about the extent to which work organizes life in America and reinforces our values, our rules, and the way we relate to one another and the way we raise our children, and then you imagine what it must be like when there is no work.

``The attorney general and [Housing and Urban Development] Secretary Cisneros and a number of other people are now working in our administration on how we can develop a comprehensive approach to the whole issue of violence in our society and how we can merge that with what we want to do in terms of community empowerment and how it will fit in with all the things we are now doing.

``And I think what you will see from us over the next several months is a sustained, organized, disciplined approach so that we don't just respond to the horror we all feel when a little kid gets shot after being picked up off the street like happened here last weekend or when these children plan their funerals. I want to put this right at the center of what we're doing.''

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