As violent crime increases in St. Louis, residents’ outrage towards Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner appears to be growing as well.
Gardner, who assumed office at the beginning of 2017 on a progressive platform, is St. Louis’ top prosecutor. But she has taken an extremely lax approach to actually prosecuting violent criminals, angering residents and victims’ family members.
In response to sharp increases in violent crime, President Biden stressed again last week that his administration is focused on “stemming the flow of firearms used to commit violent crimes.” But critics warn that this “guns first” approach ignores a basic fact – about 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms.
Although firearms were used in about 74% of homicides in 2019, they comprise less than 9% of violent crimes in America.
The vast majority of violent offenses – including robberies, rapes and other sex crimes – almost always involve other weapons or no weapons at all.
As the pandemic recedes and Americans re-enter public life, the surgeon general and other public health experts are urging the country to focus on another national crisis, one that has lingered for decades and worsened in recent years: loneliness.
For many, pandemic-related lockdowns, social distancing, and physical isolation resulted in their most severe experiences of loneliness. Studies have shown that an uptick in loneliness and other mental health issues coincided with the pandemic, and that lockdown requirements almost certainly exacerbated pre-existing mental conditions. But for researchers who have studied loneliness, the recent increase is only one notable event in an extensive history.
Loneliness is not just a crisis in America, but also in Europe, Canada, Japan, China, Australia and, increasingly, South America and Africa. Loneliness also occurs regardless of race, class, culture, and religion. Even before the lockdowns, tens of millions of people throughout the world felt isolated.
This week, five Republican senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding his office’s handling of January 6 protesters. The letter revealed the senators are aware that several Capitol defendants charged with mostly nonviolent crimes are being held in solitary confinement conditions in a D.C. jail used exclusively to house Capitol detainees.
Joe Biden’s Justice Department routinely requests—and partisan Beltway federal judges routinely approve—pre-trial detention for Americans arrested for their involvement in the January 6 protest. This includes everyone from an 18-year-old high school senior from Georgia to a 70-year-old Virginia farmer with no criminal record.
It is important to emphasize that the accused have languished for months in prison before their trials even have begun. Judges are keeping defendants behind bars largely based on clips selectively produced by the government from a trove of video footage under protective seal and unavailable to defense lawyers and the public—and for the thoughtcrime of doubting the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs announced Monday the distribution of over $458 million in grants to combat violent crime, according to a press release.
The funds are being distributed “to support state, local, and tribal law enforcement efforts to fight and prevent violent crime in jurisdictions across the United States,” according to the press release.