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California’s criminals need an audience Brazen lawbreakers want you to watch

(AGUSTIN PAULLIER/AFP via Getty Images)

(AGUSTIN PAULLIER/AFP via Getty Images)


October 31, 2023   8 mins

I was feeling an oddly serene mix of relief and pleasure and fatherly accomplishment, sitting in a barbershop on a sunny Saturday afternoon, watching my 12-year-old son get his hair cut roughly a month too late. As hanks of blond hair dropped onto the floor tiles, the contours of his handsome head began to show. I was feeling good about this needful errand, this little adventure. I wasn’t cutting his hair myself, of course, but hadn’t I brought him here? Hadn’t I made this haircut happen, at long last? I deserved enough credit, I figured, to relish my sleepy gazing through the big barbershop window, as if this gazing was another thing that, needing to be done, was finally getting done.

The haircut was about half-finished when I heard several sounds of a brief, intense disturbance happening on the street just out of view — a car turning sharply and then braking hard, a muffled smash, a car turning and accelerating again, and then the long blast of a horn. Having all this audible drama happen just outside my perspective, when that perspective captured so much, was acutely frustrating. I felt like the victim of a cinema technique. Someone was cagily withholding information from me! But when I roused myself and went outside, six or seven people were already standing on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant next door. From them, none of the information I was hungering for had been withheld. A few of these people were moving behind a Honda SUV that was parked at the curb so they could get a better look at the hole that had just been smashed in its back window. A laptop had just been stolen, right in front of them, as if for their bourgeois scrutiny and disapproval.

This was pretty brazen, but it’s not nearly the most brazen recent street theft in and around my Oakland, California neighbourhood. Several times over the past couple of months, I or my children have been walking along the crowded sunlit sidewalk of the busy commercial street near where we live as a late-model car raced up and loudly braked mere feet away, and a young man in a hoodie and Covid mask leapt out, smashed a car window, grabbed something from inside, and leapt back into the getaway car. Or, it wasn’t exactly a getaway car, or at least not right away, because these teams tend to repeat the procedure further up a street before U-turning violently to shop the cars on the opposite side, the whole time holding the stunned attention of Oakland pedestrians, who are well accustomed to car burglary but conditioned from earlier years to think of it as something done in stealth, generally when they’re asleep.

I seethe when I see this brazen shit. But why I (and my fellow citizens with similar anger issues) don’t intervene is shown by another act of brazenness that happened three doors down from my house last month. Several carpenters were on their lunchbreak, standing or sitting near their two trucks when a car pulled up and a young man jumped from the passenger’s seat and into the driver’s seat of one of the trucks. Two of the workers were around the truck and upon this guy a little faster than he was expecting, but no matter. As they yanked the would-be thief to the ground, the crime car’s driver yelled to them through the passenger window. They looked up to see him making the universal gesture for: “I will shoot you if you do not release my esteemed colleague from your rough grip, post haste.”

Of course they had a gun. This, despite how angry I get, is why I don’t intervene. Sometimes my anger is so intense it feels suicidal, the honour-code anger of someone ready to die to make a point, but then it thinks of the guy driving the car, and it pictures the gun this guy is almost certainly holding, and it chooses life. On my behalf, my anger stands down.

I linger over my own reactions to this crime experience not to make a spectacle of myself, to boast of my proud moments of impotent rage, but to note a curious aspect of the crime wave American cities are presently suffering. In my town, many crimes such as car break-ins and carjackings have spiked dramatically this year (though homicides, thankfully, have declined slightly from their alarming post-Covid peaks). But what seems really new is how and when — and by implication why — these crimes are committed. A striking number of them are done in daytime, in public, in front of an audience of shoppers and workers and pedestrians forced to look on uselessly, lest a spirit of civic outrage overtake them, and get them shot.

Street crime has become oddly social, in other words. Acts of violence and theft have assumed a gestural aspect. They seem performative, self-aware, almost conversational. Even if the young men conducting the busy procedures of breaking into one vehicle after another appear lost in concentration, immersed in their careful labours, one must imagine they’re also aware of the stunned and appalled people all around them. Whenever you’re doing something that’s causing people to stare at you, no matter how involving or rewarding it is, it’s hard to keep their attention from informing your broader experience, and to ignore how your actions are informing theirs. When I played basketball in high school, for example, the intensities of the game itself commanded most of my awareness, but I still had a fair amount left over for the hundreds of people watching me run around in little shorts.

For the figures most sympathetic to them in city government, though, our prolific criminals are becoming an inconvenience. By breaking into and stealing so many cars, burgling and invading so many houses, and carjacking so many unsuspecting drivers, these energetic thieves and assailants have created a population of fresh victims large enough to be electorally meaningful in its own right in a city with fewer than 500,000 people. As of late September, for example, more than 11,000 cars had been reported stolen in Oakland — which was already 2,000 more than the total for all of last year. According to police statistics, this year has seen more reported car thefts than car break-ins — but that is because, as one report has it, “people don’t report break-ins anymore”, since the understaffed and overwhelmed police don’t do anything when you do. (Not only do they not visit you in person, to offer a sympathetic ear at the puddle of pebbled glass next to your car. In my experience they don’t even email to acknowledge you’ve submitted your online crime report.) And now as a result of this crime surge, public meetings around the city are filling up with angry crime victims who yell unsupportive things at Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, an incompetent young progressive who, in safer times, built her political brand on hostility to law enforcement.

More damaging to her political fortunes and those of her progressive allies, though, and perhaps more corrosive of their larger cause, is the public assault, by all this public lawbreaking, on their theory of what crime is and why it happens in the first place. For our Mayor, like progressive activists around the country, the causes of crime most important to talk about are “structural” — poverty, inequality, the “generational trauma” of racism, just plain racism, and so on. She likes to redirect discussions of crime so as to distance herself from the unpleasant matter of policing, reliably changing the subject to the “root causes” of crime. One news article captured her view in a paraphrase: “Thao said in her mind, no one would choose a life of crime, so getting to the root causes is important.” Since no one would choose a life of crime, her thinking seems to go, the individual criminal acts that make up such a life or start one on its path must not be chosen either.

The main point here is that the agency of lawbreakers is somehow constrained or compromised, if we can really say it exists at all. As an Oakland resident, I’ve been the victim of several overnight auto break-ins, and even I have made a sociologist’s effort of sympathy towards the anonymous people who smashed my car windows — if mainly to medicate my toxic anger at being a crime victim once again. We’d wake up to a smashed car window and my wife would tell me that, for my own sake, I should try feeling compassion for the person who did it, rather than anger or offence. And as usual, she was right. It was simply healthier, mentally and physically, to view these window smashers as something like points of convergence, sites on the social body where unhealthy forces intersect to yield an unwell or desperate impulse, from which issues a regrettable act.

Such thinking is likewise therapeutic for our Mayor and other urban progressives who’ve won elections. It is an unhappy fact of governing that they find themselves in charge of, and thus unfashionably associated with, police departments. It soothes them in this predicament, when someone’s arrest and confinement are obviously justified and unavoidable, to breathe out a miasma of jargon about structural oppression and root causes as if they’re critiquing the law for making them enforce it. And it justifies their inaction in other cases, when some extenuation can be conjured that spares the offenders any punishment, to speak as if these offenders suffer from an absence of conscious will or human agency.

But it’s easier to think of lawbreakers as lacking consciousness and agency, as mere objects of abstract structural forces, when crime itself is an abstraction, conducted out of sight, overnight, as if a dreamlike result of one’s own sleeping. When a window smasher is doing his thing in broad daylight, on the other hand, when you’re watching him beside a car and his focused eyes flit from his work to his audience, so that as an onlooker you might find yourself sharing a glance with him, he appears to have not just agency but a bubbling surplus of it. He looks like the most purposeful, composed, indeed self-realised person on the street, and by a good distance.

Think of the choreography that combines precision driving in close traffic with a young man’s timely dancing from the passenger seat of an attractive car, his focus and composure over repeated acts of window-smashing and extracting other people’s possessions. This belies any sense that you’re watching acts of impulse, performed by people who lack agency thanks to oppressive structures. The unwelcome suspicion you get is that, no, these are human beings in full possession of their faculties. They don’t lack judgement or impulse control. They’re using sound judgement at several levels — the basic practical judgement of which streets to choose, and which cars, and when to stop, when to hop out, how long to spend on each theft, and then the higher-level judgement that says this auto burglary thing is a safe proposition because those frightened pedestrians won’t do anything — and the police are too busy to bother us.

This sense of full agency and conscious, vigorous industry also comes through in surveillance videos of recent local crimes — videos of a robbery team carefully using a car to break into several auto repair shops on the same block; a young man calmly pistol-whipping a woman across the face as he begins to rob her; another young man who, showing real commitment to his task, drags a screaming woman down a street by the strap of her purse.

This impression — of able young men calmly, consciously at a task they understand the meaning of — is deepened further by the social aspect of these crimes. It is virtually impossible to imagine they’re not aware of their audience, that they don’t feel themselves operating within the network of moral perceptions they have brought to life with their actions. How many other people similarly tempted to violate their fellow citizens have access to so much social feedback?

But wait a minute. Why are they on a busy commercial street in the first place? The nearby residential streets are also packed with parked cars, but quiet. The thieves could do their Bluetooth scanning along those streets, discovering the odd car with a laptop slipped into its trunk, and they could do this without all those pedestrians watching, all those witnesses. Given this, you’re almost forced to conclude that the pedestrian audience is sort of the point.

This is consistent with economic analyses of street crime I have seen, which suggest the normal payoff of mugging and burgling is quite low relative to the risk, unless you factor into this payoff the pleasure of transgression and dominance, the simple fun of teasing danger and crossing limits to fuck with other people. This makes even more sense when you imagine how far the value of stolen laptops, or those 10,000 stolen cars, has fallen during our current crime wave, with so many of them freed from their previous owners and cluttering the contraband markets. Those things must be worth far less these days, which means the pleasure of stealing them — perhaps especially in front of other people — must be worth a lot.


Matt Feeney is an writer based in California and the author of Little Platoons: A defense of family in a competitive age


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Daniel P
Daniel P
8 months ago

What a miserable and unreasonable way to live. Thank GOD I have never taken any job that wanted me to move to CA.

That said, I suspect that the progressives ship of illusions has crashed onto the rocks of reality and is slowly being ground down, hollowed out, and prepared to slip below the waves. The real world and hard truths, even if they are ugly truths, have a way of always winning in the end.

I cannot think of one single progressive issue that is proving out the way they thought, promised or hoped.

The trans craze is finally dying out. Brave doctors and regulators in Europe have managed to break through the hysteria and have begun dismantling at least the conversion of children. Not so great yet in other ways or in protecting women’s spaces, but progress non the less. In the US, lawsuits by teens who were transitioned as minors against their doctors and the American Association of Pediatrics is putting the fear of God into doctors involved in transitioning kids. When the lawyers get to suing schools and school teachers, school counselors and social workers, the whole facade will come crashing down. And that will happen. Just a matter of time.

The whole BLM and DEI craze is also coming crashing down. You can thank the crooks at BLM who extorted a bunch of money and then went on personal shopping sprees for mansions. You can thank Bud Light and Dylan Mulvaney and you can thank the shoppers at Target that refused to go along with tuck bathing suits and trans books for kids. Funny how losing money and being shaken down for donations can impact corporate views of these things and how that impacts politics.

The whole climate crisis narrative is falling apart and with it, the EV craze. When even editors for the LA Times are ready to give up their EVs and go back to a gas powered car, you know the times are a changing. Notice how GM, Ford and others are fast backing off their investments in EVs. That EVs tend to explode, that they take far longer to charge than to fill a gas tank, that they are not really carbon neutral and in fact are among the most environmentally toxic products we produce while supporting child labor and modern slavery….well….even the most hard core climate crisis fanatic starts to question the sense in them. When people look at the scale and scope of what is needed to generate the power required for EV’s and what would be required in the form of solar farms and wind farms and the potential impact of those on the environment, well, the environmental crowd becomes a lot less enthusiastic. Never mind the carbon footprint to produce those solar panels and wind turbines and that nobody yet has any idea how to recycle them aside from just burying them in the ground.

Then? Then we have the whole insanity of these asinine progressive mayors and DA’s. Those progressive ideals around defunding the police and letting off criminals or just not prosecuting them, start to sound a whole lot less inspirational and hopeful and kind when your city starts to look like San Francisco and your citizens are afraid to go out or businesses start fleeing and there is no place to buy your medications or your food. Though, I am sure that Chicago’s answer to that of opening up grocery stores and pharmacies run by the city will solve everything. (Yuck)

Now, with all the antisemitism coming out in major progressive cities, such as NY, and on college campuses all over the US, a WHOLE lot of people who thought they supported the progressive cause are fast deciding that they really do not. Lot of traditional libs are asking themselves where they fit but know it is not in with the progressive nut cases. It is not gonna be just a bunch of Jewish billionaires cutting off the universities, there is a growing backlash against the cultures on campuses all over the place. It would surprise me not at all to see congressional hearing on that.

Not ONE single progressive policy that has been enacted has failed to crash and burn. Every one has pushed the populace to vote to the right and where it has not done that it has convinced a lot of left leaning voters that they just want no part of the process.

Gonna tell you this right now. I am going to bet that unless the courts actually imprison Donald Trump before next fall, he is gonna win the election.If he does, it will be because of all this insanity. Well, inflation too, but that can be attributed to the insane Keynsian policies of the Biden admin among others.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

The Republicans have been handed a gift, yet they are so grossly incompetent they might actually lose the next election.

0 0
0 0
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

They’re not incompetent they’re collaborating with the woke, there nothing more than controlled opposition right now. They would rather feather their nest then challenge the powers that be who are the hands that feeds them. Whenever they ever try oppose them, it’s either half-hearted or it’s nothing but posturing. Most politicians are corrupt mediocrities who couldn’t or wouldn’t make anything of themselves in the private sector. They’re nothing more than parasites in human form.

Last edited 8 months ago by 0 0
T Bone
T Bone
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It also should be understood that Conservatives are just held to an immensely higher standard of conduct than anyone on the Left. A Republican has to deal with relentless media scrutiny whereas a Democrat is actively protected.

Even Conservative normies fall into the trap of Repressive Tolerance and totally ignore the extraordinary difference in standards.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s the same in the UK. Maybe, the Tories are unelectable anyway but you’d have thought they’d be pushing a strong anti woke agenda

J Bryant
J Bryant
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I hope you’re right, but I’m not convinced we’re anywhere near the end of progressivism yet. They have a stranglehold on the universities and are pumping out hundreds of thousands of indoctrinated graduates each year who spread their ideology to the public and private sectors.

Daniel P
Daniel P
8 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Well, I do not think we will ever see the end of Progressivism. It has been around in one form or another for as long as there have been people.

That said, I DO think that its influence comes and goes in waves and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this wave. Just way too many failures of its policies and too much harm done by them for people to look away anymore.

As for its grip on academia? Well, I think that is going to start cracking as well. First, one reason we have it is that colleges have been flush with money. Faculty and administrators live in beautiful fantasy lands. But with the baby bust upon us and parents and employers becoming increasingly skeptical of the value provided I think that will start to fade. That big donors are now asking questions and withholding money will just add to that. We could accelerate this by capping student loans for a variety of criteria. Second, we have a surplus of people with useless Phds that can only use them as a college professor, many of whom are struggling, and many of whom have never existed outside of an academic setting. Many of these people will never have secure jobs but have a boat load of debt. They need to engage in all kinds of mental masturbation and do wild things to stand out in order to make tenure. Just being a good teacher is not enough. I suspect that the number of people willing to do that is going to drop as the rewards get harder to find. Third, I think as money gets tighter and parents push back against the costs, a lot of esoteric majors and departments that do not lead to high paying jobs outside academia, like “Gender Studies” etc. will start to be culled. Think of them as luxury departments that can be cut, fat that can be cut to save budgets.

Personally, I think congress should do an investigation into what is happening on our college campuses. Everything from the influence and activities of foreign countries like China to the active encouragement of racism with race specific dorms and spaces to how costs have gotten so out of control. I would suggest that even the FBI should be looking at schools where professors are encouraging violence or stoking antisemitism etc.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I completely agree, but with billionaire-funded NGO’s proliferating they act as a sponge for those narrowly educated pinheads who don’t have a stich of real-world experience, besides mingling with other pinheads sipping Aperol spritzers at “high-browed” mental masturbation sessions, otherwise known as cocktail parties.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Wouldn’t blame the useless PhD holders too much. Mouthing the party line that everyone else is already mouthing anyway is not going magically to earn tenure in a labor market in which only a tiny fraction are ever going to get tenure under any circumstances. And to imagine Gender Studies will be “culled” just because it’s part of The (longstanding!) Great Training Robbery?

Gayle Buhler
Gayle Buhler
8 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

That is exactly my fear. The idoctrinated youth are fierce in their adherence to these policies. They are akin to Mao’s Red Guards.

Michael Brett
Michael Brett
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

That was an amazing , incredibly detailed comment that I totally agree with.

Y Way
Y Way
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I would not bank on any of these crazes crashing down until it is eradicated from the schools and universities. My district is still full steam ahead on equity and gender ideology. Do not assume you have won this. Get involved in your schools and make sure it is eradicated.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

A great post – although I’m not as optimistic as you. We’re re-calibrating but the Overton Window has been stretched some distance.
We should also add Disney to your list of groups we should thank. They’re also helping with the DEI/ESG farce with an ever increasing list of expensive movie and streaming service flops.

T Bone
T Bone
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Good summary. You’re right that most of these fads are crashing and ordinary left-center normies are distancing themselves but the fundamental problems remain.

First, very few people understand the Global Left’s program of “Interconnectivity” which actively ties funding to large scale redistributive programs generally administered by NGOs and non-profits. Interconnectivity functions basically like Intersectionality but in an even more vague way and grander scale without regard to borders. Every Liberation Theology and Post-Colonial Theory seeks to create a Hivemind that it can mold and shape to serve it’s goal of “moving history forward.”

Second, even once people figure that put they can just change the name of what they’re doing. You can see this with ESG and DEI as the term “belonging” starts being utilized. Who doesn’t want belonging!

Third, they can simply distract and mystify the masses with profound language and confusing arguments that seem rational because they’re using words with double meanings. Until people figure out how they mystify the population through language tricks you’re going to have a critical mass of people that fall for every distraction and new term of art.

Finally, the whole problem can be narrowed down to the role of the State and Socialism/State Capitalism simply can’t operate in a Democracy because it requires total population compliance to be administered while the State directs the Economy. Any threat to State power is completely intolerable to people administering it.

Last edited 8 months ago by T Bone
laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Here’s a bit of evidence supporting your premiss: The NYTimes (Gray Lady/paper of record/fortress of the establishment…), has started to reference, quote and occasionally provide links to articles in UnHerd.
We might be un-woke, but we’re not weird-o’s anymore!
But pretty soon we’re gonna need a whole new schtick.

Catherine Conroy
Catherine Conroy
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

A perfect summary. God know how to get out of this hole progressives have dug for us all because I doubt Donald Trump is the answer yet, he’s coming back.

Daniel P
Daniel P
8 months ago

I do not disagree that Trump is not the desired answer to the problem.

On the other hand, he did have successful policies on most of the major issues at hand AND he is what we got.

If he wins and proves to be nothing more than a 4 yr brake on the progressive movement, buys time to find the next right person, then so be it. He is an ahole, but he can be a useful ahole.

Personally, I kinda wanted Tim Scott, but Trump is who it is gonna be so if the alternative to Trump is 4 more yrs of Biden and his team of progressive lunatics, then I gotta go with Trump.

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Or, as the man said, “You go to war with the army [and its general] you’ve got.” Exactly right. We all know what’s wrong with Trump. But, to quote someone else, he’s a disease of the skin, whereas the Left are a disease of the heart.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
8 months ago

A disease of the soul.

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

It would be nice to believe this is true. We’ve seen small examples in the recall of the son-of-Weatherman San Francisco District Attorney, and in the current awakening of progressive friends of Israel. But these are probably just back-currents in the main stream of American decay … or of that part of America run by liberals. Most people on the Left are too full of white guilt to consistently defend their own interests.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago

The author avoided it, but let’s be frank and admit that the criminals under discussion are overwhelmingly black.
By now most people will have seen the footage of the shameless looting of shops, the street robberies and car jackings. The occasional white participant might be seen among the thieves, usually looking slightly bemused and unsure what to pinch, but we are talking about black criminality.
We are not supposed to talk about this, of course, But when you’ve seen old people and women sucker punched with haymakers too many times, and watched some one trying to scrape a living delivering pizza set upon and beaten ferociously by black residents of a street and see then laugh as his car is stolen, then even decades of “anti-racist” indoctrination and taboo making can’t stop one seeing the obvious.
The author speaks of the brazen and performative nature of the crime. That is certainly the case .But more than anything the behaviour is characterised by a sense of primitive thuggery As the thieves set about their business they are invariably being recorded by numerous people whooping and shrieking with laughter, eager for those prime shots of people dancing on top of cars, or best of all police and security guards getting beaten up.
As anyone with a brain knew – but not liberal “progressives” – black people were not overrepresented in criminal statistics because they received disproportionate policing. The received disproportionate policing because they committed a grossly disproportionate amount of crime and, as a consequence, some semblance of law and order could be retained. .
Previously, it was decent, hard working black people who suffered as a result of the do-gooders making sure that criminals were spared prison and returned to commit more crimes, primarily against the black community,
But post-Floyd the “progressives” got to trot out the most extreme nonsense they learned at their liberal arts colleges, and the most anti-white demagogue politicians were more than happy to jump on the bandwagon and demonise, demoralize and defund the police,
Now the consequences have finally come to their door, will the “progressives” admit their error and renounce their dogma? When illegal immigrants are bused to Martha’s Vineyard and other Democrat stronghold, we see how quickly those “progressives” values slip away when they are confronted with having to pay a price for the policies they support.
But the anti-white racism , DEI movement has gathered such institutional acceptance and momentum, and the taboos about talking about race based behaviour so deeply enforced, it’s hard to see how things are going to be turned around.

Last edited 8 months ago by Marcus Leach
Hale Virginia
Hale Virginia
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You are 100% correct and that is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about, and the threat of being called racist is one of the few cards the progressives have left to play, but I think people need to just get over it and start speaking these plain truths

Paula Dufort
Paula Dufort
8 months ago
Reply to  Hale Virginia

I was called a racist by a neighbor having a “bad day” (this was when I was taking over some homemade blueberry muffins to cheer him and his wife up). He is of South Asian descent and was
married at the time, to a European American woman(now deceased) which is what I am. This was because of my heritage as a white Southerner, despite the fact that I have African American and Asian Ameican members who are very dear to me. He knew about that.

He came over a month later to apologize. I accepted his apology, chewed him out, told him he was being racist and if he’s having a “bad day,” go punch a pillow or shut the bathroom door and scream. He left sufficiently cowed.

Don’t p.o. your neighbors. They may be dragon ladies with excellent manners.

The idea here is if someone calls you a racist tell them to go screw themselves or whatever epithet you prefer, then walk off. They need to suffer some consequences for their actions and turning the other cheek doesn’t cut it. This is not rudeness – it’s dealing with arrogant bullies.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
8 months ago
Reply to  Paula Dufort

He took a month to apologise?

Paula Dufort
Paula Dufort
8 months ago

Yes. He’s an odd and scary bird, unlike my South Asian friends who were nice, considerate and witty. This is a 55+ community so you can’t tell if there’s dementia setting in or if it’s always been that way. It’s (70s flashback) a real trip living here. My favorite approach is to avoid him!

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Hale Virginia

A lot of us want to talk about it, but we are silenced by the very people who are perpetuating this useful criminality.
My kids live in LA. Son has had full cans of soda chucked at him in broad daylight whilst walking to The Grove. He was in Burbank last month and a pit bull being led by some kid launched itself onto to the back of a very old man, leaving him mauled and bloody. Were it not for my son, who got the dog off and called 911, the kid and canine would have disappeared.
Almost every day for the last eight years some gruesome event is either witnessed or experienced by my kids. It’s really no surprise that Son has had enough and is relocating to SWFL next week. If more normies left dysfunctional cities and states, these places would die the ignominious deaths their denizens evidently prefer, and resources would be allocated to the places that wish to thrive in a civilized manner.
Oakland??? What the h*ll is the author doing there?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
8 months ago
Reply to  Hale Virginia

It is not racist to comment. We have just seen a social experiment in real time whereby a section of the population has been given permission by those in charge of justice to act out their baser fantasies. Would any section of youth without a strong family moral tradition against such behaviour not succumb to the temptation when all the propaganda of society is in favour of adjusting historic wrongs and the penalties against such behaviour effectively lifted.

It provides a practical refutation of the fashionable theory that punishment doesn’t deter crime.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Hale Virginia

So why don’t you just state what truths you’ve gleaned, what conclusions you’ve drawn from crime statistics according to race? You’ll probably get even more upvotes for coming right out with it.
Being called racist for saying what? You and most of your digital likers still seem to be holding back too much. “I wish I could say what you can’t say but I don’t wanna say what my words imply–just sayin'”.
I agree that we need to be more straightforward and brave in our speech. For honesty to become more common or have a chance of making a real dent, we need more unrestrained candor. Not rudeness, of course–we’re oversupplied there.

Michael Brett
Michael Brett
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Brave but true comment.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael Brett

Yes, very brave indeed. However, I wish he spoke more about the sheer and utter hypocrisy of “progressivism”, which desperately tries to square the circle of logic. Prime examples are the pacifists, who decry war after others fought a war for their freedom to decry war. Today, it’s the side that supports “kill the Jews”, ever blind to the fact that right after the Jews are eliminated, they are next in line!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Is the “primitive” criminality you identify innate? If so, why is it so uncommon among better-off and better-educated blacks? Such black folks do exist after all, and aren’t even rare these days.
And why does the apparent law-abiding nature of white folks tend to evaporate in poor and drug-riddled communities, like trailer-park archipelagos (if you will) that are tantamount to (mostly) white ghettoes?
So, more who don’t already agree with you would be willing to hear your argument, or even dare to agree, if you didn’t imply bone-deep criminality among blacks: an innate, heightened pathology and inclination toward crime. Because that is what you’re doing right–talking about it at a slight angle though you’re “not supposed to”? If you are not, please forgive me for drawing that inference.
But once “criminally overrepresented” U.S. immigrant populations like Irish (my ancestral majority) and Italians have become less criminal and violent as their circumstances and social status have improved. Granted, it’s not hard nowadays to find an Irish or Italian-American who’s a violent criminal, but you wouldn’t have to search hard to find a 100% Anglo-American like that either. Hard to imagine how much “white on white” ethnic bigotry and stereotyping was common in America about 60-plus years ago.
Can we talk about needed social and cultural reforms within the black community–uh oh, not supposed to, how brave of me–instead of resorting to a color-based trashing of black morality and behavior on an absolute or grand scale?
We need a real increase in mutual understanding, to put it mildly. Most black people don’t support the madness in their communities or statistically-more-criminal demographic, especially among young black men. I doubt most would attribute the disproportionate crime problem to any combination bigotry, economics, biased policing, or historical wrongs alone. I hear quite a few black voices who don’t, including Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, and Coleman Hughes. Many of the loudest do run that oppressed victim game, of course.
But we need to avoid broad-brush vilification (and valorization) of all kinds, in all directions. If anything like truth and reconciliation can occur in America, more openheartedness and charity of spirit has to walk alongside that truth-telling. A truth that puts “your/my people” in virtuous victim status or falsely installs them on a throne of genetic superiority isn’t honest enough, and helps no one.
For those that keep leaning into their assumptions and generalities about whole groups of people, or feel they’ve been forced to entrench themselves in a thought-tribe or color-coded camp: Ask yourselves if you are really ready for an all-out race war or ideological blood bath. Cooler heads, tougher minds, and bigger hearts please.

Last edited 8 months ago by AJ Mac
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Great comment. In the UK there are a variety of very different black British cultural and ethnic groups who often don’t really get along. This makes it really clear that, as you say, when these issues arise they are societal and cultural.
One interesting way to look at cultures within the home is through educational statistics. The UK government reports on educational outcomes broken down by ethnic group, among other things. Pupils of black African heritage do very well in school – far better than those of black Caribbean ethnicity. Aside from being grouped by the colour of their skin, the statistics would never lead you to believe these groups had anything in common (although the breakdown is still not granular enough). Black Caribbean children are more likely to be excluded from school than all their other peers, even after controlling for economic disadvantage. Black Caribbean boys and young men are vastly overrepresented in London’s spiralling gang problem.
Why do they so much worse than black African kids? Culture.
The UK’s black African population tend to be more recent immigrants. Often, the first generation of migrants are well-educated and come from professional backgrounds. They tend to have strong family bonds, more traditional values, are often religious, and provide stable homes for their children. The result is that their children tend to grow up to be well-adjusted normal citizens.
Disproportionate criminality is the result of rotten cultures that trap children into lives of deprivation and crime because we are all too afraid to name the things keeping them there. This isn’t a bleeding-heart plea to be nice to criminals, but a societal analysis without which we will continue on the hamster wheel.
A stable family background with the right balance of love, discipline, and support is literally the most important factor in any child’s development. But crucially, playing the victim doesn’t fix this problem at all. Reparations won’t give you back your dad. We need to fix our culture.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I don’t think there was increased criminality amongst first generation Caribbean immigrants.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
8 months ago

No, but probably because they had more of the characteristics which Unherd Reader attributes to first generation black African immigrants, such as stable families (crucial!), religion, and traditional values. We need to ask how and why our society has enabled the unravelling of those valuable family bonds and moral values in later Afro-Caribbean generations. I am afraid that a well-meaning welfare state is a major culprit.

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

You’re not only right, but you’re smart. People who say, or imply, that it’s “all the Blacks” play right into the hands of the Enemy.
We’re in a war. Right now, it’s mainly a war of words. Which, as the man said, are like arrows. We must choose carefully where we aim them.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago

I don’t share an us vs. them Enemy model and I would like to fight the battle(s) I see put in front of me with nonviolence, toughmindedness, and an open heart. Trouble is, I can be a real opinionated loudmouth.
Also, while I have some traditionalist and conservationist views, I’m more of a left-leaning centrist, and something like a classical liberal on many issues.
And I’m not saying you do, but I don’t believe that white people, as a group, are any better– or worse–than any other whole pan-ethnic group (Latinos, Africans, Asians, Jews, etc.) or skin deep subdivision of humanity.
I’d love to see a third party drawn from a coalition of a broad center–everything but the most extreme 5 or 10 percent or on either sociopolitical wing. I don’t consider myself an ideolog, but I think of both the far-far right and far-far left as my ideological enemies. I dislike and fear both about equally.
Thanks for the compliment and for your thoughtful posts here.

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

What you say is true, and known to almost everyone at some level. However, here is where we have to cool-headed and think about tactics. It is VITAL that we retain — and expand if possible — the support of sensible Black people … not only for their numbers in their own right, which are not large, but because a large section of Democrat-voting sensible liberals (yes, they do exist) will never ally with, much less come over to, a movement which they perceive as ‘racist’. And hastily-chosen words can give that perception.
Here, language makes a difference. So, yes, don’t hide the racial aspect of the growing crime wave, but ALWAYS couple your public comments with an acknowledgement of the existence of millions of decent Black people who are the main victims of Black lumpen violence, victims of liberal soft-on-crime dogooderism, several million of whom vote conservative, and many more of whom evince conservative values.
And, if you’re not familar with people like Thomas Sowell, John McWhorter, Candace Owens, Gianno Caldwell and Glenn Loury … then you should be.

Simon
Simon
8 months ago

I’m sorry, but if your reaction to someone breaking into your car or home to steal your possessions is to express understanding or compassion towards the perpetrator rather than anger and a desire to see them locked up, you are very much a part of the problem. To borrow a phrase from Tony Blair (in spite of his legacy on the matter), there is absolutely no reason at all why you cannot be tough on the causes of crime, while simultaneously being tough on crime.

People have a right to feel safe in their homes and communities, but the scum that makes up the progressive movement in the West is denying that, allowing criminals and other undesirables to flourish. There will come a reckoning one day where both may share the same prison cells, but I think we all know how that will end.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
8 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Fully agree
Criminals are a drain on a community’s resources and well being. Not some “community membes to be seen as equals”. Criminals are a problem, and so are people who protect them.
Force can and must be used to protect honest citizens from predation. The role of the judiciary sytem is to organize and channel defense against crime, not to derail.it.
And there is nothing wrong or racist in wanting a crime-free environment, even if it comes at the expense of croiminals and their accomplices.

Last edited 8 months ago by Emmanuel MARTIN
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Simon

So there’s not enough anger, retribution, and incarceration in the U.S. yet? Huh.
Understandable to be enraged and seek punishment, but letting go of inner rage over a property crime–or even something worse–is more to benefit the mind and spirit of the crime victim than anything else. Sometimes it takes people years to recognize that they need to start letting go of the understandable rage and resentment.
That said: I live in the Bay Area and no-enforcement “policing” must end.

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Our side needs to set aside anger and rage, which are impediments to rational thought. Or rather, we need cool-headed rational thought to direct our word and actions which are in fact driven by anger and rage. As the man said, Reason is, and ought to be, a slave to the passions. So, you’re right about anger … but as for ‘retribution and incarceration’ …. no, there’s not enough of that. Don’t you see that your final sentence negates your first one?

Last edited 8 months ago by Douglas Hainline
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago

Everyone needs to put aside anger and rage, on all sides. But not kindness, decency, and heart–too many have already put those aside. People way too readily believe in the things they think and feel, and often assign a reason or rationalization to their emotional impulses.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
8 months ago

Hey kids do you want violent vigilantism and anarchy? Because guess how you get violent vigilantism and anarchy. What’s that? “Rule of law”? Oh I’m sorry. That tends to go bye bye when a populace thinks it does nothing to protect them. “Obey the law?” What, even when it never applies to the powerful and favored and is bent to target the disfavored? I swear, keep pushing and pushing and something will eventually break. Once upon a time the Western world understood why it was necessary for populaces to have faith in their law enforcement, judicial system, and institutions. Things get very ugly when that disappears. Here’s hoping we can stop it before it is too late.

0 0
0 0
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Law only has power when people believe it’s legitimate, it only regard as such it is believed that it will protect them and be fair in its application. But when law ceases to be as such, it ceases being law it becomes power, and when that happens people stop respecting it, the system collapses upon itself. What’s silly is that the ruling class think that they can survive when it happens, but their powers based off the belief that the institutions that they lead are competent and well meaning, but people are starting to see that this is not true and people will cease to respect them and obey them. They’re cutting their own legs off. Just shows how stupid arrogant and clueless they are.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago
Reply to  0 0

These aren’t kids raging against the machine. They are pushing boundaries because they are allowed to. They don’t fear the law or the consequences for their behaviour.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Totally agree with this. We all used to know this as common sense but like the ‘some women have a p***s’ we now seem determined to believe any sort of transparent rubbish rather than deal with the problems staring us in the face.

Where I live (semi-reasonable area) the amount of time and resources ‘policing’ low-level ASB of this sort is ridiculous. None of this was true in the recent past. Meanwhile people waffle about causes and issues.

Are we witnessing a sort of showdown between lefty BS and plain common sense ? Fingers crossed.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Yes, that beautiful ironic collision of mugged by reality and mugged at gunpoint.

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh
8 months ago

I recommend you get a gun

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael Walsh

The only people allowed to carry in LA are the criminals. Normies get prosecuted for self-protection.

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago

Therefore, any normies left in California, and other ‘Blue’ states, need to move to ‘Red’ states, and tool up with an AR15 for every family member who can carry one.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
8 months ago

The same as Hamas and Isis, facilitated by the left-liberal orthodoxy that’s evolved over the last 10 years.

RM Parker
RM Parker
8 months ago

The current crop of intersectional apologists have inherited the liberal tic of patronising those for whom they purport to have compassion. It’s not “their” fault, they’re just hapless victims of circumstance. It’s as gormless as the polar opposite view, that people somehow aren’t driven to crime in many cases. The truth is in between, of course, but our elected officials won’t go looking for it, so they alienate decent working class people who don’t smash and grab other people’s stuff, while letting the perps off the hook.
But maybe we’re overanalysing here – seems to me these specimens are just taking the p1$$, pure and simple. Being bad is fun, though when there’s no real consequence, there’s a law of diminishing returns at play. As lawlessness becomes less challenging when you’re passively permitted to run riot, you go for more outrageous stunts to keep the adrenaline running and to acquire the dopamine hit of being publicly feared.
And “
as if they’re critiquing the law for making them enforce it” – that’s exactly what elected officials are doing, as if we didn’t all know it.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
8 months ago

Progressives believe that no one would choose a life of crime. They should actually listen to the words in the rap music they enjoy. It’s almost entirely about young men doing just that. Rather than working a humdrum job, they can make many times that money and enjoy themselves whilst they’re at it. The possibility of jail or getting killed only adds to the dark glamour, until it actually happens. Rap is a culture of death and destruction. In a civilised society, it works be stamped out as a musical form

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

Like pit bulls should be eliminated as a breed of dog.

Anthony Roe
Anthony Roe
8 months ago

Every western ever made has the same premise. Criminals are running riot, the sherrif is corrupt or out-gunned, the citizens hiding behind bolted doors. Then out of the blue comes one brave man who takes on and kills the criminals before riding off into the sunset….

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Anthony Roe

…one brave man…?
I wonder if there is anyone alive in the United States who honestly believes that person is Joe Biden?

Tom Hammer
Tom Hammer
8 months ago
Reply to  Anthony Roe

Great stories, really never true on a large scale. In the real west of the 1870s through the 90s, every town was populated by veterans of the Civil War and armed. They could defend themselves and did. The Northfield, MN raid by the Jesse James Gang was a town shootout that the gang lost. Today, the good guys would be arrested.

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom Hammer

We’ve got plenty of veterans, thanks to our ‘forever wars’ … and in the ‘Red’ states they wouldn’t be arrested. (Google ‘Joe Horn’ while listening to “Don’t Try That in a Small Town”.)
Conclusion: move to a ‘Red’ state if you’re not already living in one, join or organize a local neighborhood defense group: if you’re not a veteran, let your veteran members teach you about the use of firearms, fire-and-manuever and the other relevant military arts. If you’re under 36, enlist in the National Guard; if you’re at college, join the ROTC. In other words, act like a citizen.

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago
Reply to  Anthony Roe

That’s one of the roots of our problem. The average American’s view of the world is Hollywood’s: evil will be defeated by the Lone Hero. (To be fair, this is what the audience wants to hear, going back to Gilgamesh. So we make movies about Audie Murphy, not Rosie the Riveter, even though it was Rosie the Riveter (and her British and especially Russian counterparts) and the tanks and planes and carriers she made which were indispensible for winning the war against the Nazis.
The fact is, we’ve got to organize, and not just at election time, starting at the grass roots level. But who wants to go to a meeting every week, or sit behind a table at the shopping center, or hand out leaflets? (Answer: the Left, which is one of the reasons they’re winning.)

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
8 months ago

Beautiful essay. To be able to write so wittily under such worrying circumstances is a form of grace under pressure.

Dominic A
Dominic A
8 months ago

This all reminds me of Spike Lee’s, Do The Right Thing – in many ways a great film, but one that has a rotten message at it’s core – self-indulgently excusing and elevating inverse-racism. fecklessness, and violence. It was fawned over by the critics. Made in 1989; about the time when black American disadvantage began to morph into entitlement (no co-incidence that, in the next decade or two, a century-long tradition of making outstanding, innovative music declined into churning out corporate, derivative dross) .

In a stunning confirmation of his hypocracy, Lee later complained about the white gentrification of Fort Greene – an area he had left several years previously for the heights of the Upper East Side.

J 0
J 0
8 months ago

Brazen day-light violent robbery/assault in our cities and towns and Hamas proudly go-pro broadcasting their genocidal behaviour across the world. All applauded by the bourgeois Islamo-left in the West. In the words of The Stranglers ‘something better change’, and PDQ!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
8 months ago
Reply to  J 0

I could relate better if commenters would say the extreme left, just as it’s the extreme right who are a problem.

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

First, how do you define ‘the extreme Right’? I believe most conservatives reject — physically, when appropriate — KKK and Nazi types. Do you mean Ayn Rand supporters? Or who?
Second, yes, the majority of people who vote Democrat are decent people. The problem is, they’re led, out of guilt and perhaps a bit of fear, by the extreme Left. (There is a decent Leftist called ‘The Liberal Patriot’ who has written about this: https://www.liberalpatriot.com/p/time-to-throw-the-intersectional )
We need to reach out to the decent ranks of ‘the Left’ and pull them in our direction: events are waking them up. Remember that half the founding members of National Review’s editorial board were ex-Marxists. (As is the writer of this comment.)

Emre S
Emre S
8 months ago

It was simply healthier, mentally and physically, to view these window smashers as something like points of convergence, sites on the social body where unhealthy forces intersect to yield an unwell or desperate impulse, from which issues a regrettable act.

This quote reminds of another quote:

One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that; no ordinary man could be such a fool.

Now having said that, I do wonder whether there’s an element of sadomasochism in the case of California for choosing to slide into a state of anarchy due to feelings of remorse for past ill-gotten gains or a way of life that prioritises material wealth above everything else.

Last edited 8 months ago by Emre S
Nathan Sapio
Nathan Sapio
8 months ago

Bravo, hope I see more pieces from you

Douglas Hainline
Douglas Hainline
8 months ago

What is certain is that this state of affairs will continue, and get worse, at least in ‘Blue’ states.

if you don’t like living in a place where civilization is rotting away, move to a ‘Red’ state, and join with its sane residents in enacting laws that will make life hell for outright criminals, and very unpleasant for their surrounding support groups, encouraging them to move to ‘Blue’ states where they will be welcomed and empowered and where they can accelerate the process of de-civilization.
If enough people do this, we’ll be all set up for the next Act in the American drama, currently unthinkable, yet inevitable.

george andros
george andros
8 months ago

GA
If you accept the “cause and effect” of the increase in crime resulting from defund the police and lax laws on stealing, you might accept this as a valid question. What happens to the patients when you close mental hospitals? The answer is the epidemic of homelessness that infects California. Tamper with (“reform”) established institutions and certain effects are inevitable.

Stephen Collins
Stephen Collins
8 months ago

At some point the people will get fed up then the real life Paul Kersey’s will be welcomed.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago

Sounds to me that they are actually doing YouTube or Tik Tok videos but in real life. Cutting out the “middleman”,the social media and the need for equipment and just enacting it as a theatrical performance out on the street.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
8 months ago

Just liberals being victimized by the culture they voted for. Limited sympathy. You know, we have very little of this brazen, daylight, in-your-face crime in our armed-citizen jurisdictions. Connect the dots.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

Too many heavily armed citizens lose their minds and decide to take people out with them. Lewiston, Maine is just the latest in an endless and ongoing chain of examples. Not always a good guy packing heat to meet the unraveled ball of anger in someone who doesn’t have the bare decency to just kill themselves first when they can’t cope. Connect those dots.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
8 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

But this isn’t at all what happens. The huge, vast, enormous majority of armed citizens (of which there are many) never harm a soul. Plainly your argument fails on sheer numbers alone. It’s not the guns. It’s the people.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

It’s not an “argument”* but an overwhelming, un-exaggerated reality. It only takes a tiny fraction of gun owners to wreak huge havoc, just as it is a minority of young black men committing a hugely disproportionate amount of the theft and violent crime in this country, often but not only against one another.
I believe the vast majority of black people never commit violent crimes either, but there are too many that do–aren’t there? The gaps certainly narrow when you adjust for income and education, but not all the way.
Too many unhinged souls arm themselves to the teeth, with almost nothing in the way of them instantly getting ridiculously deadly guns. How many dozens, hundreds, and thousands of innocent people need to get mowed down by a maniac before you admit your hardline argument fails, or at least has major shortcomings? You’re upset about laptop theft but not mass shootings, almost none of which are committed by blacks?
Make it harder to get a gun and make it take a little longer. Require safety training. Restrict access for those who’ve been flagged, and follow up better than they did in Maine. And make AR-15s and similarly unnecessary death machines available only to a very select few, if at all. This is basic decency and common sense, not any kind of infringement of the 2nd Amendment. Don’t agree?
*Or not only. I am framing it according to my perspective–which I consider to be moderate overall–and to provoke reaction or response.

Last edited 8 months ago by AJ Mac
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Not true that “hardly any mass shootings are committed by blacks”. Depending on how you define “mass shooting”, it’s either proportionate with their percentage of population, OR, disproportionately more.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Ok, that’s a fair point if a bit semantically precisian. Deliberate high death-toll rampages against unarmed innocents is how the term is normally understood though. Technically, 1-plus dead or injured with a firearm counts as a mass shooting.
But as you know, the high body-count public killers are usually white or Arab-American. But as a white guy I disavow any blanket association with Dylann Roof, the Las Vegas shooter, et al. Who wouldn’t and with plenty of just cause? Don’t you (taking a wild guess you’re white)?
Despite the fact that blacks in the U.S. commit about 800% more murders than whites per capita, well over 80% of white murder victims are killed by other whites. Reassuring in a way. Maybe.

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
8 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

FACT CHECK- relative to population Asians are over-represented among rampage killers.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  nigel roberts

Ok. They’re “overrepresented” as a global demographic too, at well over half of the world’s people.
1) That broad data pull includes the Middle East, and therefore incorporating most Muslim- Americans and Muslim immigrants into your “fact check”. Show me some detailed country/region-of-origin data, if you can and have the time and willingness.
2) By sheer numbers–and sheer numbers of dead people matter, don’t they–your fact is not true, is it?”
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” -Benjamin Disraeli (attributed)
(We could trade statistics and barbs until the figurative cows return once and for all, but it won’t go anywhere worthwhile will it? Especially if we succumb to rudeness and arrogance at every turn)

Last edited 8 months ago by AJ Mac
nigel roberts
nigel roberts
8 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

FACT CHECK: Mass shooting has a specific definition per the FBI.

I can explain this for you but I can’t understand it for you.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  nigel roberts

Can you understand how to be less self-important and insulting, or is that beyond your red-pilled capacity?
There’s a valid distinction between some official definition and the common usage among journalists and the general public, which I think you’re just pretending not to understand.
What does a “demographically typical” national front-page-news shooter look like–a bit too much like you?

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
8 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

FACT CHECK. Actually the majority of what are termed mass shootings in the FBI data (incident resulting in four or more casualties) are black on black ghetto incidents. The MSM seems uninterested in those.

Last edited 8 months ago by nigel roberts
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  nigel roberts

Whereas you are ONLY interested in those, it seems. Trading one bias for another is far from the best policy.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
8 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

So you concede that the number of guns actually used in violence is a tiny sliver of those in private hands? It’s literally irrational and unfair to boot to attempt to fight a phenomenon by proceeding legally against those who are not involved. In terms of your mass shooting argument, genuine random maniac with an AR-15 shootings are actually quite rare. The vast majority of what the anti-gun movement calls “mass shootings” are literally those harming four or more people exclusive of the shooter, and are carried out with a handgun. https://www.statista.com/statistics/476409/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-weapon-types-used/ Besides, it’s a standard chosen to pad the numbers by creating the impression that incidents like the Maine tragedy are an active threat to everyone. They aren’t. Most of the “mass shootings” by this agitprop standard are the usual urban core gang, gang-adjacent, or undisciplined youth deeply distorted by the rap culture conflicts over dissing this or that. We’re not giving up guns we never use to hurt anyone because a minute fragment of society is mindlessly violent and can’t be trusted. We’ll focus on the people actually committing the crimes.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

You put Mass Shootings in “scare quotes”? Haha! No one is asking you to give up your guns, not here at least. Just maybe stop being so fricken excited about how many you have and how awesome they supposedly are. You sound paranoid and reactionary, to put it in mild and conservative terms. Are you suggesting that “the people committing the crimes” are all conveniently darker than you, and that anything outside your color-coded narrative is some anomaly, or “minute” afterthought?
Of course the percentage of psycho shooters–of any color–is small. But the number of them and the death toll therefrom are both sickeningly high. Right? Or does that take a permanent back seat to ones seeming American right to shoot someone whose face frightens you in the face for knocking on the wrong door?
Stop making it so easy for lunatics to get guns without any barrier or pause. Does that sound “extreme” to you?

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
8 months ago

The only solution is simply to shoot these animals and kill them immediately.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Would that somehow lessen your rage and fear?

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
8 months ago

Calling breaking into a car an act of performative nature is for me the ultimage example of white privilege. What a despicable attitude towards mankind.

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
8 months ago

Francisco, what?

Last edited 8 months ago by Sisyphus Jones
R Wright
R Wright
8 months ago

Is this satire?

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
8 months ago

Here’s hoping your car is next, dirtbag.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

You are not a good or ethical person these days. I hope you know that. I could call you a bunch of well-earned names but I’ll just leave it there.