Sadly, burning down the Country Club Plaza and helping the Internets to destroy local retail still hasn't resolved a longstanding debate about rising crime in Kansas City.
The unanswered question . . .
Who do we blame for worsening violence and a homicide count that continues to trend upward?!?
Sadly, this isn't just a KCMO question but a problem that's plaguing big cities across the nation.
Many of our progressive friends don't fault criminals and support efforts to empty jails and drop prosecutions against po'folk and people of color.
If voters listen closely . . . We we might hear a constant refrain which suggests that a bunch of old Republican white dudes in Jeff City in support of gun rights are responsible for so much violence in the urban core . . . Even if they don't visit that part of town very often or at all.
That's an interesting theory.
Even better . . .
Today we are assured by a local professor that elected officials aren't actually to blame for the problems that exist in their cities.
Apparently it's a crisis of correlation and not causation . . . Some people use this same kind of logic to argue that cigarettes don't cause lung cancer.
In this case, we must ignore partisan skepticism and let the city college scholar make his argument . . .
Each of the cities referenced is led by a Democratic mayor. But experts told USA TODAY that's a spurious correlation.
"Many – most – large cities have Democrat mayors," Ken Novak, a professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said in an email. "There are many cities with Democrat mayors that are not on this list, so to suggest there is a ‘cause and effect’ is pretty irresponsible."
Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com link . . .
Some conservative commentators on social media are blaming the "defund the police" movement for a recent spike in homicide rates. "12 major cities broke homicide records this year," reads text in a Dec. 16 Facebook post from a page called The Proud Republicans. "They are ALL led by Democrat mayors.
Further reading from both sides . . .
I spoke earlier and ran a panel for the Republican Governors Association, much more on that in a moment. I want to begin with a few very brief thoughts on this tragic, heartbreaking funeral for slain police officer Jason Rivera in St. Patrick's Cathedral today. There were thousands of Police Department's finest.
Republicans are likely to say there's a crime problem. Democrats are likely to say there's a gun problem. Regardless, a surge in violent incidents is fast becoming a major political issue.
If successful, New York City Mayor Eric Adams' plan to combat crime, dubbed the "blueprint to end gun violence," could become the blueprint to reorient Democratic messaging on public safety. Adams, a former NYPD captain, unveiled his strategy Monday in the wake of a shooting that left one NYPD officer dead and another critically injured.
When he spoke to a conference of mayors last Friday, President Biden didn't directly address an issue that has come to dominate many of those mayors' agendas and could pose a major challenge for Democrats in November's midterm elections: crime.
Pop superstar and founder Jack Dorsey are teaming up through their foundations to fund groups that support defunding the police. Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation announced its partnership with Dorsey's Start Small LLC to give "climate justice" grants to a dozen and a half groups.
Liberal mayors across the country who took an ax to the budgets of their police departments following the death of George Floyd almost two years ago are scrambling. They now find themselves under extraordinary pressure from residents, including those who elected them, to address the unprecedented levels of crime and violence in their cities.
You decide . . .