The headlines are horrendous. One violent crime after another. Clearly there is a crime spike in America with some parts of the country being more impacted than others. But what has garnered the most outrage recently? Retail theft. For the past several weeks, we have watched one news report after another about bands of thieves helping themselves to everything in retail stores across America. The key word here is “America” because this is NOT happening in other countries. Why here? What makes America the fertile ground for this type of recalcitrance? In simple terms, it’s because we have law but no order.
Between the lines
Why does retail theft overtake the narrative as a priority while violent crime flourishes? All of this outrage about marauding thieves is drowning out the actual cause for concern: personal safety. A career criminal with a history of violence and hatred plows through a holiday parade event killing innocent bystanders yet the media is silent after a day. A woman is raped and murdered outside a church. A man is murdered while stringing Christmas lights with his daughter. A man is killed when he confronts thieves stealing his truck. An elderly woman is murdered in her home in the middle of the night during the course of a robbery. The crimes are endless. Police are doing the best they can to address these problems but thanks to “defunding,” resources are strained. But the root cause of all these rises in crime – violent or otherwise – points to the one key factor: lack of consequence. And what does the mayor of one large crime-infested city do in response to the increase in violence? Why hire more bureaucrats of course and create the “Mayor’s Office of Violence Reduction” because nothing will prevent violent crime like another government agency. News flash to this Mayor (and other politicians across the nation): cities already have the structures in place to address crime problems. It’s called the police departments and the prosecutor’s offices. The problem is that the police are doing their part despite being hamstrung by restrictive directives and slashed budgets, while progressive-minded prosecutors are creating the revolving doors for criminals to be back out to pillage and terrorize the communities with zero/low bail policies and “slap on the wrist” ideologies. And it’s not getting any better.
One of the favorite buzz words from the progressive police reformists is “reimagine.” It is intended to stimulate our thought about a “new world order” for society, one wherein the police are not needed and everyone “coexists” peacefully. It’s a world where no one has to post bail for crime and people are released back into society after committing crimes without impunity. This is a fairy tale world and not our current reality. If this sounds like a cynical viewpoint, I apologize to no one. I spent years of my career working in and around criminals in the field and in custody settings. Criminal behavior has not changed over the years in that opportunity, when combined with little or no consequences, completes the equation for lawlessness. Law enforcement leaders are finally speaking out against feckless prosecutors, however more must be done. Everyone reading this article should ask themselves: “what am I doing to get the word out to my friends and family members about the importance of voting for fair-mined, tough-on-crime politicians and prosecutors?” This is an “all hands on deck” moment for everyone in every community. One thing is certain: if we continue to be apathetic about municipal and state elections, we will get the same results.
Experience tells us that criminals won’t stop until they are faced with consequences for lawless actions. This is a critical call to action as lives literally depend on it. Laws are worthless without consistent and fair follow-through prosecution. This is a centuries old, time-tested fact. The absence of same is America, 2021.