Bad Policies, Not Racism or Covid-19, Are Causing the Spike in Murder
A good example of the mainstream media narrative regarding the unprecedented surge in homicides, which started last year and has continued unabated this year, is this June article from the Washington Post which reported that racist police, inequality and the economic and social impact of the pandemic are the root causes. “Experts have attributed the increase to a variety of new and long-standing issues—-including entrenched inequality, soaring gun ownership, and fraying relations between police and the communities they serve—all intensified during the coronavirus pandemic and widespread uprising for racial justice.” It’s guns and racism that’s causing all those murders folks. Virginia lawyer Hans Bader has this piece in Liberty Unyielding debunking this claptrap.
“The protests likely were a factor. But the pandemic wasn’t. The pandemic killed people across the globe and plunged most of the world into a recession. Yet the United States was almost alone in having a huge increase in homicides. Most of the world saw reductions in homicide rates in 2020.” Bader cited a story in the Daily Wire which noted that in many countries, murder rates actually went down during the pandemic. London saw a 16% decline last year while murders fell by 14% in Italy and 2% in France. The drop in economic activity in the U.S. due to the pandemic was a fraction of what it was in those countries.
A Major factor enabling higher homicide rates was the steady decline in incarceration rates, putting more criminals on the streets. There were 14% fewer criminals in prisons and jails in 2020 than in 2019, even though violent crime increased dramatically. Bader also points to the serious decline in the number of police officers. “A robust body of research has thoroughly illustrated that more police means less crime—-a finding at odds with ever-more-popular calls to defund the police.” With police being violently attacked during the George Floyd riots, and randomly assaulted or killed while attempting arrests or sitting in patrol cars, its stands to reason that police are retiring at higher levels, fewer are willing to take their place, and the police that remain have become less proactive.
Criminal justice reforms which have sharply reduced sentences and eliminated bail for arrestees are also major contributors. “In places like San Francisco and Los Angeles, left-wing district attorneys have recently refused to prosecute any minors—-even murderers—-in adult court. So murderers who commit their crimes at age 17, will not be locked up for more than a few years. Shootings rose by 73% in Los Angeles over the first four months of 2021, after rising 40% in 2020. Murder rates peak in the late teens and early 20s. About four in ten killers commit their crime before age 25. Juvenile killers often commit more violent crimes after being released.”
The increases in crime over the past two years are the result of a larger trend that began a decade ago, to abandon policies and practices that had dramatically reduced crime for an entire generation. The increases will continue until the public removes the politicians who caused this.