New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that she is “sick and tired of reading headlines about crime,” in the wake of this morning’s Brooklyn subway shootings and bombing that injured at least 16 commuters. Last week, after 18 people were shot with 6 killed at a shooting in downtown Sacramento, California Governor Gavin Newsom told reporters “Sadly, we once again mourn the lives lost and for those injured in yet another horrendous act of gun violence.” Yesterday, President Biden announced that his administrations effort to combat the nation’s unprecedented spike in violent crime was going to be a crack down on gun kits assembled at home called “ghost guns.” At a press conference the President told reporters “These guns are weapons of choice for many criminals, we’re going to do everything we can to deprive them of that choice.” These politicians either don’t know or don’t care about the real reason crime and violence has increased in New York, California, and dozens of other states across the country. It is not the availability of firearms, most of which used in crimes are stolen. It is the criminals that are shooting the firearms, left free on the streets by so-called compassionate sentencing reforms adopted by Congress, many state legislatures and even state voters through misleading ballot measures.
The narrative behind compassionate sentencing, including President Trump’s First Step Act, is that the criminal justice system is fundamentally racist, intentionally targeting minorities for arrest and incarceration. Reform advocates insist that government can separate out “low level” offenders and get them to stop committing crimes with government-funded programs that help them become productive members of society. Believing that this is true, politicians like Newsom, Hochul and Biden must find something else to blame when this narrative is proven false. It’s guns that are causing the increase in crime, not our policies.
None of this is true.
Mountains of government data prove that minorities disproportionately commit crimes which results in the disproportionate arrest and incarceration of minorities. The data also show that most victims are the same race as the perpetrator. Any effort to restrict the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of minority offenders guarantees the more law-abiding minorities are going to be robbed, beaten, raped and murdered. Such policies are absolutely racist.
Forty years ago American learned that the government cannot distinguish between an offender who will only steal bicycles or televisions from a bank robber or a serial murderer, both of which may have stolen bicycles and televisions earlier in their careers. In the late 1960s the nation bought the “low level” offender narrative and adopted policies that left tens of thousands of thieves, scammers and wife beaters on the streets for “treatment.” By the late 1980s violent crime had tripled, while criminal gangs marketed drugs like crack-cocaine across the country and thousands of “low level” offenders became serial rapists and murderers.
Sorry Mr. President but ghost guns are not the preferred weapon of criminals. Stolen guns are. All of the guns recovered in the Sacramento shootings last weekend were stolen. I predict that the guns used in the Brooklyn shootings this morning were not bought legally at a gun shop, a gun show or on-line as a kit. A knife was the weapon of choice for the criminals who stabbed the 24-year-old UCLA grad student to death in January, the 35-year-old Asian woman killed in her New York apartment in February, and the 20-year-old Sacramento woman raped and murdered while taking a walk. There were no guns involved when criminals pushed men and women in front of New York subway trains over the past several months. Guns were also not involved when Darrell Brooks, Jr. ran down 40 people at a Waukesha, Wisconsin’s Christmas Parade last November, leaving 6 dead.
All of these killers had one thing in common….they were habitual criminals left on the street due to compassionate “reforms” that reduced or eliminated their bail for a recent crime, and gave them little or no jail or prison time for their previous crimes. Any politician from the President on down who does not demand an end to these reforms is not interested in reducing crime and restoring public safety.
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