APPEL: Policy And Posturing On COVID And Crime

The Governor and mayors of our major cities are really good at capturing limelight in the COVID epidemic. But they are also good at using that to avoid the reality of the other epidemic sweeping our state. That epidemic is crime and violence, mostly emanating from our major urban centers.

For as long as anyone remembers there was an unspoken rule in New Orleans, criminals either kept their violence out of, or the police forced them away from, the French Quarter. But in the new reality that has gone by the wayside. The first block of Bourbon Street has become a shooting gallery and violence has spread everywhere throughout the Quarter.

Today no-one is safe, even when driving on Interstate Highways or filling up at gas stations. The young and the old, citizens and tourists, none can escape from those that have no fear of or respect for the law. And yet from the Governor’s office, only silence. Well not exactly silence, plenty of concern about COVID and flooding, but silence on the explosion of crime.

One has to wonder why the Governor doesn’t address violence that destroys lives, eviscerates the safety of millions, and literally threatens the tourism economy that is so important. The answer is simple, his liberal sensitivities and political allies leave him no room to address what as Kamala Harris likes to say, the roots of crime.

Since he comes from a family of law enforcement he knows the answers, he just doesn’t want to admit that the love affair between his Democrat allies and their theories of victimization and identity are a hollow shell. In other words, politics are preventing him from addressing what is, close behind COVID, the main issue for so many Louisianans, the source of visceral fear in their daily lives. Instead like so many other Democratic politicians he is using COVID as a shield to protect himself from becoming engaged in what he sees as a politically unwinnable fight against crime.

Think about this, in five years, other than his pledge to reduce incarceration, can you point to one thing, just one, that he has spoken of to reduce persecution of our people by criminals? Just one?

Let’s look at one simple example of what his silence has wrought. The City of New Orleans and the state have basically decriminalized possession of marijuana. The problem is that by the way they have done so, they have empowered drug dealers that are the only source of the drug. And they have given a green light to would-be users, thereby driving up demand. The result: open warfare between rival drug dealing gangs as dead and wounded are piling up.

The governor had to have known that blood would flow freely on the streets from this misguided policy change. He had to have known that lower-level politicians in cities such as NOLA were inviting disaster by playing up to those who want access to weed. But liberal politics has prevented him from explaining the ramifications of misguided local and state policy. So, now mass shootings on Bourbon Street are flashed all over national TV, as innocent people are in fear to enjoy their own city.

There were other options, a strong leader could have moved to fully legalize and therefore regulate the sale of this drug. Or taking an opposite position they could have held a strong line against local politicians who refuse to obey state and Federal law. Either approach would have been responsible, but our governor chose to hide behind COVID and so people are dying and our reputation as a safe state to bring tourist dollars to is fading.

Political courage is a rare, but not unheard-of, trait. When a leader swears an oath to protect and defend the people, that oath is not qualified by only protecting and defending when it is politically safe.

Violence will continue to explode until leaders abandon the liberal concepts that encourage violence and revert establishing public safety as the number one goal of government. Those who would flaunt our laws because of their upbringing or their propensity to take shortcuts in life will not change because well intentioned but naïve politicians want them to. The only way to stop crime is to take criminals out of society, make it so they are unable to plow their adopted trade.

That is in today’s world politically incorrect, but history is clear, it is the only way to ensure public safety.

Unfortunately, as long as we have liberal politicians in charge of our states and our cities, I doubt that common sense and political courage will prevail. Therefore, we should all be prepared for the continued siege of criminal violence as it devastates our cities and the lives of honest people.

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