This morning Jazz wrote about the outburst of violence that happened over the July 4th weekend. At the time he wrote that story just a few hours ago CNN was reporting 150 people were killed in more than 400 shootings nationwide. Now that same CNN story has been updated with new totals and a new spin:
At least 233 people were killed and 618 people were injured by gun violence in more than 500 shootings across the country during the Fourth of July weekend, a 26% drop from last year’s holiday weekend, according to the latest data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.
According to data released Tuesday morning, which looks at shootings from 5 p.m. Friday through Monday, there were 314 fatal shootings with 751 injuries during the same period last year, the GVA said.
The significant drop in shootings and shooting victims comes as major cities nationwide confront a surge in violent crime.
There was a drop year-to-year because last June and July were the peak of the violence after the death of George Floyd. But I don’t think anyone believes 233 people killed and another 600 injured in a weekend is a sign things are looking up. In fact, shootings and homicides are up compared to last year in a majority of cities around the country.
Consider just one incident that did not factor into the stats being touted by CNN. In Portland Saturday night there was a gun battle between at least two rival groups. Police would later mark 80 shell casings. Cars and apartments were hit but miraculously no one was killed or injured.
[D’andorse] Robinson thought he had only heard the shots, but after going outside, he realized there were bullet holes in the side of his home. On the other side of the wall was his bed.
“It went through the wall into my mattress that I was laying on. I didn’t realize it at first and I was in shock,” Robinson said. “It’s crazy that could have hit me. I could have been dead or hit anywhere.”…
Hinda Ibrahin lives in the apartment upstairs from Robinson. She saw a bullet fly through the wall and go right past her sister’s head.
“She was in the bathroom, washing her hands and standing over there and a bullet came up, right past her ear. She was shocked,” Ibrahin said.
The idiots doing the shooting somehow managed to miss each other as well. Police found no injured people or trails of blood at the scene. But again, because everyone involved was incredibly lucky, this incident won’t even appear in the stats on those killed or injured. As this local news report points out, Portland police say the spike in crime is connected to the losses of budget and staff they have experienced thanks to the defund the police movement.
This continues to be a major problem for Democrats. Today CNN’s Chris Cillizza warned it could be their kryptonite in 2022 (which I guess assumes the Democrats are Superman and the Republicans are super-villains, but hey what do you expect from CNN?):
A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that there was reason for the worry in the White House. Just 39% approved of how Biden has handled the issue of crime so far in his presidency while 48% disapproved — a far cry from the 62% approval Biden received for his work on the Covid-19 pandemic in that same survey. The poll also showed that nearly 6 in 10 Americans (59%) called the issue of crime either “extremely” (28%) or “very” (31%) serious. More than half (55%) said that “increasing funding for police departments” would reduce crime.
The challenge for Biden is this: Liberal Democrats and minority voters believe strongly that significant police reform is required. But in swing districts where the House majority will be decided, voters are far less willing to support policies like defunding the police or even reallocating resources devoted to crime fighting.
Biden — and every Democrat running for House or Senate in 2022 — needs the support of liberal and Black voters to win. But many of the toughest seats and states also require a Democrat to appeal to middle-of-the-road voters who are, polling suggests, far more wary of major police reform.
Maybe Democrats can crawl out of this hole by next year but for the moment they seem intent on digging it a bit deeper by doubling down on reform and failing to admit we need to restore police funding and replenish their ranks in response to this wave of violent crime.