I know of two ways to create a crime wave:
- Outlaw many ordinary actions and undertakings;
- Refrain from prosecuting and punishing crimes already on the books.
Can anyone suggest a third?
Today, John Hinderaker comments on the crime explosion in Minnesota, with emphasis on a specific recent event:
Derrick Thompson was clocked at 95 to 100 mph on Highway 35W, probably the Twin Cities’ busiest highway. Before the Highway Patrol could pursue him, he exited the highway off a down ramp to Lake Street and immediately ran a red light, essentially vaporizing a car containing the five innocent young women. You almost have to see the video to believe it:
WARNING: Disturbing video shows moment of impact from reckless driver speeding & running a red light before killing five people and fleeing the scene. Sources have identified the driver as Derrick John Thompson, the son of former DFL state Rep. John Thompson. pic.twitter.com/JVvNDwuaOV
— Liz Collin (@lizcollin) June 18, 2023
Twin Cities media outlets are focusing on the less than vital question of how that video leaked to the press. That seems to be of more moment, in their eyes, than the five lives that were lost, and the left-wing criminal justice system that made the whole thing possible.
The miscreant has been involved in 13 other criminal acts, mostly vehicle-related.
Doesn’t Derrick Thompson belong in prison? At age 27, he’s old enough to know better, as the saying goes. A few years behind bars might wise him up. But wait: he’s the son of a politically powerful former state legislator. Are we allowed to incarcerate the children of the powerful?
If you’re muttering “Hunter Biden” under your breath, you’re not alone. But as outrageous as it is that Hunter Biden and Derrick Thompson are still running around loose, children of power and privilege who run amok are relatively few. They can’t account for the surge of crime all by themselves.
By and large, we have a great deal of crime these days because those with weak morals and ethics have become aware that they can do a whole lot of harm to others and never be brought to book for it. There are enough “natural” criminals to overload the justice system we had before the insane took over the country – i.e., before the recent “Defund the police! / The courts are racist!” chants got started. Add the huge number who were previously deterred solely by the possibility of detection and punishment, and we arrive at our current condition.
There are particularly egregious instances of our loss of will. The “shoplift if you like” attitudes of San Francisco and New York City come to mind at once. Law enforcers’ greatly intensified aversion to risk factors powerfully into the problem. The swiftness and ferocity with which “victimist” activists rain down condemnations upon the police, even after a fully justified arrest, must be figured in, too.
Still…has our nation ever had quite this many residents who had no internal constraints against lawbreaking? Internal constraints are those that make it possible for police forces to do the job at all. Historically, those constraints were supplied by one’s religion. Hearken to Clay Christensen on the subject:
The real protection of life and property, always and everywhere, is the general recognition of the brotherhood of man. How much of the time is any American within sight of a policeman? Our lives and property are protected by the way nearly everyone feels about another person’s life and property.
With religion in decline – the aging of congregations everywhere would convince a man from Mars that it’s strictly for the nursing-home set – internal constraints are declining as well. The predominant ethical question is no longer “Is it wrong?” but “Can I get away with it?”
Atop that, the dearly departed and deeply missed Ol’ Remus has told us, more than once and in big letters, to stay away from cities and other sources of crowds. People’s inhibitions against violence and predation tend to weaken when immersed in a crowd. And these days, because of other social and economic trends that deserve an essay or two of their own, crowds are more difficult to avoid than ever before.
Last for today, we’ve permitted ingress to these shores by millions of savages. Yes, I mean that as it appears: hordes of persons with no conception of right and wrong. Many of them don’t even ask “Can I get away with it?” They see; they want; they take – and woe betide the decent citizen who uses force against them. The “authorities” are nearly always on the savages’ side.
Given all that, is it really surprising that America is awash in crime of every variety? Indeed, wouldn’t it be far more surprising if the nation were as peaceful and law-abiding today as it was in, say, 1950? You know, back when we had actual men.
I think the point has been established. There is no safety for person or property at this time. Current trends continuing, matters will get worse, not better. Therefore, whenever you leave your home for any reason, even for a quick trip to the corner store, go armed. Your personal weapon might be the only thing that saves a life – and not necessarily your own.