Guns and Crime; Why Political Extremes Are Killing Us

The recent Texas school attack, is just the latest in a string of mass shootings across the nation. Gun violence is out of control in the U.S.


But where is common sense in all of these debates over guns and crime? It is my position, that the extreme views which have come to dominate both political parties, are partly to blame. After all, many of the policies on these matters (guns and crime) are nonsensical.


Now, I personally don’t have an issue with Americans owning firearms for hunting, sport or personal protection.


But how come an 18-year-old who cannot legally go to a 7-11 and purchase a wine spritzer, is allowed to go to a gun shop and purchase two AR-15s? That’s exactly what happened this week in Uvalde, Texas, and the result was 19 children murdered in their classroom.


Sadly, we all know little is going to be done in the Congress to address this issue. The Senate, where Republicans can generally control the agenda due to the filibuster, will block any meaningful legislation on the matter. This is even though the American people overwhelmingly support gun control measures. Check out these recent findings from Politico:


  • Requiring background checks on all gun sales: Eighty-eight percent strongly or somewhat support; 8% strongly or somewhat oppose. Net approval: +80
  • Preventing sales of all firearms to people reported as dangerous to law enforcement by a mental health provider: Eighty-four percent strongly or somewhat support; 9% strongly or somewhat oppose. Net approval: +75
  • Making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks: Eighty-one percent strongly or somewhat support; 11% strongly or somewhat oppose. Net approval: +70
  • Requiring all gun owners to store their guns in a safe storage unit: Seventy-seven percent strongly or somewhat support; 15% strongly or somewhat oppose. Net approval: +62


Looking at these poll numbers, and considering that nothing is going to happen in Congress on gun control, demonstrates that many Republican lawmakers are being dominated by extreme positions.


On the Democratic side of the aisle, it really isn’t much better. Consider the wave of violence in urban areas, and those cities having liberal or progressive governance that is soft on crime.


In New Orleans, where I live, the local district attorney campaigned and won on a promise to never prosecute juveniles as adults. But, the DA has changed his tune. This comes after a wave of carjackings that crescendoed with a horrific crime. An older woman was carjacked and got her arm stuck in the vehicle. She died on the side of the road, naked and missing her arm. The culprits were four juveniles turned in to the police by their families.


Or, think about the situation in New York City, which is also experiencing spasms of crime making the community feel unsafe. There, the new, local prosecutor came into office and sent a memo to his entire staff, commanding them to reduce the use of bail and lower charges on an assortment of crimes. After two NYPD cops were gunned down, he too had to change his tune. This included clarifying his position that committing a crime with a knife was indeed a felony.


The worldviews that juveniles should never be prosecuted as adults — no matter the crime — and that using a knife in a carjacking is a misdemeanor are closely aligned with the “defund the police” movement that believes that the problem in our cities is the cops, not the offenders.


Of course, police brutality disproportionally affects minority and low-income communities. There are bad apples on every force who make awful decisions that can reflect poorly on the entire profession. But the cops aren’t to blame for the violence plaguing our cities. We need more, better trained police officers with stronger ties to the communities they serve.


Ultimately, our best hope for common-sense solutions on guns and crime, are elected officials that ignore the extremist political views. Let’s hope that happens sooner, rather than later. The alternative is more dead Americans.