Many believe the most pressing problem facing the nation today is the rising crime rate, where preliminary FBI data points to the largest single year increase in murders since the agency began publishing this data 60 years ago. Meanwhile, cities across the U.S. have cut funding from police department budgets or have decreased the size of their respective polices forces. Vis-à-vis this backdrop, a person would have to be obtuse not to see the connection between the defund the police movement and the increase in violent crime.
In response, the president announced his strategy, which was surprisingly narrow in scope. He told the nation the problem is guns; that he had a plan to get unlicensed firearms off our city streets and said he would divert funds from COVID relief to accomplish this. He swanked, “It’s zero tolerance for gun dealers;” but there are currently 400,000,000 (yes, that’s four-hundred million) privately held guns in America, and the notion that federal agencies are going to keep guns from the hands of criminals when millions are available is a fool’s errand. Besides, over the last twenty-five years crime in the United States dropped dramatically even as the American public bought hundreds of millions of new firearms, so I don’t understand the president’s rationale.
Perhaps the country would be better served if the president used his bully pulpit to stop the villainization of the police and encouraged local jurisdictions to re-institute cash bail. We know drugs are at the root of inner-city violence, so, perhaps too he should focus federal attention on stopping the flow of illicit drugs across our southern border, which are now at an all-time high.
Those knowledgeable with law enforcement understand that street crime is now and always has been a local matter, not a federal one. And addressing it requires local solutions, beginning with the local citizenry electing officials who are serious about fighting crime. And being serious means first admitting to the problem that in cities like Chicago, New York, and L.A., the vast majority of violent crime victims as well as the perpetrators are either black or brown.
Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly recently opined, “that’s the crux of much of the violent crime and social problems in this country.” But the president doesn’t mention that. He never talks about those things, instead he talks about systemic racism with a liberal sprinkling of the left’s new buzz word, ‘equity.’ As an aside, President Biden’s first executive order was all about equity, a word appearing 19 times in that order, yet it was never actually defined, which begs the question, what did his executive order do that the 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution along with Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 didn’t do?
The progressive left tells us the real issue is ‘whiteness,’ as if that’s the root cause of all of America’s problems. We see this clearly in notions such as critical race theory and its contention that America is divided into two groups, the oppressors and the oppressed as they view all societal interaction through a racial lens.
Meanwhile, I have friends living in cities where the crime rates are skyrocketing and I’ve asked a few of them if life in their cities has improved since the death of George Floyd, the emergence of Black Lives Matter and the defund the police movement. The responses were predictable. Most were honest and told me they felt their respective cities had become more dangerous, while two who have a decidedly liberal bent, made excuses, and downplayed the fact they no longer venture into what were once their favorite eateries because of the proximity to what have become ‘high-risk’ neighborhoods.
And speaking of high-risk neighborhoods, would someone please tell me what BLM has done to improve the lives of the people living in those neighborhoods, especially in cities like Chicago where three thousand blacks have been murdered during the past five years?
What’s occurring in America should disturb us all, however, there is a positive note. Tucker Carlson said something during his commentary the other night that I believe could serve as a moral template to address these issues. He told his audience that it’s impossible to maintain a multi-racial democracy, i.e., a constitutional republic like ours, unless people of every color have exactly the same rights and exactly the same responsibilities under the law.
And while that may appear self-evident and an oversimplification, unless or until we can speak openly on the matter without ‘being cancelled,’ our form of democracy simply won’t work.
Quote of the day: “It is folly to punish your neighbor with fire when you live next door” – Publilius Syrus