When it is pointed out that Democrat-run cities are hotbeds of crime, the defense is that those cities would have a high crime rate even if they were run by Republicans. The problem is that they are cities not that they are Democrat-run. They also like to say that the rate of crime in Republican states is higher than that in Democrat states.
However, a new study from the Heritage Foundation weakens that defense significantly. It showed that murder rates in Democrat-run counties are 60% higher than the rate in Republican-led counties.
A study published in January of this year claimed murder rates in “red” states has been higher than those in “blue” state for the past 20 years.
Just the fact that it goes against common sense should raise a red flag about the study. However, The Heritage Foundation looked deeper into the study and says that it is “critically flawed.”
First, they said the study failed to acknowledge that crime was a local problem, and because of that, needed to be looked at at a local level rather than a state level. The Heritage Foundation noted that
“each state consists of a combination of federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as prosecutors with different approaches to law enforcement often based on highly divergent political beliefs. Violations of state law are prosecuted largely at the county or city level and, thus, amalgamating data across such units neglects important variation in these different approaches.”
Second, the study didn’t adjust for changes in how a state votes that could change it from red to blue or vice versa over time. “Correcting for these errors shows that crime has been higher in blue counties than in red counties,” according to The Heritage Foundation.
The Heritage Foundation then averaged the homicide rates between 2014 and 2020. In counties that voted for Donald Trump in 2020, the homicide rate is 4.06 per 100,000 people versus 6.52 per 100,000 in counties that voted for Joe Biden.
Homicides have definitely risen in the United States as a whole, but the increase hasn’t been even throughout the country.
“Looking at homicide rates by county, states show skewed distributions with many counties having little or no homicides, and a handful of counties with excessively high homicide rates,” according to the Heritage Foundation. “Thus, state homicide rates can be heavily influenced by a few counties. When those counties have different politics from the rest of the state, it can flip the conclusion about the association between political identifications and homicides.”
The thing jurisdictions with a skyrocketing problem should be doing is looking at places where the problem is under control and trying to apply what is being done in those places to their jurisdiction. This doesn’t mean that whatever is working in a low-crime city will transfer with the same effectiveness to a high-crime city.
It may only have a small effect or no effect. Even a small effect might be worth it, depending on the costs involved. It is doubtful the problem will get worse, though. It is a case where a high-crime city would have virtually nothing to lose by following the example of someplace where they got it right.
Unless the place that got it right is Republican-run and the city that can’t control crime can’t get it right. Politicians, in general, are loathe to admit a mistake, and Democrat politicians continue to show they cannot lead.
Michael Letts is the Founder and CEO of In-Vest USA, a national grassroots nonprofit organization helping to re-fund police by contributing thousands of bulletproof vests for police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience. Read More Michael Letts reports — Here.
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