No, Joe Biden Doesn't Deserve Credit for Sharp Decline in Homicides

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Let's get this out of the way first: yes, crime appears to be trending down in most U.S. cities, and despite Donald Trump's recent assertion that the FBI is putting out "fake numbers", you don't have to look solely to the FBI to find evidence of that fact. Crime analyst Jeff Asher, for instance, has put together a dashboard that keeps a running tally on the number of homicides that are reported by local agencies, and so far murders are down almost 19% compared to this time last year. Most cities also saw a substantial improvement in the homicide rate last year as well, and in some cities crime rates have returned to their pre-pandemic levels or have dropped even further. 

That doesn't mean that Joe Biden should get any credit for that improvement, but I have a feeling we're going to see a lot of lefties try to make that argument between now and Election Day. In fact, it's already started.  

No, it's not as simple as the president of Everytown for Gun Safety would have voters believe, and it certainly has nothing to do with either Biden's presidency or gun control. 

Look at some of the cities where homicides have plummeted so far this year. Four of the ten cities that have seen the largest declines in homicides are in Constitutional Carry states; Fort Worth and Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Jacksonville, Florida. Homicides have also declined by more than 20% in Cleveland, Nashville, Miami-Dade, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and Kansas City. Indianapolis isn't far behind, with a 19% reduction in homicides, and Memphis and Louisville have also seen murders decline by 18% and 15%, respectively. 

If Feinblatt wants to credit Biden with those declines, shouldn't he also hold the president to blame for the 71% increase in homicides in Honolulu, or the staggering 500% increase in Biden's hometown of Scranton? 

Crime is, generally speaking, a local phenomenon committed by a very small percentage of a city's population. In many cities, less than 1% of the population is to blame for 50% or more of criminal offenses. But in 2020 there were several nationwide factors that contributed to the rise in murders; primarily the COVID pandemic and its effect on courts and policing, but also the riots and unrest that ensued after the death of George Floyd and the "defund the police" movement that led to a pullback in policing in many major metropolitan areas. 

By 2022, however, we were already seeing signs that the spike was abating; not because Biden had been elected, but because courts were re-opening (though still dealing with a backlog of cases), the defund the police movement was foundering, and even some Democrats were waking up to the fact that their soft-on-crime policies were not only hurting public safety but their chances of staying in office. 

The crime spike of 2020 is looking more like an aberration than the start of a new trend. Between 1991 and 2020, violent crime and homicides plunged by more than 50% nationwide, and we now appear to be reverting back to what has been the norm over the past three decades. 

That's especially inconvenient for Feinblatt and other gun-grabbers, given that they predicted the Bruen decision, issued in late June, 2022, would lead to more violence across the U.S. 

Since Feinblatt's Chicken Little tweet, every state in the nation has adopted a "shall issue" standard, though admittedly, we still have a lot of issues in states like California and New York when it comes to issuing carry licenses in a timely manner and where folks can lawfully bear arms in self-defense. 

We've also seen the additional of several new Constitutional Carry states, as well as millions of new gun owners, since crime spiked in 2020. According to the fundamental tenet of gun control, all of those factors should have resulted in an explosion of violent crime instead of plummeting homicide rates. Feinblatt is trying to put the best spin possible on the fact that he got it so wrong by giving Biden credit for the drop in homicides, but there's no getting around his past prediction to the contrary. 

According to one recent poll, Trump has an 8-point lead over Biden when it comes to who the public trusts more to address crime and public safety, which is another reason why Feinblatt and other Democrat hacks are so eager to portray Biden as the reason why crime is dropping. Again, I don't think it's fair or accurate to give any president much blame (or credit) for crime rates, but I understand why Feinblatt is doing so. It comes down to one word: desperation. Feinblatt is terrified over the prospect of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention getting shut down, Steve Dettelbach being removed as ATF Director, and Trump once again in charge of nominating justices to the Supreme Court. Those would be huge setbacks for the gun control lobby, and the anti-gunners are going to say (and do) everything possible to prevent that from becoming reality when voters head to the polls in November.