When a Historic Drop in Crime Becomes an Inconvenient Truth – Bearing Arms

When a Historic Drop in Crime Becomes an Inconvenient Truth – Bearing Arms

Based on the end-of-year reporting from the biggest cities in the country, it looks like 2023 may have seen the largest one-year decline in homicides ever recorded, which is a very good thing given that the biggest one-year spike happened just four years ago. The COVID closures of courts and fears over jails and prisons becoming superspreader locations combined with the rise of the “defund the police” movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota helped to fuel a dramatic increase in violent crime, but just four years later that spike has largely subsided and some cities, like Miami, are safer than they’ve been since the end of World War II. 

That’s a good thing, right? Well, it depends on who you ask. 

Democrats like Joe Biden have been all too eager to claim responsibility for the decline in crime, and rather than get into a deep discussion about what drove crime up a few years ago (and what might be causing it to fall today), some of my fellow conservatives would rather ignore the good news in favor of a narrative that crime is really on the way up. And to be fair, murders and other violent crimes didn’t drop in every U.S. city last year. Washington, D.C. saw the most murders in decades, while Oakland’s homicides basically plateaued compared to 2022, but were still 40 percent higher than they were in 2019. Other violent crimes don’t appear to have declined quite as dramatically as homicides in many cities either, but generally speaking, things are moving in the right direction. It’s just that Democrats like Joe Biden or laws like the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act don’t deserve the credit. 

While most Democrats are happy to point out the decline in homicides, there is one group on the left who predicted something entirely different would happen last year: the gun control lobby. Giffords might be saying this now:

But the group was singing a very different tune after the Supreme Court threw out “may issue” carry laws in states like New York and California in late June, 2022. 

“Black and Brown Americans, Indigenous people and people of color, as well as women and LGBTQ Americans, will likely bear the brunt of an increase in gun violence. It’s especially clear that forcing more guns into more public places will subject more people of color to violence at the hands of the police and armed civilians. When armed civilians believe they are entitled to police others with guns, more people of color suffer unjustified violence, and we are likely to see more domestic violence and hate crimes as well.” 

Well, we already know that Giffords was wrong about an increase in “gun violence”. Even the liberal Center for American Progress acknowledges a historic decrease. What about domestic violence and hate crimes? The Council on Criminal Justice reports a modest 2 percent drop in domestic violence incidents last year, which isn’t great but is still not the increase Giffords expected as a result of Bruen. 

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism reports, on the other hand, that hate crimes surged by 11 percent last year. Was the the result of Bruen? Not according to researchers

It was the third straight year of spikes in the big cities’ overall average number of hate crimes and came as the Israel-Hamas war sparked jumps in antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes in the last months of 2023. 

… Houston saw 85 hate crimes in 2023 — a massive 193% increase from the year before, an Axios review of an unpublished draft report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found.

  • That was the largest percentage spike of any of the nation’s 10 largest cities last year.
  • San Diego (47%), Chicago (43%) and Los Angeles (13%) also experienced surges and hit modern records dating back to the early 1990s when national hate crimes data collection began, the center said.

Zoom out: The report reflects a 23-year trend of increasing hate crimes nationwide, driven in part by better data collection from police and state agencies.

  • These overall increases in hate crime also extended to major cities outside the ten largest ones, including San Francisco, Washington, Denver, Seattle, Boston and Salt Lake City, among others.

Hate crimes have been increasing for more than two decades, and have been spiking for the past three years, according to the academics at California State University-San Bernardino. Giffords was going out on a pretty sturdy limb when it predicted we’d see an increase in hate crimes after Bruen, since these crimes have increased almost every year since the turn of the century. 

The anti-gunners weren’t just wrong about Bruen‘s impact. They predicted disaster in Ohio, Florida, and Georgia after Constitutional Carry was enshrined into law. Instead, six of the Buckeye State’s largest cities saw decreases in gun-involved crime, while cities like Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, and Savannah all saw their homicide rates drop by more than ten percent. 

As part of the Democrat Party’s base of support, gun control groups can’t outright deny that these declines didn’t happen. That would undercut the Biden campaign’s claims of credit for the drop. They have to pretend they never predicted the opposite outcome based on Bruen and the expansion of the right to carry, and kudos to the Firearms Policy Coalition for reminding them, and us, of just how wrong they were.   

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Originally Posted on: https://bearingarms.com/camedwards/2024/03/03/drop-in-crime-an-inconvenient-truth-n1224045
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