“Crime doesn’t pay.”
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard the old saying in a while or seen it on a billboard that nobody maintains. Long the focus of anti-crime measures in many a locale, in what used to be considered a relatively safe and peaceful country, street crime -- and likely other types of crimes, too -- is on the rise in America. What formerly might have surfaced as a blurb about a store or house being broken into and the occasional violent spree with perpetrators and victims on the evening news has become a staple topic for cable hosts and news producers from coast to coast.
Another old saying, “If it bleeds, it leads” was a common editorial philosophy in the old days, meaning if there was something violent or attention grabbing -- like someone suffering or dying -- that was an enticement to delve further into the story. There’s an awful lot of bleeding going on in America’s major cities, and really, there’s no end in sight.
The summer of 2020 will forever be remembered for mass protests morphing into riots with arson, wanton property destruction, human misery and in a good many cases, homicides. Who will ever forget the video imagery of mobs shattering store windows in places like New York City and Chicago with gleeful thugs then pouring in through the holes and helping themselves to the contents of defenseless business establishments. It didn’t used to be this way.
Then there were the historic statue desecrations and destruction, all covered by the news media and flashed to living rooms across the fruited plain. Perhaps it took the scenes of miscreants trying in vain to pull down the massive statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square (in Washington DC across from the White House) to realize “enough is enough”. Then-President Trump imposed a hefty fine and jailtime for anyone caught and convicted of such sad sacrileges. And the mayhem ceased.
Bumbling President Joe Biden and his administration appears to acknowledge that the crime spree has gotten out of control, and they’re finally mobilizing to do something about it. Or are they? Jeff Mordock reported at The Washington Times:
“The Biden administration on Wednesday said it would more strictly enforce federal gun laws, help cities and states hire more police officers and promote community policing to try to curb an increase in deadly crime as the homicide rate climbs to historic levels in major cities across the country.
“President Biden discussed those moves and other pieces of his crime prevention strategy Wednesday at the White House with Attorney General Merrick Garland and several big-city mayors.
“Mr. Biden said these proposals will ‘keep communities safe and people out of trouble. But he also braced the nation for an expected increase in violent crime as summer started this week. ‘Crime historically rises during the summer and as we emerge from this pandemic, the traditional summer spike may even be more pronounced than it usually will be,’ he said.”
It's true, ol’ senile Joe has mouthed the words about supporting law enforcement and this week made a commitment to dumping more federal money into fighting crime. But he also went out of his way to cite “gun violence” as the cause of most of our maladies. Translation: guns are bad. Turn in your guns for the benefit of society. It’s the only way. Then crime will stop. Trust me on this, I’m the one that talks about ‘systemic racism’ all the time, right?
It was just the latest iteration of the longtime warmed-over Democrat message, that crime isn’t accelerating due to a government-wide assault on traditional culture and then blaming declining livability on too many guns and racist cops. Sure, take away all the legal firearms and watch shootings increase dramatically -- and turn every policeman or woman into a social worker armed only with words. That’ll do it.
Democrats have railed against law enforcement for too long and passed measures that lessen incentives for people to obey the law at the same time. Bernard Goldberg had a particularly pointed piece at The Hill the other day that touched on the elimination of punishments for “little crimes” in San Francisco and the policy’s inevitable contribution to upticks in major crimes.
Imagine a parent calling a family meeting with his or her spouse and announcing to their already rambunctious and line-pushing school-aged children, “We have decided we’re not going to spank you anymore, for any reason. You still have to behave, but no matter what you do, we won’t punish you with the stick any longer. We trust that you’re going to act like perfect angels and from this point on, return our good faith gesture by not ever -- ever -- doing anything bad again. Okay?”
The kids would see it as a signal that they’re home-free to start tearing apart board games, not keep their rooms tidy, stay up past bedtime, break household items and tools and anything else they can get their grubby little fingers on. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is an open invitation to go wild. Are criminals so different?
It’s ironic and sadly humorous to think back on many a Democrat commentator’s condescension and unfair criticism of Republican politicians’ -- most notably Donald Trump’s -- use of law and order as a cornerstone of their campaigns. Liberals branded Trump’s appeals for safe streets and penalties for law violators packaged with blanket support for police forces as a loosely veiled siren-call for racists and white supremacists and all other types of “ists” or “phobes” to come out of the woodwork and assail the nearest person of color or gay person they could get their fists on.
This line of attack isn’t new. When George H.W. Bush’s campaign brains brought up Massachusetts weekend furlough rapist Willie Horton during the Republican’s 1988 presidential run, Bush-bashers and haters accused him of playing the race card because Horton happened to be black. If you placed ten men in a room, five white guys and five black guys -- and told an audience that they were all convicted murders, what would you have? Ten criminals. Doesn’t matter the skin tone, does it?
Simply stated, crime will be an issue in the coming elections because Democrat policies have made it that way. Liberals have made their bed, now they must sleep in it. Instead of perpetuating the old standard “Crime doesn’t pay,” with Democrats it’s more like, “Crime doesn’t matter.”
It was only a matter of time before the left’s constant negative barrage against cops took its toll on their individual psyches. Veteran officers are either quitting or retiring. The ones who’ve stayed on the beat are reluctant to enter into difficult situations where they could be blamed for excessive force or held personally liable for injuries to the accused. Once upon a time, being a police officer was held in the same esteem as serving in the military. It’s a shame that’s no longer the case.
Further aggravating the problem in many cities is the fact that District Attorneys aren’t prosecuting criminals for their crimes. In these places, once a suspect has been apprehended, they’re often released or not even brought up on charges. Police are seeing the same people they arrested just days before out on the street doing exactly the same things they were taken into custody for. Don’t believe it? Look at Portland.
Crime should not be a political issue but it’s been made one by Democrats like Biden and Kamala Harris who take isolated incidents like last summer’s police-on-black deaths and exploit them to whip up racism fears among party constituents regardless of the concrete facts. Survey after survey shows poor residents of crime-ridden inner cities want more policing, not less. And here’s thinking many of them would support the right to arm oneself if they had the legal authority and the means to purchase a firearm.
Biden’s latest bluster over “gun violence” isn’t going to do anything to make things safer. It will please white liberals to know the man they elected subscribes to notions that crime is caused by having too many guns on the streets; but the problem is those guns are illegal and they’re in the hands of would-be criminals.
America needs more police and prosecutors who are willing to punish law violators. It isn’t really that complicated of a concept, kind of like saying, “Crime doesn’t pay”.
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