Our latest update from the world of detachment from reality showed up in Washington state this week, where legislators are now considering legislation that would reduce the criminal penalties for drive-by shootings. We could sit here all day and scratch our heads over how anyone could believe that we’re being “too harsh” on people who gun down pedestrians from the windows of their vehicles, but that would skip over the rationale being offered. Democratic Representatives in the state legislature said that the sentencing guidelines need to be loosened in the interest of promoting “racial equity.” You really can’t make this stuff up, but this is actually happening. If this measure passes it will make all of the “empty the jails” advocates look like weak-kneed pikers. (Fox News)
Washington state lawmakers introduced a bill this month that would reduce penalties for drive-by shootings with the aim of “promoting racial equity.”
The bill, introduced by Democratic Representatives Tarra Simmons and David Hackney ahead of the state’s 2022 legislative session, would eliminate drive-by shootings as the basis for elevating a first-degree murder charge to aggravated murder in the first degree, which carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
Drive-by shootings were added to the list of aggravating factors for murder charges in 1995.
Let’s just get the obvious question out of the way first here, shall we? Where are all of the progressives who should be calling this legislation blatantly racist in nature? How does Tarra Simmons (who is almost painfully white, by the way) get away with simply assuming that most drive-by shooters are Black or Hispanic?
She makes no bones about that when explaining her “reasoning” for sponsoring the bill. The legislation that allowed for more severe charges against drive-by shooters was, according to Simmons, “targeted at gangs that were predominantly young and Black.”
There’s a reason that many states have given prosecutors the tools to bring the hammer down on felons who commit the “worst of the worst” violent crimes. It’s done to discourage that behavior. While no murders are “good” in any sense of the word, drive-by shootings are particularly dangerous. Victims can be taken out in broad daylight in areas that might have otherwise been considered relatively safe, with the suspects often being able to escape law enforcement because they are already in a moving vehicle when the crime takes place. Further, shooting from a moving vehicle doesn’t exactly promote accurate targeting so there is frequently collateral damage. Just ask the many people attending funerals in Chicago.
I will readily agree that gangs have really embraced and amplified the practice of the drive-by shooting, but it’s not only gang members that do this. And not everyone who does it is Black or Hispanic. The law applies equally to anyone engaging in this destructive, volatile behavior. But now, just because laws that apply equally to everyone turn out to have a disproportionate impact on one racial group or another, we have liberals seeking to reduce the price imposed on the killers. And when you remove disincentives against illegal behavior, we all know what happens next.
Have these people learned nothing from the disastrous policies that progressives enacted in California when it comes to mass looting and shoplifting? As soon as thefts of less than $950 were dropped to misdemeanor status with no chance of being held on bail, organized, mass theft rates skyrocketed. Entire retail chains are pulling up stakes and leaving California because they can no longer keep anything on their shelves and remain profitable. (Taking all of the jobs they created with them, by the way.) And now Washington wants to apply the same sort of theory to murders committed from vehicles. Good luck with that. I have a feeling we can guess what would happen next and the families of the victims in Washington should be reminded who will have been to blame.