Blaming The Pandemic For Crime
Fatal drug overdoses set an all time record in 2020, with over 93,000 Americans dying. Just shy of a 30% increase compared to 2019. Maggie Fox of The Philadelphia Tribune quotes Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “This is the highest number of overdose deaths ever reported in a 12-month period. These data are chilling. The COVID-19 pandemic created a devastating collision of health crises in America.” The Dean of Public Health Practices at Johns Hopkins agreed; “The pandemic had a lot to do with it….but as the pandemic recedes, we are still dealing wit this overdose crisis.” The story went on to discuss the need for treatment programs and controls on over-prescribing doctors. Earlier this year a Washington Post story by Devlin Barrett reported that last year America saw the largest one-year increase in homicides since records have been kept. The story notes that the increase in murders was not limited to large cities. Small towns also saw increases of up to 30%. Experts suggested that the collapse of public confidence in police contributed to the increase, but that the pandemic also played a significant role. The head of the National Fraternal Order of Police suggested that changes in criminal justice policy which left more criminals on the street contributed, but that suggestion was discounted by a data analyst who explained that increased murders occurred in places where such reforms had not been implemented.
Fatal drug overdoses and homicides are quite different, so why would I combine them in the same post.
Two reasons. First: most of the 93,000 people who overdosed on fentanyl, heroin, meth and cocaine last year bought those drugs from a dealer. Most of these drugs were smuggled across the U.S. border by criminal cartels and sold to local gangs who market them on the streets. For several years, some of the most populous states and many large cities have backed off on enforcement of or decriminalized drug crimes. At the same time, the Obama Administration released thousands drug dealers from federal prison and refused to aggressively address drug smuggling across our southern border. For most of the Trump Administration, the almost weekly lawsuits by liberal state attorneys general and pro-illegal immigration groups which led to national restraining orders by federal judges blocking border enforcement, assured that the drugs would continue to flow. As a result, over the past several years there have been far more illegal drugs entering the country and many more fatal overdoses. 2020 was probably the easiest year to smuggle, sell and abuse drugs in America since the 1960s in Haight-Ashbury.
Second: The pandemic and the George Floyd riots drove most law-abiding Americans into their homes and left the streets to the rioters and criminals. Drug gangs and carjackers use guns to enforce their territory and kill whoever gets in their way. Cities and states that forced police to stand down during the rioting and politicians that told black America that police are racists, encouraged thousands of attacks on officers, many of which were fatal. Add to this mix, the release of tens of thousands of criminals from jails and prisons to protect them from getting the virus, the implementation of no-bail policies in New York, Illinois, California and several other states, and you have a huge population of offenders, who know they can break the law with little or no consequences. The so-called experts are surprised by a national spike in homicides?
Another problem for the “experts” is that the drug overdose and homicide spike we saw last year has continued into 2021. According to the NYPD, homicides in New York City are up 26% compared to last year. Rape, assault and auto theft have also increased. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that homicides have increased by 36% in the bay area. The article quotes more experts who attribute this to the after-effects of the pandemic including job loss, economic pressures and school closures. No mention of the criminal justice reforms, inmate releases and zero bail which have flooded the streets with criminals. Last month the Los Angeles County Sheriff reported that homicides were up 95% over last year. Similar reports are coming from many other U.S. cities. Earlier this week The Washington Post reported that fatal drug overdoses have increased this year in Virginia and Maryland and are on track to exceed last year’s record. A scan of news stories from other states finds up to a 30% increase in fatal overdoses compared to last year.
Watering down the consequences for crime, releasing thousands of criminals, allowing billions of dollars worth of illegal drugs to be smuggled across the southern border and decriminalizing their sale and abuse, and attacking the police, the people who risk their lives every day to protect us from crime, are the major causes for the increased crime we saw last year and continues today.
With regard to the so-called experts, I am compelled to quote John Wayne; “life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.”