Biden’s Delusions About Crime - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Biden’s Delusions About Crime
President Biden delivers speech on preventing gun crime, June 23, 2021 (YouTube screenshot)

The recent spike in violent crime across the country is due not to a lack of “gun control” but to a lack of self-control. But the moral and cultural causes of crime never figure into the analysis of the Democrats. They studiously ignore those causes or make them worse by sabotaging the institutions of self-government.

Modern liberalism’s toxic blend of totalitarianism and moral relativism lends itself to a society of “gun control” without self-control. In such a society, the first instinct of liberal politicians is to propose new laws, even as they prevent the police from enforcing old ones. “Gun control” means greater and greater government control.

Joe Biden presides over a party that favors more and more laws and less and less policing. The Democrats increasingly want criminals set free and the law-abiding treated as criminals. Biden has naturally obliged his base, advancing laws and executive actions that would render the blameless exercise of the Second Amendment illegal. We are witnessing the death of the Second Amendment by a thousand cuts.

The thrust of Biden’s “crime-fighting” plan rolled out on Wednesday is not to fight crime but to cast a constitutional freedom as criminal. He speaks not of violent criminals but of “gun violence.” His plan to “end it” is really just a plan to end legal gun ownership.

Any “crime-fighting” plan that treats a constitutional freedom as the fundamental problem is a step toward tyranny.

The Soviet Union, by treating everyone as criminals and turning Russia into a prison state, did reduce crime. But even the Soviets would have found the police state the Democrats favor pretty odd — a police state with an emasculated police that backs off real criminals while pursuing imaginary ones.

As they call for fewer prisons, the Democrats fantasize about confiscatory gun sweeps of peaceful homes. Biden, in effect, is telling the law-abiding that the solution to “gun violence” is the sacrifice of their own freedom. But dissolving the distinction between law-abiding gun owners and criminals simply means leaving the innocent defenseless against gun violence.

Any “crime-fighting” plan that treats a constitutional freedom as the fundamental problem is a step toward tyranny. For all of his pompous talk about taking violence “seriously,” Biden is profoundly unserious about the preservation of civilizing institutions, without which a multiplicity of new laws is meaningless. In the end, the only enduring solution to crime is the recovery of a civil society that reinforces self-government.

What good is investing in “community violence intervention programs” if families are fatherless, public schools are rotten, and popular culture is sick? The destruction of the family lies at the root of criminal pathology. But Biden won’t say a word about that cause of crime, lest he draw attention to the anti-family policies the Democrats have hawked for years.

The appalling scenes of crime in Chicago have nothing to do with the absence of “community violence intervention programs” and everything to do with the absence of fathers. But no one is permitted to state the obvious anymore, least of all Democrats, whose woke agenda rests on a repudiation of the traditional family. Mothers and fathers are superfluous, according to that agenda. Any family arrangement will do. This is one of the many lies destroying the country, and Biden backs it to the hilt. The broken homes of inner cities — broken in many cases under the weight of the welfare state and the sexual revolution — are not to be mentioned. No, according to Biden, we must see them as the product of sinister external forces — “systemic racism” and so forth. Never mind that those neighborhoods belong to the most progressive cities in the country.

Much of Biden’s plan amounts to giving gobs and gobs of money to Democrats who have already run their cities into the ground. Meanwhile, the true causes of crime go unaddressed. The loudest advocates for gun control invariably are the leaders who have done their utmost to destroy a culture of self-control. It is quite a racket: the out-of-control society that they engineered serves as the justification to increase their own power and line their own pockets.

Biden demands a host of new laws while ignoring the most important one: the natural moral law. In the absence of a culture that respects the 10 Commandments, the state can issue 10,000 new laws and it won’t make the slightest bit of difference. The law presupposes a capacity to follow it. The crime problem is not one of legislation but of culture. Biden’s plan is simply one more stride toward an oppressive dystopia in which the only truly targeted “criminals” are the law-abiding.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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