By Steve Pomper
What happens when those entrusted to solve a community’s serious problems with crime, especially violent, are so politically and ideologically driven that they not only ignore but also reject ideas that might actually solve the problem? Rejecting resources cops could use to crush violent crime.
Sadly, the answer is too often, nothing. Well, nothing that reduces criminal violence, anyway. To the contrary, as in cities like Baltimore, St. Louis, and Chicago, something does happen. The crime, including those committed with firearms, continues and increases.
Some of those effective efforts that leftist governments ignore and rebuff are efforts I recently had occasion to go back and review. In fact, two of the efforts are specifically endorsed by the NPA on their website “home” page. They are Project Exile and Project Safe Neighborhoods.
Project Exile: The NPA describes this federal partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia, started in 1997 under President Bill Clinton, as “The implementation of Project Exile, for slowing the murder rate through aggressive prosecution of gun offenses under federal laws, instead of the weaker state statutes. Conviction on a federal gun charge carries a minimum mandatory prison sentence of five years, bond is less available, and defendants are sent out of state to serve their sentences.”
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) according to the NPA, this is also a federal/local partnership, which is “a national initiative implemented by the United States Department of Justice to increase prosecution of violent organizations.” From what I understand, PSN, launched in 2001, under President George W. Bush, is unique in that the feds work with local law enforcement comprehensively to target violent criminal activity specific to a particular community. This is as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach that often sees governments tossing money at with few positive results.
While PSN seems to be continuing, from what I understand, but PE had been working well in Virginia, but has been used less and less over recent decades. It seems whenever the murder rate spikes, someone wants the program “brought back.”
In 2016, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported another increase in violence involving guns. In the story, writer Frank Green said the use of PE to prosecute firearms related crimes has steadily declined. Erik Smith, an assistant Richmond commonwealth attorney at the time, said, “I think officially Project Exile, as Project Exile, doesn’t exist.
Just three years earlier, the International Association of Chiefs of Police said, “Project Exile was, by most accounts, one of the most successful violent crime reduction strategies in the United States.” Once sidelined, the murder rate again climbed.
According to the Times-Dispatch, “in a May 2015 program profile, The National Institute of Justice’s [NIJ] Office of Justice Programs listed Project Exile as ‘Not Active.’” That was under President Obama, whose DOJ championed social justice, which weakened the rule-of-law to which Project Exile depended.
Oddly, also in May 2015, the NIJ, on its CrimeSolutions.gov page, gave Project Exile a rating of “promising.” Perhaps, DOJ A.G. Bill Barr will consider bringing the program back in some form.
But this is what American’s can expect when there is a “mainstream” political faction who believes the American flag is a conservative political symbol (at best, and symbol of oppression at worst), wants to denigrate American traditions, wants to replace equal justice with social justice, does not believe in law and order, and disdains the notion that the criminal justice system exists to protect society from criminals, not to protect criminals from society.
When you have political leaders who call for more gun laws but, as the NRA often says, refuse to enforce current gun laws, conveniently calling them “racist,” then how can any society solve problems with violent crime?
When you have political leaders who not only refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement but also actively endeavor to obstruct their ability to protect America by shielding violent, criminal illegal aliens, we’ll never solve criminal violence.
Until that faction that abhors law and order, like the several prosecutors funded by people like George Soros, understands the benefit of considering conservative’s ideas (yeah, right), or is defeated politically, America will never solve its crime problems, violent or otherwise.
If you ever want to find out if a candidate in your area is supported by Mr. Soros, find out if any of these 200 Soros funded organizations have donated to the candidate or PAC. For example, according to the Washington Times, he is partially responsible for the recent upheaval in Virginia by his having funded commonwealth and local prosecutor’s races with almost $1 million.