Why the Secure DC bill is worthless

Graphic by Bruna Costa

It seems our local politicians have managed to turn the nation’s capital into a hellhole.

A few weeks ago, I was waiting in line at McDonald’s when a desperate woman became frustrated because nobody would buy her a meal. She leapt over the counter as if she were qualifying to be an Olympic hurdler, grabbed someone’s Big Mac, and ran out the door. The worker at the counter was in shock. No one attempted to stop the woman, including the police officer standing guard there for the night.

Crime engulfed Washington, D.C., last year, and I can’t sit idly by and watch my city become synonymous with it. Things have gotten so bad in D.C. there are videos of shoplifters entering stores as if they’re going through a buffet, grabbing what they need, and walking out. What’s the purpose of hiring security guards if they are seemingly powerless to prevent crime?

We have laws on the books to prohibit violent crime. The penalty under D.C. Code for simple assault is a maximum of 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. And the penalty for first-degree murder is a minimum of 30 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. But it seems like there’s been so much difficulty making arrests. And when there is an arrest, suspects are only prosecuted about 50% of the time. Anything less than 100% is unacceptable.

D.C. is a federal city with many local and federal law enforcement agencies. When Jan. 6 transpired, all the agencies were on top of their game. Why are the methods used for squelching insurrections not utilized for curbing crime? Could there be two different approaches because the insurrectionists aren’t classified as marginalized?

There was no hesitation to make arrests on Jan 6. And even protestors who went into the capitol but didn’t commit violent acts are being charged. A judge ruled that just being present “as part of an unruly mob contributed to the disruption of the Congress’s electoral certification and jeopardized public safety.”

But shockingly, the liberals that want those protestors jailed don’t have the same vigor to arrest carjackers, looters, and repeat offenders. This is absolute madness! Why are we debating whether car theft is a serious crime? Meanwhile, there are few discussions about victims.

While new data shows crime is trending downward, why haven’t advocates given the memo to the communities most affected by the robbing, looting, and shootings? It’s good to know that your D.C. government is on top of it while your neighborhood Walgreens and CVS close due to rampant theft.

The people who claim no action is needed because crime is down are not helping the people most affected by criminal activity. Those who weaponize stats are harming the people with the most to lose when a supermarket, thrift shop, or pharmacy closes. Those affected most by business closings are disabled people and seniors who must travel further to find a pharmacy to fill their prescriptions.

Nobody in the nation’s capital should live in fear. We all want to go to work and get home without carrying Mace or a Glock. As a long-time D.C. resident, the 36% increase in homicides last year should be unacceptable. It doesn’t matter that it’s trending downwards when your assaulter approaches you at gunpoint. I was almost murdered over the holidays for $50, so I know a little about what’s happening.

While my voice is in the tiny minority, what can I do when D.C. residents support policies that encourage violence, anarchy, and chaos? Some provisions in Secure D.C. are encouraging, such as allowing police to make more arrests, targeting the neighborhoods that have seen crime increases, and pushing the U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves to prosecute and put violent criminals behind bars. But the bill is another about-face by far lefties who changed course when the criminals they romanticize violently attacked them. Because crime is hitting them, too, the days of worrying about criminals’ rights are over, and law and order will prevail.

The die is cast: Mayor Muriel Bowser signed Secure D.C. into law on March 11.

And despite my skepticism, the mayor has already implemented the drug-free zone policy included in Secure D.C. But harassing and scapegoating minor drug dealers doesn’t show you’re more serious about crime if you never arrest or shut down major distributors. You can’t have drug runners unless they’re purchasing drugs from a high-end wholesaler.

It’s very encouraging to see that people are fed up with the narratives and gaslighting from soft-on-crime D.C. Council members. There are petitions to remove Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau. Being politically homeless, I’m trying to understand why residents who are most impacted by crime vote for people who have no interest in keeping their communities safe. You won’t need to recall incompetent politicians if you read up on the people you vote for. I don’t get it. America is the only place where you can directly remove bad politicians through the ballot box. However, D.C. residents who vote 95% Democrat choose far-left politicians who worry about criminals’ safety instead of the residents.

Issues |Incarceration|Political commentary

Region |Washington DC

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