President Joe Biden came to New York City on February 3rd to meet with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and deliver remarks at what was billed as a “Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Meeting.” This was not a Violent Crime Prevention Task Force, mind you, which would have logically focused on removing violent criminals from the streets no matter what weapons they used. Biden’s answer to the rising crime wave in New York City and other major cities across the country is stricter gun control measures.
According to Biden, the top crime-fighting priority is to combat gun trafficking, including by shutting down the so-called “Iron Pipeline” that funnels guns from state to state. Biden skipped over completely America’s rising illicit drug trafficking problem, exacerbated by the smuggling of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Illicit drugs and violent crime are often closely associated with each other. Street gangs that are heavily involved in the drug trade regularly use violence to control and expand their lucrative drug businesses. Gang members are committing many of the most violent drug-related crimes. Yet they are often not locked away as they should be.
No wonder Biden was not anxious to talk about the drug-related violent crime problem fueled in part by the rising amounts of illicit drugs smuggled into the country. His lax immigration policies opened the southern border to illegal immigrants, human traffickers, and drug traffickers alike.
Biden also completely skirted the problem caused by no cash bail policies and the radical soft-on-crime prosecutors who oppose incarceration except in the direst circumstances. Pro-criminal policies and prosecutors have resulted in dangerous criminals remaining free to prey on innocent people. Biden could not risk alienating his social justice progressive base by taking a firm stand against either no cash bail policies or soft-on-crime prosecutors.
Biden did acknowledge in his remarks the tragic murders of police officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera, although he had chosen not to attend either slain policeman’s funeral. Biden said simply that they were killed by “a man with a stolen Glock with 40 rounds — a magazine with 40 rounds.”
That “man” was a convicted felon with an extensive criminal record, whose mother had called 911 because she feared her adult son might harm her. The son reportedly emerged from the apartment bedroom that these police officers were approaching after responding to the 911 call and shot them.
For Biden to simply describe the alleged cop killer as a “man” with a “stolen” gun, and then harp on the need to stop the flow of illegal guns into New York City, recklessly distracts attention from the violent criminal himself. Guns are the Left’s shiny objects – a diversion from getting repeat felony offenders off the streets and behind bars for as long as possible.
Lenient judges release, on little or no bail, dangerous individuals with criminal records who appear before them for yet another serious crime. These menaces to society are then free to revert to their violent ways. That is precisely what happened in New York last year after a judge allowed a teenage gang member to go free on reduced bail, after which the gang member shot and killed a father of two. Such lax judges need to be relieved of their judicial duties.
It is also time to get rid of progressive soft-on-crime prosecutors, many of them funded by George Soros-affiliated organizations, who coddle criminals while forgetting about their victims. Progressive, pro-criminal prosecutors include Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Briggs, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. They need to be replaced as soon as possible by responsible prosecutors who believe in enforcing the law as it is written and consider criminals to be the enemies of society, not its poor victims.
Under intense pressure, Manhattan District Attorney Bragg just took some baby steps in reversing a few of his worst pro-criminal policies regarding gun possession, robbing businesses at gunpoint or knifepoint, and attacks on police officers. But these reversals are too little too late. As Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, said in a statement: “The fact that a district attorney had to send out a new memo stating that armed robbery will NOW be charged as a felony is almost as scary as the crime crisis he’s supposed to fighting.”
The way to curb the flow of illegal guns into New York and other cities is to cut the demand for them. The way to cut the demand is to strictly enforce the law against the most likely gun buyers and deter other would-be purchasers. Bring back stop and frisk with reasonable safeguards. Confiscate illegal guns taken after each stop and frisk encounter that turns up such a gun and jail the repeat criminal offenders who would be the most likely repeat purchasers. Send plainclothes police officers into gang-infested areas flooded with illegal guns and use informers to ferret out, remove, and detain the most potentially dangerous armed gang members before they can cause more trouble.
That said, clamping down on illegal gun possession is not the silver bullet to the rampant violent crime wave that alarms so many Americans today. Violent crimes are regularly committed by violent criminals with other weapons besides guns.
At minimum, individuals with a record of criminal violence who are arrested yet again for a crime involving actual or threatened bodily harm to another person with any sort of weapon belongs in jail pending trial. And any repeat violent criminal offender convicted of such a crime should receive the maximum allowable sentence with no chance of probation or parole. Those out on probation or parole who violate the terms of their conditional freedom should not get a second chance. They deserve to be put behind bars for the balance of their original sentences.
Stricter gun control would not have saved 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer, who was working at a furniture store in Los Angeles last month when she was stabbed to death allegedly by a deranged homeless man with a criminal record.
Stricter gun control would not have saved Michelle Go, a 40-year-old woman who was pushed to her death last month in front of a subway train in Manhattan allegedly by a homeless man with a criminal record.
Stricter gun control also would not have saved those killed and seriously injured by a man speeding in a vehicle through a crowd of participants in the Waukesha, Wisconsin Christmas parade late last November. The suspect, who had a long previous arrest record, was released on $1000 bail for intentionally running over the mother of his child, just days before the parade massacre.
Stricter gun control would not have prevented the many thousands of drug overdose deaths, including from deadly fentanyl smuggled into the United States across the border with Mexico. The drug smugglers and pushers bear criminal responsibility for those drug overdose deaths.
Fentanyl smuggled into the country has increased multifold since Biden took office and put into place his destructive open border policies. But Biden still is focused on just stopping the flow of guns, not the flow of fentanyl and other deadly drugs fueling a significant portion of the criminal violence he claims to be worried about.
Biden declared to his New York Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Meeting audience that he does not support defunding crime prevention and law enforcement. However, Biden emphasized that he wants to see some of the funding redirected to “providing the additional services you need beyond someone with a gun strapped to their shoulder or to their hip.”
“We need more social workers,” Biden said. “We need mental health workers.”
What happened to police officers Rivera and Mora prove how Biden is so tragically wrong. They had no chance from the get-go. Neither would any social workers or mental health workers have had a chance to defuse the situation if they had approached the bedroom first instead of Rivera and Mora and became the killer’s targets.
A third policeman waiting nearby was able to shoot and kill the man fleeing the scene before he had a chance to do any further harm. If a social worker or mental health worker had been where this third policeman was instead, he or she would not have stood a chance to escape almost certain death or serious injury.
Besides, well-funded mental health programs have done virtually nothing in the past to ensure that the mentally ill get the help they need under protective conditions. Those deemed potentially dangerous must be taken off the streets before they can harm innocent people. Simply hiring more mental health workers, as Biden suggests, will not solve a thing as long as the mentally ill can choose whether or not to be treated and can freely roam about with no supervision.
Recent polls have shown that Americans are very concerned about rising crime and do not think that President Biden is handling the issue well at all. The American people are not fooled by leftist media outlets like CNN that are trying their best to downplay many Americans’ legitimate concerns or by the spin that Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki regularly disseminates. When it comes to believing CNN and Psaki or their own eyes and ears, most Americans will choose to believe their own eyes and ears.