When violent crime increases, people buy guns to defend themselves. That happened in 2020 as violence spiked during and after the George Floyd riots. Progressive politicians and liberal columnists like E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post then falsely cited the rising gun-ownership rates as the reason why violence was rising, even though violence began rising before gun purchases increased. That got cause and effect backwards — innocent people bought guns due to rising violence, rather than violence rising due to more innocent people having guns. But politically, this “blame gun ownership” argument worked with some people, even though it effectively blames the victim (innocent people who buy guns. Most people who own guns never use them to commit a crime.). But this argument allows soft-on-crime politicians to claim that crime is rising not because of their soft-on-crime policies (such as releasing dangerous criminals from jail after short sentences), but because of rising gun ownership.
It worked in Pennsylvania, where progressive newspapers like the Philadelphia Inquirer blamed rising gun ownership rates for rising violence, even though progressive Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner was failing to prosecute many felons caught with a gun, and very few violent criminals caught by police were ever convicted at trial for committing violent crimes, due to the incompetence of Krasner’s office. That left far more violent criminals on the street to kill other people.
Yet 51% of Pennsylvania voters very concerned about rising violent crime voted for Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, who is soft-on-crime, and wanted to release a third of the state’s prison inmates (including many murderers doing life without parole), while only 48% of voters very concerned about rising violent crime cast ballots for Republican Mehmet Oz. Oz criticized Fetterman for being soft on crime, and for supporting soft-on-crime DA Krasner. Fetterman allies mistakenly blamed lack of gun control and rising gun ownership rates for the rising homicide rate, even though the Washington Post’s fact-checker has noted there is little correlation between how many gun-control laws a state has, and its homicide rate or rate of gun deaths.
But it was progressives’ soft-on-crime policies and hostility to policing, not gun ownership rates, that made violence spike. Mexico is more violent than the U.S., but has a lower gun-ownership rate. Switzerland has a high gun-ownership rate by world standards, but a very low homicide rate.
Progressive failure to successfully prosecute criminals explained part of the spike in violence. As Big Trial notes, for Philadelphia progressive DA “Krasner’s prosecutors, winning a conviction in court is a rare event…. the percentage of guilty verdicts won at trial have gone …. all the way down to just 2% of all criminal cases prosecuted last year under D.A. Krasner.” Krasner’s office assigned an inexperienced progressive to prosecute a murder case. He bungled the case, so the murderer walked free. Seven months later, the murderer killed yet another victim in a rage. Meanwhile, “the percentage of criminal cases withdrawn or dismissed by the D.A.’s office has gone from 28% in 2014 under former D.A. Seth Williams all the way up to 67% last year under D.A. Krasner.” As a result, the murder rate in Philadelphia has risen, breaking record after record.
But this “blame gun owners” argument gives progressives a convenient talking point in response to rising shootings — they can blame the NRA (their political adversary), rather than the criminal (who they tend to view as the victim of societal racism or indifference). By contrast, that can’t make that anti-gun argument about killings with knives. So the media barely reports on killings with knives, even when they take multiple innocent lives. They would rather report on shootings that take fewer lives.
As Bearing Arms notes,
The UVA shooting is making a lot of headlines right about now. The shooting already has its own Wikipedia page and is a major topic of discussion in political circles. Some are calling for gun control and other legislative efforts to try and prevent this from happening again. [But while] the UVA murders are getting a buttload of attention, but another mass murder from the same day isn’t.
New details have emerged in the mysterious slaying of four college students in Idaho over the weekend.
Police in Moscow, Idaho, said they received a call just before noon on Sunday about an unconscious person in a King Road residence just south of the campus of the University of Idaho. When police arrived, they found the bodies of four dead students. Those students have now been identified: Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Kaylee GonCalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.
So why isn’t this getting the same kind of attention? Four people brutally murdered? That’s the kind of thing that will cause nightmares in responding officers years from now.
Clearly, this is big news. Why isn’t it getting the same attention as UVA?
Well, I have a theory.
Regardless of where the students were from, all of them were brutally attacked with an “edged weapon such as a knife,” police said in a press release on Tuesday. Though a murder weapon has not yet been recovered, police said that stab wounds on the victims indicate that such a weapon was used in the attack, which likely occurred early Sunday morning, perhaps around 3 or 4 a.m.
You see, because the weapon used was a knife, it seems this murder just isn’t as big of a deal for most folks. It’s a horrifying story, but a local one, not a national news item with political implications.