Republicans and Violent Crime

Yesterday when news of the Brooklyn subway shooting spread through the Web, righties were practically gleeful blaming “defund the police” Democrats for violent crime in big cities.

But here’s the thing — homicide rates are actually higher in places Republicans are in charge. Behold:

The homicide rate in New York City was 5.5 killings per 100,000 people last year, according to several sources. That’s an increase from what it was in recent years, but way lower than what it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

Jonathan Capehart:

The report further points out that the homicide rate averaged across all states that went for Trump was 40 percent higher in 2020 than the homicide rate in all states Joe Biden won. And six out of the 10 states with the greatest increase in homicide rates over 2019 levels voted for Trump, including McConnell’s Kentucky — which saw a 58 percent spike.

I haven’t seen any analyses of why this is true, but I postulate a correlation between rates of gun ownership and homicide. Also, the story about murder rates tends to get buried under the number of murders, which of course will be higher in big cities than in small cities and rural areas.

Those are points I made in old posts about Chicago, a place beloved among righties for allegedly being the murder capital of America. See The Truth About Chicago (2017) and Kill the Chicago Myth (2018). Rates of gun violence in Chicago are too high, but are way lower than several other cities.

And you know who is Number One right now? St. Louis. According to this source, the current rate of “murder and nonnegligent manslaughter” in St. Louis is 66.07 per 100,000 residents. Chicago is 24.13. New York City? 3.39.

It’s true that St. Louis has a Democratic mayor, but Missouri has among the most lenient gun laws in the nation. Truly, I can’t imagine what else the legislature could do to make carrying any damnfool firearm you want any easier. (Well, there was the right-to-murder law, but it died in committee, I understand.) And it seems to me that every time the legislature passes more “pro gun” legislation, the murder rate goes up. Which state (not counting the District of Columbia) is worst for gun carriers, according to gun activists? New York.

Last year St. Louis city and county sued the state over the nutty “Second Amendment Preservation Act” that nullfies any federal law that the right-wing wackjobs in the state legislature decide violates the 2nd Amendment. The U.S. Justice Department also sued. There’s been no resolution yet.

Righties also were quick to blame “defund the police” on rising violent crime, kind of ignoring that there’s been little actual defunding. In fact, several of the “top ten” homicide cities had recently increased police funding. There appears to be no correlation between decreases or increases in police funding and rising crime rates.

(I see television ads for political campaigns in Illinois, and a mess of Republicans are running to replace the Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker. I like J.B. He’s sensible and has done a pretty good job of cleaning up the messes left by the last governor, a Republican. But all the people running against him are “tough on crime” types. They all brag about how conservative they are and how much they love cops. One wants us to know he loves Jesus, too. Nothing about schools or health care or fixing infrastructure. Let’s hope J.B. gets another term.)

6 thoughts on “Republicans and Violent Crime

  1. RepubliKKKLANs REALLY. LOOOOOOVES them the 1st Amendment: As long as Jesus is the focus of religious freedom; only they can speak their minds; only their "press" mediums should be free to opine; only White "Christians" should be allowed to assemble; and only their grievances should be addressed.

    And as for the 2nd Amendment: That was put in there by our Christian Founding Fathers to help White "Christians" enforce the 1st Amendment – and the rest of the Constitution.

    Now, if you happened upon this wondeful blog for the first time, I'm not a Reich-wing moron.  I just explain how their tiny minds work.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Collectively, the first ten amendments of our Constitution is known as "The Bill of Rights."  Nowhere is the "left" mentioned.  So to them, obviously, this "bill" is only for "righties."

    Glad to see you're feeling better, maha! 🙂

  2. St. Louis also has a unique relationship with the state. It is an independent city (the only one in the state), a classification designed solely to separate it from county tax revenue.  Thus, residents of the wealthy (mostly white) western suburbs can motor into the city to high-paying jobs, then hoof it back home, demanding and stressing city services while contributing nothing. It's a system designed to impoverish St. Louis and relegate it to second-class status.

  3. I kind of like Pritzker, too. Of course, for many years I was an Assistant State's Attorney in Cook County, and one of the folks I worked with in Traffic Court was Rod Blagojevich, so almost anyone, of any party, is an improvement.

    But Chicago's gun problem, like the gun problems of most big cities, is primarily related to the drug business, where party affiliation counts for little. The city has its share of idiots with guns, but the violence is generally due to economics and poverty.

    And too many guns. Way too many guns, often in the hands of people who fit right into the Republican Grievance Machine. Republicans have been, and still are, huge gun lovers and murder lovers. They are responsible for the proliferation of Make Murder Legal Laws. They are the ones pushing the idea that the merest slight or innocent gesture should be cause for "self-defense" with Stand Your Ground Laws and Make My Day laws and have no problem with gun violence as long as it's directed at The Wrong People.

    Antonin Scalia and Donald Trump have a lot to answer for.            

    • I'm in central IL now, but I lived in Chicago for a time, and still visit as I have relatives on the West side (Austin) and its scary.  The streets are absolutely flooded with guns, and too many people who shouldn't have them do, and they'll shoot on the slightest provocation.  CPD does a decent job of taking guns off the streets, but the effort is like drinking from a firehose, thanks to guns being sold in Indiana, and now ghost guns.  Republicans will tell you the answer is the city should make it legal, and easy, for more citizens to carry guns but clearly that will only make things worse.  Its a no brainer: more guns, legal or otherwise = more murders.

  4. Oklahoma has higher murder rate and higher violent crime than New York and California. And the anti Stitt ads are repeating the message. Im so glad. Probably no one will listen. Stitt released so many due to overcrowded prisons after covid hit and murder s were committed because of it. Stitt brags he saved money but the public paid. Offices and access to services closed and disappeared because of his political bs. Why people don't wake up i don't know. He has gone to war against the tribal governments because they have police and courts and jurisdiction. Down right funny to watch the right squirm when other people have power.

  5. Allow me to comment on Republicans and violence – because I've been stunned by Trumpster policy positions on violence as they have come into focus recently. First, Trumpsters have no problem with violence, if they are dealing it out. Charlottesville? They do have a problem with being on the receiving end (and that was part of Charlottesville, too. They got pepper-sprayed.)

    Conservatives think that they have a right to deliver violence – much of the 2nd Amendment rhetoric from Trumpsters is built around the assumption that they have the guns and in a "civil war" they will kick ass against wimpy liberals. Antifa is largely legend but in the minds of conservatives, they are a monster. Why? Because Trumpsters think this group will/can/is dealing out the kind and level of violence they think they own! 

    Consider the incongruity – the side asking, "When do we get to use the guns?" is in full-freak-mode that Antifa and BLM are potentially violent. Again, the threat of violence from the left is ridiculously overblown. When was a huge cache of weapons discovered in a BLM setting or being hoarded by Antifa? Which side is going to DC with bombs or caught making bombs? 

    It's not the left defending violence against cops or the government as "free speech." And to be clear, there has been vandalism, theft, and arson associated with black rage after what the community views as unjustified police violence. I might understand it, but I do not condone or defend it, especially as it works against reform. But in no case (that I know of) has rioting been linked to BLM. I've marched with BLM in Florida and they adhered carefully to non-violent free speech. 

    On the subject of domestic violence, it's frequently the position of Republicans that their violence is protected free speech. Pin them down with photographic evidence of attacks on cops on J6 and they will act like they are willing to throw the most violent offenders who attacked the DC police under the bus. Wait five seconds – they will be defending those in prolonged custody for J6 and the only people in prolonged custody are those charged with violent felonies associated with the siege of the Capitol Building. 

    But let's look at international violence, AKA war. The Trumpsters (and some liberals) are critical of the "Nazis" who are the cause of the noble police action by Putin to "denazify" and liberate Ukraine. But wait? During and after Charlottesville, weren't you defending Nazis as "very fine people"?  The one fatality in the : "Unite The Right" rally resulted from an attack by a neo-nazi who also injured 35 others in a car attack. So I'm unconvinced that US Nazis are pacifists – and you Trumpsters either defend them or refuse to reject them. 

    But Ukrainian Nazis are evil. And your nazis are "Very fine people." Shall we examine the contradiction? (And there are nazis in Ukraine – they are against Putin and they have been violent.) In reality, (not like the myth of Antifa) the "nazis" in Ukraine are willing to deal out violence in the same vein as Putin has in the invasion. They have murdered Russian sympathists in Ukraine – they haven't been nice about it. 

    The problem is not that they are Nazis or that they are violent. (The pro-Putin crowd I've encountered on FB are OK with the violence against civilians by Russians.) There is no sense of justice there – rape is OK unless your side is getting raped.

    For the record, I do not approve of the violence against Russian civilians in Ukraine. I understand it. From their point of view, after Stalin starved around four million Ukrainians to death to bring Ukraine under the control of Moscow, Russians moved into the vacant land to farm it and control the politics and keep the natives under control. Now, a few generations later, the Russian-speaking descendants who are still loyal to Moscow are seen by these Ukrainian ultra-nationalists as carpetbaggers. (To use the American phrase.) 

    Some of the J6 folks are on the record as sympathetic to Putin. He won't let the media interfere – Putin has cracked down on liberals on gays and lesbians. He won't allow them to advocate for themselves individually or as a group. The Trumpsters may understand Putin well enough to hope that Trump (or Trumpism over time) will crush free speech, minority rights, and free thinking in the US. Putin's war is their cause also. 

    It's important that Democrats – candidates for office and voters – understand that while we liberals (generally) agree on the sanctity of the democratic process, (respect the will of the majority while protecting the rights of minorities) – the GOP generally and Trumpsters, in particular, do NOT respect elections and DO believe in crushing minorities. They will use violence to win if they can't prevail in elections. We're fighting an opponent who will cite and try to enforce against liberals the same set of rules they have no intention to follow. That includes violence.

    Can we win in a conflict where we're ethically bound to rules and they aren't?  Look to Ukraine – according to recent US polls, 72% favor sending weapons to Ukraine – 28% oppose. US citizens don't like aggression – this is why I am non-violent. It hurts your cause (See the bigger asshole maxim by Maha.) If the low-info observer can't tell the difference between you and the Trumpster, you won't get their support. I think Trumpsters will turn to violence – it's an integral part of their philosophy and it will not be well received by the voters. 


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