If you want anything beyond the typical leftist bloviations, you don’t bother to read Salon. Especially when it comes to anything relating to crime, guns, or…well, anything else. Especially if it’s written by Amanda Marcotte, who bloviates her ignorance on a regular basis.
It seems that, once again, Marcotte has an excuse to write about just how terrible guns are, so they’re taking it. Plus, it seems it’s also a good time for her to play the racism card as well.
Violent crime is on the rise and it’s making Republicans happier than a fire sale on wraparound sunglasses.
This is how you know what follows will be a good-faith attempt at understanding what the other side has to say and trying to address it.
Oh, who am I kidding? Marcotte wouldn’t know how to do that with three coaches and a how-to guide.
Anyway, moving on…
Conservatives will find any excuse to indulge in their favorite sport: racist fear-mongering. The current uptick in violent crime fulfills their desire to use police to terrorize and stigmatize people of color while spinning it as merely in the interest of “public safety.” (Which is especially rich coming from the same people who left hundreds of thousands of Americans to die of COVID-19 rather than accept emergency pandemic measures.) And boy, they’re throwing themselves into the scare tactics with a relish usually reserved for sharing grammatically confusing memes on Facebook.
Is there or is there not a surge in violent crime? Yes? OK, so how is it racist to try and address it?
Frankly, I find it more troubling that the “racially sensitive” Marcotte seems to hear “violent crime” and automatically associates it with non-white folks. I mean, I don’t necessarily, except maybe in places where non-white people make up the majority, but then it’s only because statistically, they’re the most likely to commit violent crimes in those areas.
Marcotte, however, seems to go right for the concept that “people of color”–I’m sorry, but that term grates on me because it’s just so close to “colored people”–are somehow tied to this surge.
As the AP reported earlier this month, Republican politicians across the country are using rising crime rates as an excuse to pass laws aimed at suppressing Black Lives Matter protests and at protecting police budgets from re-evaluation. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on June 11 blaming crime on “radical and reckless decisions by some jurisdictions to defund their police forces,” which is, at best, a wild exaggeration of what have largely been efforts to redirect funds to crime prevention. Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, falsely accused Democrats of supporting “the dangerous idea of defunding the police.”
No, that’s not a wild exaggeration. Those efforts took funding from law enforcement and then placed it into programs that, at best, will take years to really produce any meaningful results.
Look, I’m a fan of crime prevention programs. I think they’re a great thing and I’ve openly advocated for them for years here at Bearing Arms. However, they’re not a magic pill that yields results automatically.
The case in point, look at everything going on right now.
Frankly, McCarthy and Emmer have a valid point.
Oh, but skipping ahead, Marcotte decides to tell us just what is the problem.
This leads us to the one major contributor to rising crime that is indisputable, at least by anyone looking at the evidence in good faith: The proliferation of easily accessible guns.
Early in the pandemic, there was a foolish run on guns by people who believe, against all evidence, that owning a gun makes you safer. (It actually raises the risk of injury or death.) More than a year into the pandemic, the fuller picture emerged and it wasn’t great. The surge of gun sales seen at the beginning of the pandemic has remained disturbingly high. A shocking share of the new gun buyers then were first-time gun owners, raising the percentage of American households with a gun from 32% in 2016 to 39% in the past year. A surge in gun purchasing usually “slows down. But this just kept going,” Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, a gun researcher at the University of California at Davis, explained to the New York Times.
Yes, gun sales did go through the roof and remain high.
Yet this is called a correlation. Correlation does not equal causation. In order to establish causation, you would need data that shows the guns being used now come from these recent gun sales, yet no such data exists. That’s because the people who are committing these crimes aren’t people who can lawfully buy guns.
While there is always a handful who manage to sneak through, the vast majority of those people pulling the triggers aren’t law-abiding citizens who just got carried away. They’re typically convicted felons who somehow obtain a firearm illicitly.
Hell, how many of these killers were people released from jail because officials were worried about COVID-19? Where’s Marcotte’s discussion of that? Where is her acknowledgment that a massive influx of known criminals to our streets might just have led to a surge in criminal activity?
Of course, you won’t get that from Marcotte or Salon. They’d much rather blame the guns and play the “racism” card. After all, if they can do that, they don’t actually have to admit how badly their own policies have backfired.