Making Sense by Michael Reagan
My daughter has a nice little house in a safe neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.
Until recently she never really had to worry about crime or her personal safety.
But now suburban places like hers in Northern California and Southern California are being hit by a crime wave that has never hit them before.
As you’ve seen on national TV, “smash-and-grab” gangs are hitting shopping malls like the one near her – the same one I often take my granddaughters to.
And now there are even young thugs who’ll follow you home from the mall and break into your house.
It’s no wonder my daughter is afraid to go out to her mailbox in the dark by herself.
She’s not alone. Many people in the multi-troubled state of California are living in fear.
It is bad enough that for almost two years the Democrats in charge of the state government have used the war on COVID as an excuse to expand their powers and abuse us with strict lockdowns, school closings and mandates.
But seven years ago the state’s so-called progressives brought us Proposition 47, a sentencing “reform” measure that among other things essentially decriminalized retail theft by making stealing anything with a value of less than $950 a mere misdemeanor.
If you combine that dumb idea – which the Los Angeles Times points out “was co-authored by then-San Francisco — now Los Angeles — Dist. Atty. George Gascón and strongly supported by then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom” -- with the even dumber idea of defunding the police, you will understand why California is in the midst of a crime wave.
The 2021 crime stats for Los Angeles County tell the grim story.
Compared to 2019, homicides in LA through the end of October are up 75 percent.
Aggravated assaults involving a firearm are up 73 percent. Motor vehicle thefts are up 57 percent. Unlawful shootings are up 73 percent…
And, to show what happens when you defund the police, destroy the morale of your officers and threaten them with vaccine mandates that result in them quitting their jobs, arrests in Los Angeles in 2021 so far compared to 2019 are down 34 percent.
The criminals have gotten so bold that even progressives living in gated and walled mansions in Beverly Hills are starting to wake up and demand more police protection.
As we know, calls for more law and order by liberals are rare.
But that’s what happens when the nice shops in your nice neighborhood – the ones on Rodeo Drive, for example – get hit by the smashers and grabbers.
And it's what happens when an 81-year-old philanthropist a few blocks away gets robbed and murdered in her zillion-dollar home – despite having an armed guard.
The state’s justice system has become a tragic joke. The 14 smash-and-grabbers police arrested here last week were probably back on the street before the police returned home.
Also, everyone knows these well-coordinated mobs of smash-and-grabbers are not stealing baby food.
They’re not poor kids. They’re sophisticated punks who’ve figured out how to steal $500 purses and terrorize people – and "woke" politicians and subversive district attorneys are letting them get away with it.
You don’t see these gangs operating in Florida. They’re a home-grown product of California and its irresponsible politicians like Gov. Newsom and DA Gascón.
Thanks to them, we have a lot of ordinary Californians who are afraid if they go to a mall or sit down outside at a restaurant a bunch of thugs will show up and rob or terrorize them.
Everyone in Los Angeles now knows by now that the city’s shrinking police force and upside-down justice system can no longer do the basic job of protecting them from California’s Crime Wave.
Which is probably why one sensible public servant, Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva, has been working extra hard to expand his department’s ability to issue concealed weapons permits.
Copyright 2021 Michael Reagan, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to [email protected] and follow @reaganworld on Twitter.