Monday, May 29, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors on Crime

I read an article the other day that really bothered me. It had to do with legislation meant to discourage attacks on cops and it really hit me that the left is playing a shell game. Observe.

The article in question was an AP article reporting that many states are adding laws to their books (or beefing theirs up) which make it an extra crime to commit a crime against a police officer. In other words, while the underlying crime is already illegal, these laws add an extra punishment if the victim of the crime is a police officer. The intent of laws like this is to raise the penalty for crimes against officers to make the world safer for the police by making criminals more likely to submit when confronted by the cops. Most states already have these laws but with this idea of a war on cops, these states are beefing them up.

Naturally, the left is outraged. Black Lives Matters types are whining that this is sending the signal that states want the cops to oppress them, and the article reflected that. It let these comments go without question. It never pointed out that these laws apply to things like assaults, not protesting, and that it's easy to avoid being punished by these laws by simply not committing the crimes. It also took as fact that there is an epidemic of white cops killing blacks, even as the article could only identify two examples -- the guy in Minnesota and Ferguson, Missouri. And it questioned whether there is a war on cops even as it mentioned the 21 ambushed in Dallas (while ignoring Tennessee, New York and other places) and the fact 143 cops were killed last year. So 2 dead blacks is an epidemic, 143 dead cops is doubtful it's anything.

More importantly, the article noted that: "Police deaths on the job have generally declined over the past four decades, from a recent high of 280 in 1974 to a low of 116 in 2013." Then it said that because of this, it was doubtful if these laws were needed or would help. But this is a shell game.

Starting in the 1970s, conservatives began fighting back against two decades of liberalism in the criminal justice system. Those laws were put into place and the crime rate fell. These laws included harsher sentences... harsher sentences for specific crimes... harsher sentences for crimes against officers... etc. And the more conservative laws got put in place, the more the crime rate fell. What the author does here is identify the falling crime rate without mentioning that conservative laws are the most likely cause for it. He then says that because the crime rate is already falling (apparently by magic), there's no evidence such laws are needed. Basically, he's ignoring cause and effect so he can claim that people proposing more of the cause are proposing something that has no effect.

It's a bit like dieting to lose weight, pretending that the weight you lost was just a natural trend of things, and then telling people who suggest more dieting that there is no basis to assume that dieting works.

And the more I thought about this, the more I realized that this has been the liberal coping strategy with criminal laws my entire life. When the crime rate was soaring under their laws, it was just a random thing. When it was falling under conservative laws, they ignored the blatantly obvious connection between conservative laws and lower crime. And now that the crime rate is so low, liberals argue against conservative laws on the basis that the crime rate is so magically low that we don't need them... the very laws that cause the crime rate to fall. This is intellectual fraud. And you see it here, where the author flat out ignores the connection between laws protecting cops and falling cop deaths and then turns around assumes that the beefing up of these laws will prove ineffective.

What's more, check this out. One of their "experts" said that these laws "reek of political pressure to do something symbolic as a way of expressing solidarity with police officers," as if that's a bad thing. She then says, "The problems that need to be solved are really problems on the ground. They're not gaps in the statute." Yet, when it comes to guns or rape or other causes they like, it doesn't matter how packed the statute already is... "somebody needs to do something!" and that something is more laws to make even more illegal what is already illegal.

So they think that extra laws do deter conduct, unless it's laws that protect cops.



Anthony said...

Guys crazy enough to attack or even kill cops belong in cages. Not sure sure such people can be deterred but toughening the law can't hurt.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Only one type of criminal falls in the category of crazy. The rest are more rational. And studies have shown that criminals do adjust their behaviors to avoid harsh sentences when those sentences are well known and can be avoided, e.g. not bringing guns, selling lesser drugs, etc. There's no reason to think they won't internalize the idea that attacking a cop would be a huge mistake.

Also, this would cover lesser crimes where you can take someone who isn't super dangerous yet, but becoming more dangerous all the time, and get them off the street longer to hopefully get them past their dangerous period -- as people get older, the violence of their crimes goes down. It's a way to weed out the truly dangerous before they become dangerous and keep them longer in prison where they can hopefully be reformed.

Also, don't miss the point that liberals think harsher sentences are just fine and work with gun crimes, rapes, etc. It's just when it comes to protecting cops that they suddenly think this there's no deterrent value.

Anonymous said...

"Also,don't miss the point that liberals think harsher sentences are just fine and work with gun crimes,rapes,etc. It's just when it comes to protecting cops that they suddenly think there's no deterrent value." Nailed it.

Anthony said...


Drug dealing is a business in which dealers weigh the risks and the rewards. People who attack cops tend to be either insane, extremely angry or drugged out of their minds.

Nobody comes out ahead after attacking a cop though I do note that the legal system (and society) seem to shrug off drunken attacks on cops provided the damage isn't too severe but drunks get a pass for most everything ('He didn't mean it, he was drunk').

I get the sense that most cop murders are done by nutjob losers like that guy in Mississippi.

Eight individuals were killed — including a deputy sheriff — during a house-to-house rampage in Mississippi on Saturday night.
The suspect, 35-year-old Willie Cory Godbolt, was arrested after allegedly “holding a 16-year-old hostage.”

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I had a similar phenomenon on my mind this morning. The left plays a variation of the shell-game when it comes to long-term projects. If it's something they're against, they'll say, "Even if we start now, we won't see any return for ten years." And that's their argument not to move on that issue. And yet, these are the same people who score their every proposal over ten years.

One more comes to mind. The left's infamous "one is too many" justification to overhaul entire systems because a few people had a bad time with it. This usually piggybacks "for the children." But, again, if it goes against the left's agenda, one--or hundreds or thousands or more--are just an anomaly.

AndrewPrice said...

I love this quote on Colin Kapernick:

Seattle remains the most viable option for a quarterback who has largely been forgotten by the NFL, for reasons that are becoming gradually more clear.

Gradually? Uh, the reason has been obvious for months!

This is a leftist bastard trying to convince people that there has been some thoughtcrime here by acting like some very obvious action is dark and mysterious and being carefully hidden by a vast conspiracy of lies. He's also trying to feed the butt-hurt crowd without saying so openly because that would expose his obvious leftism, which he pretends doesn't exist. So rather than whine "it's an outrage" he makes statements to the effect of "gee, we know no one would punish someone for free speech because that would be wrong," so what could be the reason they won't hire him?

It's delusional jerk off-ery.

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, That's exactly what it is. The left loves blunt, strong laws to protect everything they like and punish those they dislike... and they don't want those protections to protect those they don't like. Cops, white males, business men, etc.

I still remember getting into an argument with a leftist around a terrorist bombing when they bemoaned all the women and children who had been killed, and I said, "But you're cool with the killing of men?" They had no answer except anger that I clearly "didn't get it."

The left has always viewed who you are as more important than what you do or what gets done to you.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, As a general rule, most cop murders are done in domestic violence situations or traffic stops when you've got someone who thinks they've been caught in a bigger crime (kidnapping, fugitive, stolen car). These are more significant crimes, but not crazy crimes. The domestic stuff is probably more passion crime gone wrong, but is also often simply some white trash asshole who ain't gonna let some cop tell him how to control his woman.

Also, there are a significant number of people who commit lesser crimes against cops, even knowing they are cops -- stalking, threats, threats against family and other attempts at revenge or intimidation.

Those are often people who know the system well and know how to work shorter sentences and avoid longer ones.

Trust me, it's been the rare criminal I've met who doesn't adjust their behavior to try to adjust potential sentences.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Great examples! That's exactly right.

1. (Before) It will take too long to fix, so we shouldn't try your solution. Let's do more of the same that hasn't worked yet.

1a. (Before II) It may not work, so it's too risky to try. Let's do more of the same that hasn't worked yet.

2. (During) There's no way to tell if these great new numbers are the result of your solution or something else. It could just be a natural trend.

2a. (During II) It's too soon to tell if these great new numbers will last.

2b. (During III) These great new numbers were expected. (A dismissal of cause and effect without explanation.)

2c. (During IV) Not everyone is benefiting equally.

3. (After) Your solution was so long ago there's no way to connect it to the wonderful world of today, it must be a natural trend.

3a. (After II) Well, maybe your solution worked then, but this is a different world and it won't work today.

3b. (After III) Not everyone benefited equally.

3c. (After IV) Of course it worked, everyone knew that. We all supported it. You supported it for the wrong reasons though.

BevfromNYC said...

Wow, Andrew, it felt like you were talking about NYC! Since the late '80's we have gone through each on of those steps.

Here's another one to add somewhere in the "After" catagory when all of the old "laws" and "ways" have been successful in lower crime dramatically. Then a new Mayor comes along who doesn't like the "old ways" 'cause it targets potential "criminals" in high "crime" areas..., so they stop "fighting" crime and the crime rates begin to go up "rapidly"...

4. Yes, we know there has been a spike in crime, all sorts of crime, but it's still not as high as it was at the peak in '91! [Works for "rate of homeless" too]

4A. But we should "decriminize" crimes! That will lower the crime levels back to normal!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, It's liberalism all over again. And you're right about part 4. Once the danger has passed, liberals always start worrying about the right and privileges of the bad guys, and they use the lack of present danger as proof that whatever they want to change is an issue that simply doesn't exist anymore and never will again.

They ignore cause and effect.

Anthony said...


If a guy is pulled over and looking at a decade or two in prison sentence for drug smuggling, attacking or even killing a cop greatly increases the legal penalties one faces (and makes cops disinclined to take him alive). And attacking cops during a domestic also is a move which only makes things a lot worse. Maybe the guy can convince his battered wife not to testify, his charm is unlikely to work on the cop he slugged.

Most attacks on cops are irrational, and even some of the rational ones can't be deterred. For example, if a guy is already looking at the maximum penalty the state imposes (be that life without parole or death) then he might as well do whatever since it won't impact his sentencing.

The low level intimidation stuff you describe sounds like the sort of behavior that could be deterred. Haven't heard much about stuff like that in this country, though its pretty common in Latin America.

Critch said...

57 people shot over the weekend in gun-controlled Chicago, 4 dead....but they will try to double down on the laws...(that's the definition of insanity). Some washed up, has-been actress held up a bloody head that looked like President Trump,,,she is catching Hell from all sides...if she had one, I would say she just stepped on it. Wave bye-bye to the nasty woman...The guy who stabbed those people in Portland was a Bernie supporter,,,,the only mention of this is in the comments section of the newspapers....are there no journalists left in American?

Anthony said...


The stabber was a Bernie supporter who later became a halfway Trump supporter (he hated Clinton more than he loved Trump).

According to his posts, he was a passionate Bernie Sanders supporter who later supported, but did not vote for, President Trump. He frequently posted violent threats against Hillary Clinton and her supporters.
It would be great if the gross stunt finished Griffin's career but her whole career is pretty much a series of gross stunts...

BevfromNYC said...

Can we just stipulate that whoever this guy supported in the last election cycle is irrelavant, he was mentally ill. And since he threatened a huge group of people the day before and was still allowed to walk the streets, whomever in the Portland judicial system who made the decision to not put him under some kind of medical observation, should be sued.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, It's the full gambit of crimes they are trying to stop. And that is what is upsetting the left. If it was just "add ten years to the sentence of any drug smuggler who kills a cop," then the left wouldn't care.

What has upset them is that these laws get right at the things they like to do during their "activism" -- threatening cops, punching cops, pulling a weapon on a cop, etc. Those things can be deterred.

AndrewPrice said...

On Kathy Griffin, does anyone get the sense that she's being sacrificed by the left for some reason? I can't say that she's done anything that different from Colbert or other comedians who regularly joke about his death or make jokes about incest or his kids being retarded. Leftist bloggers seem pretty happy to do the same. So why are they so upset this time?

I would bet this is strategic and they need to be able to say, "We have drawn the line ourselves," before doing whatever they are thinking.

BevfromNYC said...

Well, Andrew, it was kind blatantly bad. Pictures speak louder than words. Btw, over 24 hours later, CNN has cut her loose, so I guess this will certainly ruin our New Years Eve. But, since Al Franken is up for reelection in 2018 and refuses to condemn her photo and cancel his comedy tour with Griffin, he's gonna have to find a lot more "missing ballots" in the trunk of a random car next election.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I think Griffin was ejected because she inadvertently held up a mirror to the left and they didn't like it. Plus, if they profess disgust with particularly egregious displays, they can continue making their casual assassination remarks under the shelter of "at least I'm not Kathy Griffin."

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