Slaughter in the Cities
Establishment voices are finally, grudgingly admitting that murders and shootings are up spectacularly in 2020. But the reasons, they all agree, are immensely complicated and rather boring.
Perhaps, they muse, it has something to do with lockdowns? Or there could be any number of other subtly interacting factors. Who can tell? In any case, this mysterious rise in violence is beyond the comprehension, much less the control, of politicians. For example, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight headlined:
…We don’t actually know why crime went up this year. To be fair, we don’t truly know why crime goes up…well, ever. Nor do we know how to make it go down in the long term.
So there’s no reason to consider the sudden rise in slaughter in the cities when casting your vote this fall. Crime isn’t something immediately threatening like climate change where voting matters. Instead, the rise and fall of crime is a vast, mysterious process, reminiscent of continental drift in its inevitability, which public policy and media opinion couldn’t possibly affect. Indeed, wouldn’t you rather read about some outrageous tweet by Trump than about this intensely tedious giant outbreak of gunfire?
Consider this Chicago Tribune graph of shootings (i.e., number of people killed or wounded by bullets) in the Windy City:
Despite the weirdness of the coronavirus lockdowns that began in March, 2020 had been a pretty normal year for shootings in Chicago up through late May. Yet notice the sudden kink after Memorial Day in the blue line representing the total number of those shot so far this year. Over a single week at the end of May, Chicago shifted to a new, more violent slope.
Up through May 26, 2020, Chicago had seen 15 percent more shooting victims year-to-date than in 2019. But from May 27 through Oct. 5, shootings were up
Article from LewRockwell