Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
A video has gone viral showing two California storeowners beating the daylights out of a lawless creep who was emptying their shelves of merchandise. My first response to the video was satisfaction to see that private citizens are beginning to fight back against the rampant crime in our cities. “This is what we do to criminals in most parts of the world,” one person tweeted. “Soft, stupid, woke liberal policies have made America dangerous for law-abiding citizens.”
My second response was disgust at the failure of local governments—all run by Democrats—to enforce the law. Our cities are being torn apart with rioting, looting, and arson as mayors and governors encourage the breakdown of civil order. Citizens have no confidence in their elected representatives, the legal system, the media, or each other.
As contempt for the nation’s laws increases, citizens are left with the impression that they can decide for themselves which laws they should obey. For many Americans, lawless activities such as looting the local Target store and setting the police station on fire are now considered acceptable. There is a word for this. Anarchy.
A prime example of a failed politician is New York City Mayor Eric Adams. After running as a law-and-order candidate, Adams has let down the voters who put him in office. Adams believes that the city’s massive crime problem can be solved by going soft on criminals and instead placing the blame on alleged white racism. In plain English, Mayor Adams is abdicating his responsibility to fight crime by playing the race card.
Adams has expressed his approval of the weak-on-crime stance of the new Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg. Bragg won the election “on a highly progressive platform advocating a prosecutorial focus on ‘racial equity,’” Hannah E. Meyers writes in City Journal, “that embraces non-prosecution, minimizing detention in favor of decarceration and decriminalization.” Bragg’s office will not seek jail for anything short of murder or certain types of deadly assault. Minor crimes, such as trespassing, theft of services, fare beating, routine traffic violations, and prostitution, won’t be prosecuted at all.
Under Bragg’s supervision, armed robbers who use guns or other deadly weapons to rob stores will be prosecuted only for petty larceny, a misdemeanor, if no victims are seriously injured and there is no “genuine risk of physical harm” to anyone. How can there be no “genuine risk of physical harm” when the robber points a loaded weapon at his victim? This is pure double talk. It suggests that Bragg will bend over backwards to avoid prosecuting criminals.
“Dangerous thugs will end up back on the streets without seeing the inside of a jail cell,” said Eric Shawn on Fox News. New York will revert back to the lawless conditions that existed before Mayor Giuliani put on the brakes with his “broken windows” policing policy. “[Bragg is] paving the way for an even bigger bloodbath than what we have seen in New York City already,” said Jennifer Harrison, head of a crime victims advocacy group. “It’s going to be deadly.”
Adams and Bragg are no different from the cadre of Democrat politicians who refuse to deal intelligently with the rising contempt for the rule of law that has plagued American cities since the riots of 2020. The argument put forth by these mayors and prosecutors is that we must reject the concept that everyone ought to be treated equally under the law. Their position is that equality should be replaced with a new form of racism known as equity.
Equity attempts to achieve its warped conception of fairness by treating people differently based on their skin color. For equity to be reached, skin color must determine everything. The right kind of skin color is black or brown. White is the wrong color. Equity and its cellmate, critical race theory, are used to justify murder, arson, and looting. Hundreds of American cities and towns have been destroyed by mobs acting in the name of social justice.
Heather Mac Donald, author of The War on Cops, explains how it works. “One’s alleged victimhood at the hands of a racist white male patriarchy entitles one to exemption from the rule of law and norms of bourgeois behavior,” she writes. “Enough people are seduced and mesmerized and frankly lobotomized by the lies of identity politics and the idea that this is a racist country—which it is not—that they are willing to put up with the destruction of prosperity and excellence.”
We need to recognize that Adams, Bragg, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and other ineffective leaders did not appear out of thin air—voters elected them. These “progressive” politicians throughout the country are taking us down the road to anarchy.
It all starts at the top, and in this case, the current round of lawlessness can be traced back to the Obama presidency. Obama weaponized the IRS and the FBI in order to attack his political adversaries. His contempt for the rule of law has filtered down everywhere. Democrat politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff, Bernie Sanders, and Maxine Waters regularly suspend the rule of law when it suits their purpose.
With the election of Joe Biden to the White House, corruption has reached new heights. Ensuring that nothing will be done to stop it, Biden is following in Obama’s footsteps by turning the Justice Department and FBI against US citizens. He is sending a message that anything goes in the pursuit of power, from weaponizing the justice system against his political opponents to rigging elections.
The one political figure who wants to end the corruption and restore the rule of law is being crucified. When Donald Trump announced his intention to “drain the swamp,” he incited the enmity of the Washington establishment. Bringing him back to the Oval Office in 2024 may be necessary to avert total anarchy.
What else can we do to restore law and order? Increasing the number of police won’t work because law enforcement can’t be everywhere. The only workable solution is to maintain an armed citizenry. Millions of Americans have served in the armed forces, where they were taught the use of firearms. Expanding the issuance of carry permits to these individuals and others with weapons training will have two practical consequences. First, the would-be violent felon will be reluctant to act out if he believes that armed citizens are omnipresent. Second, even if he is not deterred, the amount of damage he can do will be reduced when armed citizens are able to return fire.
For those who fear that allowing carry permits would increase violent crimes, bear in mind that Switzerland, with one of the lowest murder rates in the world, requires each citizen to own and maintain a firearm after their period of compulsory military service. That is exactly what we should do.
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