In America’s current atmosphere, selective prosecution and defunding law enforcement are the themes of politicians whose primary interest is being reelected. Urban elites are systematically attacking free speech, freedom of the press, religious freedom, freedom of assembly, America’s heritage and history, and your Second Amendment.
Nevertheless, the people, those Ronald Reagan called the “silent majority,” know best. And June set another all-time record for background checks. The FBI NICS office ran 3,931,607 background checks in June, breaking the previous monthly record by nearly 200,000. There is little doubt that every month prior to the national election will be similarly busy … and for a handful of good reasons.
The BREATHE Act
U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D, Michigan) and Ayanna Pressley (D, Massachusetts) are sponsoring national legislation that would radically transform the nation’s criminal justice system — some of their goals being to eliminate life sentences (even for murder), retroactively expunge drug crimes, shut down numerous federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and permanently close most prisons and immigration detention centers.
The Tlaib/Pressley bill, called the “BREATHE Act,” also seeks to stop police from developing gang databases, thus creating “Get Out of Jail” free cards. Also included is the establishment of pilot programs for a universal basic income. And they’d like to afford voting rights and “lifetime education” to all persons living in the country illegally and incarcerated criminals. Reps. Tlaib and Pressley also want to forbid the use of ankle monitors, end civil asset forfeiture1 and eliminate mandatory minimum sentences.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
Following the death of George Floyd, the U.S. House of Representatives passed what Democrats called a “sweeping police reform bill” earlier this summer. It was known as the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.” All 233 Democrats and three (out of 197) Republicans voted in favor. The Senate voted 55-45 in favor, but 60 votes are required for a bill to move forward for presidential signature.
As they watch murders and shootings multiply in lawless, Democratic-controlled urban enclaves2, Republicans have generally been critical of efforts to defund the police. “The only way I know how to improve [this] bill is with the shredder,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R, Louisiana).
(1) Civil asset forfeiture, or civil judicial forfeiture, is a questionably constitutional process whereby law enforcement officers seize assets — automobiles, bank accounts, even homes — from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. (2) Notoriously lawless Chicago reported 80 people shot and 15 deaths during the 4th of July weekend. At least eight people were killed and more than 44 people were shot as New York City experienced a surge in violence whilst stripping a billion dollars from the police budget. In St. Louis, July 4th weekend shootings left seven people dead and 18 hospitalized. In Los Angeles, where the city council has stripped $150 million from the police budget, police responded to 50 shootings and 10 deaths. According to the Los Angeles Times, there were 19 homicides between June 21 to July 5. During the same period last year, there were nine.
About Rick Sapp
Rick Sapp earned his Ph.D. in social anthropology after his time in the U.S. Army working for the 66th Military Intelligence Group, USAREUR, during the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Following his time in Paris, France, he worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service before turning to journalism and freelance writing. Along with being published in several newspapers and magazines, Rick has authored more than 50 books for a variety of publishers.