Premium

Atlanta Mayor Blames City's Crime On Reopening Plan

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

The City of Atlanta is a unique place in a lot of ways. Not every city has been burned to the ground, only to spring up better than ever. Especially when it was burned to the ground by the United States Army.

Atlanta did, though.

However, Atlanta has spent the last year burning in a different way. While these flames are unlikely to destroy the city, it’s still a real problem. This problem isn’t unique to Atlanta, though. These flames are from the increasing crime that is plaguing every community in the nation.

Luckily for everyone, the Mayor of Atlanta knows just what the problem is.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says her city is besieged by crime because Republicans in the statehouse jumped the gun on ending Georgia’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Bottoms, a Democrat, told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle that lax gun laws and young people with too much free time have added to a 50 percent increase in murders from before the pandemic — but she said Gov. Brian Kemp’s controversial April 20, 2020, move to ease lockdown restrictions was also a main culprit.

“Remember in Georgia we were opened up before the rest of the country, even before the CDC said that it was safe for us to open so our night clubs and our bars remained open so we had people traveling here from across the country to party in our city,” Bottoms said during the Friday interview.

The mayor also said the pandemic “left a lot of people battered and bruised, not just physically but also emotionally,” which has led to an increase and personal disputes that were aggravated by easy access to guns.

Wow.

So the problem is really all the Republicans’ fault? I’m shocked to hear a Democrat say such a thing. Absolutely stunned.

Maybe Bottoms could illuminate us on just how it’s the Republicans’ fault in states like Illinois, California, Massachusetts, New York, and plenty of other blue states that not just didn’t open up when Georgia did but also have much more stringent gun control laws on the books.

Yeah, kind of what I thought.

There are problems following the lockdown, but those problems started up long before any governor started opening their state back up. In fact, they seem to have started right about the time we found out that lockdown orders only applied if you weren’t advocating for a leftist cause.

Protesting lockdowns while maintaining social distancing? You might as well have been goose-stepping with a swastika armband on.

Protesting what happened to George Floyd? Who needs masks or social distancing? Just burn it all down. The fire will protect you from COVID-19.

But absolutely no one was opening at the time. It’s also when we started to see an increase in criminal activity.

Bottoms, however, doesn’t want to acknowledge that fact. She’d much rather blame the GOP in the state in any way she can, which is par for the course for Georgia Democrats here. Especially since she doesn’t have any control over her city and there’s no way in hell she can admit that and retain her office for more than five minutes.

What Bottoms needs to do is accept the fact that Georgia is open and that we’re not interested in trying to implement a bunch of gun control just to appease her, so she should start focusing on what she can do. And let’s be clear, she can do plenty. Gun control doesn’t work, but plenty of other things do.

Unfortunately, the way she reacted when one of her police officers used lethal force not too long after the George Floyd incident did nothing to instill confidence in Atlanta police officers that their mayor is even remotely interested in fair play. That’s not exactly going to inspire proactive policing, that’s for sure, and that’s an essential step in stopping this kind of thing.

Bottoms really only has herself to blame for this mess in Atlanta.

Jul 31, 2021 8:30 AM ET