The Outstater

May 6, 2024

Crime: What Goes Around, Comes Around

OMISSION, THE DOG THAT DOESN’T BARK, is a powerful indicator in public policy. And so it was for a recent shooting in the food court of my city’s premier mall, once the largest and most popular in the state. Officialdom uttered not so much as a whimper.

The shooting was not statistically significant. Still, it was the third at the mall in recent months, including a murder. There was more than one parent saying a silent prayer of gratitude that they had not taken a child shopping as planned this last Saturday afternoon.

Not too long ago the mall was a destination point for shoppers from three states with its intersecting promenades, carousel and ice rink, all crowded with families.

That is gone, or soon to be gone. It has been made clear that it is unreasonable, even unfair, to expect to be safe. You know that by how the media and authorities are treating any unfortunate incidents. A shooting? Nothing special. Get used to it.

The police chief sounded no alarm about what was treated as little more than an item on the police blotter. Indeed, 24 hours later we didn’t have even a sketchy descriptions of those involved. Coulter’s law was in effect, i.e., that the longer you don’t know the race or sexual preference of the suspects the more likely they belong to a protected identity.

So our new mayor, selected by the DEI wing of the Democrat Party, was especially silent. Nor did the GOP leadership have anything to say. Keep in mind that only hours earlier shoppers (citizens, constituents) had fled screaming and 8-year-old girls had sheltered in place for long, terrifying minutes with no help in sight.

Here is what could not be said out loud: If there are shootings in certain neighborhoods, you should not complain when there are shootings in your neighborhood. Again, get used to it or be racist.

This insanity is the result of a woke taboo. It holds that profiling is never, ever permitted no matter the danger to public safety. One day it was okay for police to pull over a suspicious motorist or confront menacing youths, the next day it was not okay.

The late Walter Williams was asked what he thought about that. Williams, an economist at George Mason University and a product of the Philadelphia housing projects, said he was ashamed to be a member of a group whose actions begged profiling. 

That sounds about right. 

Please know that none of this is Sherlock Holmes material. Any cognizant person, let alone an experienced police officer, can spot those in a crowd or on the road who need careful watching. Absent that standard, law-abiding visitors are going to be sparse. Few parents will accept even the longest odds that a child will be felled by hot lead on a shopping trip.

And it’s going to get worse.

The economist John R. Lott Jr. is one who will say it: Law enforcement in cities is collapsing. He argued in the April 24 Wall Street Journal that contrary to election-year narrative and official claims, crime is headed for record levels. The reported decline is a function of less reporting, he says, not less crime: 

“While the rate of reported violent crime fell 2.1 percent between 2021 and 2022 (why report a crime if nobody is going to get charged?), the National Crime Victimization Survey shows that total violent crime — reported and non-reported — rose from 16.5 incidents to 23.5 per 1,000 people. Non-reported violent crime in 2022 exceeded the 2015-19 average by more than 17 percent.” 

The cost? It is ironic or perhaps just sad that our economic-development wizards are now leveraging tens of millions of local tax dollars to create a new “destination point” in a district even more vulnerable to the disruption of crime and its enabling political influences.

Buckle up for life in the 24th year of the 21st century of the 3rd millennium. — tcl


Leave a Reply