Communities of all sizes are seeing a significant surge in violent crime. It’s happening in places like New York and Chicago, but it’s also happening in much smaller communities as well.
Unsurprisingly, people are asking why? They want their public officials to tell them not just why this is happening but how they’re going to fix it. After all, that’s what people expect the government to do. It’s part of why they pay their taxes, after all.
Also unsurprisingly, some of those officials are trying to deflect from their role in the fiasco.
When Andre Avery drives his commercial truck through Detroit, he keeps his pistol close.
Avery, 57, grew up in the Motor City and is aware that homicides and shootings are surging, even though before the pandemic they were dropping in Detroit and elsewhere. His gun is legal, and he carries it with him for protection.
“I remain extremely alert,” said Avery, who now lives in nearby Belleville. “I’m not in crowds. If something looks a little suspicious, I’m out of there.”
In Detroit, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and even smaller Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Milwaukee, 2020 has been deadly not only because of the pandemic, but because gun violence is spiking.
Authorities and some experts say there is no one clear-cut reason for the spike. They instead point to social and economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 virus, public sentiment toward police following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody and a historic shortage of jobs and resources in poorer communities as contributing factors. It’s happening in cities large and small, Democrat and Republican-led.
Now, I agree that there’s no single, clear-cut reason for the surge we’ve been seeing. It would be easy if there were and life is rarely that simple. There wasn’t a single cause for violent crime before and we’re unlikely to find a single cause now.
Yet what’s interesting to me is that while they point to the social and economic changes brought about by the pandemic and the anti-police sentiment, they completely ignore the fact that many of these same authorities released thousands of prisoners into our communities all in one fell swoop. Do they really think that so many convicted criminals entering society at one time wouldn’t create some degree of increase in criminality? Are they that deluded that they believe their rehabilitation efforts were so successful now when there’s little evidence they were before?
It’s not overly surprising, though. If they admitted that was a problem, then they’d be held accountable for it. The voters would demand heads on pikes and everyone knows it, so they deflect away from that so as to keep their heads and their jobs.
Unfortunately, the media seems little interested in questioning them on that. In the above-linked article, the words “release,” “prisoner,” or “inmate” aren’t mentioned a single time. There’s no mention of the thousands of inmates released from prison by officials concerned about COVID-19 decimating their prison populations.
It’s almost as if they genuinely don’t believe that could have played any kind of a factor. If so, they’re dumber than I usually give them credit for.