06.12.2021 Author: Vladimir Danilov

In the US, Homicide has Now Become Endemic

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The US homicide rate rose by a record 30% from 2019 to 2020, reports CNN citing a paper from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of deaths due to homicide in 2020 was the highest in the modern history of the United States. The Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a research group, estimates that about 43,000 people were killed in various shooting incidents in the United States in 2020. This was the highest increase observed by specialists.

However, there’s no doubt that this year will outshine 2020 on these indicators since there were 915 shooting incidents in the US between July 17 and July 23 alone. At least 430 people were killed in these incidents, and another 1,007 were injured, as reported by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) citing the GVA. In the first half of the year, 24,000 people have already lost their lives due to the use of firearms in the US, and the number continues to grow.

According to The Washington Post, an average of more than two people a day have been killed by police officers alone since the beginning of the year. Los Angeles ranks first among American cities by this indicator.  In 2020, the number of people killed by police reached 1,021, and in the first seven months of 2021, US police killed 534 people. Such information is provided on the Police Killing Tracker Bot on Twitter that tracks posts about police victims. US police brutality has caused outrage not only in the States but abroad as well. However, it is acknowledged that many deaths could have been avoided if police officers in the US had used less aggressive tactics.

According to The Washington Post, shots are being fired almost constantly in Southeast Washington. Fear is part of everyday life.

The situation is not better in Chicago, where Fox News citing the Chicago Sun-Times reports that on August 8, some 45 people got  injured within a time span of 11 hours and there were some fatalities too. And since the beginning of the month, in just one week, 155 people have been killed in shooting  incidents in various areas across this city! As Fox News Political Analyst Gianno Caldwell notes, much of the blame for this situation lies with Chicago Mayor and especially Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. The latter has released defendants on 25,000 felony counts, including murder. Chicago Sun-Time published an analysis showing that there have been more than a thousand shooting incidents in the city in the past six years, resulting in nearly 150 deaths. And only two people were convicted. Out of more than a thousand incidents! Authorities run out of electronic bracelets used to track the movements of supervised individuals, resulting in the release of murder suspects. So it’s not uncommon for murder suspects to walk the streets without any restraint or supervision.

The Democrat-backed idea to defund the police movement in some major American cities has increased violent crime writes The National Interest. If this policy is fully implemented, the upper class in the United States will still be fine, enjoying private security, while common people will be forced to take their security into their own hands. Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020, calls to defund police departments became a rallying cry for left-wing activists. Moreover, some insist on outright abolishing police departments.

The truth is that the defund the police movement won’t further social justice or really any kind of justice. Instead, it produces a kind of neo-feudalism, where the rich and powerful can evade dire consequences while everyone else suffers. The problem police departments are having is that they are dealing with an exodus of staff while also struggling to replace those who have left. On average, agencies are only filling about 93 percent vacant spots. The most plausible explanation is the so-called Minneapolis Effect. A serious shortage of manpower and a dwindling number of qualified people willing to risk their lives in a hostile political environment. If this problem persists, it isn’t hard to see many urban areas turning into the high-crime wasteland many remember from the 1970s and 1980s.

In late October, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones reacted with a smile to the sounds of gunfire that interrupted her speech to reporters: “I hear gunshots in my neighborhood every night. My son and I fall asleep to the cradle of gunfire every night.”  According to the Fox News host, what is striking is that she could stop it, and she chooses not to—acting as if she has no control over it whatsoever. But since the mayor is smiling instead of fighting crime, it is a clear indicator of the state of the US ruling class and its profound degradation.

Philadelphia has also seen record numbers of gun violence for two years in a row, with children often being the victims in such situations, notes ABC News. Teachers raise the alarm: the road to school reminds a battlefield to some.

School violence and vandalism are on the rise across the US as well, reports NBC News. Some incidents have resulted in arrests and even the temporary closure of educational institutions.

2021 proved to be a record year for the US in school shootings as well, with 139 incidents involving firearms already recorded, killing 28 people, reports CBS News.

However, other American media outlets cite even worse statistics in this matter. Therefore, in August and September 2021 alone, 97 cases of gun violence were reported in American schools, writes The Times, citing data from the National Association of School Superintendents. In the same period of 2019, 29 such cases have been reported. According to the publication, a high school in Pennsylvania has been forced to return to distance learning. Not because of the coronavirus, but because of threats related to incidents among students. According to Mo Kennedy, Executive Director of the School Superintendents Association, violence has increased. According to Frank Kitzerow, former Chief of Police, what is now happening in schools reflects the overall situation in society. He noted a link between increased depression, anxiety, other disorders during the pandemic, and increased school violence.

In recent months, Republican Party supporters and members have spoken more and more openly about using violence as an “appropriate way” to fight Democrats. Moreover, there is a growing number of conservatives in the US who are inclined to the idea of a possible armed confrontation with their political opponents, writes The New York Times.

So, the homicide endemic continues with the tacit complicity of the US authorities.

Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 


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