Column: Gun control is an excuse for soft on crime politicians

In January, offers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora were shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call in Harlem. Seven NYPD officers have already been shot in 2022.
Photo Dean Moses

The young widow of fallen police officer Jason Rivera did more to combat crime than all of the leftist district attorneys, politicians and pundits combined.

The grieving but valiant young lady called on the Manhattan district attorney to do what must be done to combat the pandemic of crime that he, and those who believe in his soft on crime approach, have caused. In doing so, she said what the biased media and leftist elected officials have failed to say.

Here’s the reality: “Bail reform,” “Defunding the Police,” “De-incarceration” and other actions are responsible for the scourge of significantly increased crime in our cities, and the murder of police officers. Estimates place the spike in homicides and violent crime at 40%-60% as soft on crime policies have been emplaced. They are ludicrous concepts that should never have been attempted in the first place.

For several years, the Left has justified riots and crimes committed by violent mobs using the pretense that police were engaged in assaulting innocents. They produced an environment in which defunding cops and releasing convicts became politically acceptable. That doesn’t prevent progressive politicians from then shamelessly showing up at the funerals of murdered law enforcement personnel and civilians and hypocritically expressing shock and sorrow, then pompously offering “solutions” which don’t address their own culpability for the problem.

Rather than reverse soft on crime moves and return to policies that have actually worked, leftists continue to blame inanimate objects and seek to instill even more intense gun control measures. The concept ignores the reality that a criminal intent on committing a murder, rape or robbery will not give a damn about breaking the law and acquiring a weapon. And if you think that somehow Washington can prevent the manufacture or importation of guns, you have probably never heard of the drug problem.

Blaming inanimate objects, like guns, for the crime wave caused by soft-on-crime policies ignores the reality that, as noted by the Heritage Institute, “America’s decades-long decrease in crime occurred while gun ownership remained high and even climbed. If it really was guns to blame, why did the surge suddenly happen in 2020, and in cities with strict gun control?… ‘defund the police’ wasn’t just a slogan. And it wasn’t just ‘bad messaging,’ as some Democrat political consultants have pointed out. Instead, it became an idea taken seriously by state and local governments that pursued a course that undermined law and order and created a nationwide epidemic of criminality that may not soon abate.”

These disgraceful policies by progressive politicians and DAs, many elected to office with the vast financial assistance of leftist billionaires, have wreaked havoc in the streets of our nation.

Anti-police rhetoric has been harsh. Last year, to cite just one example, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri) called for the defunding of the police, despite spending $700,000 on her personal security. Harlem Councilwoman, Democrat-Socialist Kristin Richardson Jordan, actually extended her sympathies to the family of the perpetrator who killed officer Rivera (posthumously promoted to detective first class). The councilwoman wants to abolish policing.

In 2020, as reported in The Hill, “Michael McHale, the president of the National Association of Police Organizations, decried what he described as a rash of violence against police officers in recent months and railed against ‘failed’ elected officials in cities such as Minneapolis, New York and Chicago who he said had made ‘the conscious decision not to support law enforcement.’”

Research by Canada’s Fraser Institute finds that “Any real solution to criminal violence is likely to be complex and expensive, so the government is attracted to waging a symbolic campaign to win votes. Since it is currently fashionable to equate firearms with violence, and there is an emotional crusade against firearms, the government sees a political opportunity. Gun control promises an easy victory…[but] Gun control is not crime control…gun control proposals will not reduce violent crime.”

A key reason soft on crime policies do not work has to do with recidivism. Essentially, police are forced to re-arrest the same criminals over and over again because soft policies keep releasing them. The Bureau of Justice Statistics, has found that seven in 10 incarcerated people released in 34 states were rearrested within five years, based on a study for prisoners in 34 states between 2012 and 2017.

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