The New York Times makes excuses for crime … but misses the primary cause
America is experiencing a very serious spike in crime across the nation. Especially hardest hit are the major urban centers. Everything has a cause — and finding the primary cause is essential to finding solutions. It is no different than a doctor diagnosing the correct cause of symptoms. Wrong diagnosis and the problem gets worse. And that is exactly the situation we have today in terms of crime.
Currently, most of the current crime crisis comes from the policies of the Democrats … the left. Where crime is at its peaks, blame the folks in charge. So, it is their diagnosis and their “solutions” that are failing miserably.
A recent online article in the New York Times by German Lopez does a pretty good job of delineating the left’s theories of the causes of the high crime rates across the country.
Lopez does a good job at showing the scope of the problem. In one graph he shows that the soaring murder rate across the country has moved up in the past two years (2019 and 2021) from 5 percent to 6.9 percent. The 2022 rate is on track to be another record increase.
And as bad as the murder rates are, the number of lessor violent crimes is increasing at a faster rate – in some cases doubling previous years.
Yes … we have a crime crisis. So, what is causing it. According to Lopez, there are primarily three causes.
The first cause has been the Covid Pandemic. Lopez argues that the Pandemic and the lockdown “disrupted all aspects of life, including the social services that can tame crime and violence.”
That suggests that social work successfully fights crime. I find that to be an unproven theory – but one embraced by those on the left. It does not explain why crime started going up as the Pandemic hit – and rose even faster and further as the Pandemic eased and the lockdowns largely ended.
Lopez second cause is the number of “high-profile police killings of 2020 and the protests that followed.” One can argue that the riots that grew out of the protests resulted in a definite spike in criminality – vandalism, arson, looting, assault, battery, etc. But to suggest that the post-riot street crimes we see every day are some sort of retaliation for the police shootings has an ominous implication. Since the “high profile police killings” were white officers killing black makes, Lopez is putting the rise in retaliatory crime squarely on the black community.
And finally, Lopez drags out the evergreen cause – guns. According to Lopez, “Americans bought a record number of guns in recent years.” It is first important to know that not all felony crimes involve guns. In fact, guns are Involved in only a teeny-weeny percent of all felony crimes. Think of those “crash and dash” crimes … the car jackings … home burglaries … assaults. Rarely is a gun involved. Even in the case of rape, only 25 percent of perpetrators are armed with a weapon — and fewer with a gun.
Obviously, a lot of murders (approximately 75percent) are committed with firearms – with handguns the weapon of choice (approximately 45 percent). Gun violence gets the most attention, but it is not the cause of most felony crimes. Not even close. To place guns as one of the three major causes of the overall crime spike is … well … absurd.
Lopez basically provided the leftwing social worker version of the causes of crime. I will give you the real answer – and it is not complicated. LACK OF ENFORCEMENT.
If you do not arrest criminals … prosecute them … and dole out appropriate punishment, you will get more crime. When enforcement is lacking, crime pays.
President Biden says he is against defunding the police. Of course he is. Defunding the police is so toxic to the electorate that anyone who proposes it need not run for office. But Biden is engaging in a bit of a scam. He favors increasing police funding AND diverting money from enforcement to the soft social worker approach. That essentially defunds the all-important enforcement – the primary purpose of policing.
What has Biden done to push back on the Democrat policy of NOT prosecuting crimes. He said nothing when his own Vice President raised money to provide get-out-of-jail-free cards to criminal rioters. Biden has not chastised Democrat prosecutors who have abandoned their duty in such places as New York City and Los Angeles – prosecutors elected by the radical left of his own Party. Biden has not offered any significant federal support – boots on the ground – to address the astronomical crime rates in the segregated urban communities.
The Democrat approach is to limit police activities. Intimidate police into inaction. Ordering police to stand down in the face of serious and life-threatening crimes – even as they are bombarded with rocks, urine and Molotov Cocktails.
Recall all those orders from Democrat mayors restraining the police as rioters burned and pillaged? Remember the Democrat mayor of Portland saying the presence of federal police guarding government buildings was provocative and they should get out of town? Democrats have spent years undermining public confidence in policing – not just the weeding out of a few bad actors.
Has Biden done anything to vet migrants at the southern border to prevent criminals, terrorists, gangbangers and drug cartels from entering America? Instead the administration warns local authorities not to take action since border security is a federal responsibility.
Rather than prosecuting criminals, Biden Democrats want to disempower Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) from doing its job. They even order local sheriffs not to turn over illegal aliens to ICE. Democrat mayors offer safe harbors in the name of sanctuary cities and counties.
Even if you are inclined to be concerned about guns, you have not seen Democrats proposing harsher actions against those who own illegal guns – or commit crimes with guns. Rather than go after the criminal, the Biden policy is to go after the gun and gun owners – ALL gun owners. Stopping the legal sale of guns will do nothing to reduce crime. You must arrest and punish the criminal.
The crime wave we are experiencing is largely caused by lack of prosecution and undermining policing – both are policies benefiting criminals. The way to reverse the trend is strict enforcement and putting police in the business of tracking down and arresting criminals. Insistent that prosecutors actually prosecute those charged with crimes. And judges should had out appropriate sentences. It is really that simple.
So, there ‘tis.