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OPINION

They Do It Because They Can Get Away With It

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Wilding in Chicago? Stealing from a gas station in Compton? Democratic cities get what they voted for.

I grew up just north of Chicago in the suburb of Wilmette. One of my joys was taking the train into the city and just wandering around to enjoy both the lakefront (second to only Sydney, Australia, for mileage of beaches) as well as the unique architecture. The news of late out of Chicago concerns large groups of youth wilding their way through Michigan Avenue and causing destruction, mayhem, injuries and theft along the way. The incoming mayor of the formerly great city said that the kids did it because they have been "starved of opportunity." That, of course, is nonsense, but the Left is allergic to truth, and so they always have to give some ridiculous explanation as to why someone on their side burns, loots, destroy, kills or causes mayhem. The obvious explanation of why the youth went wild and beat up a young couple, destroyed cars and stole from stores is that they know that they can get away with it. The likelihood they get caught is nil and the chance of being prosecuted by a Soros DA is even lower. So they do what they want and know that there will be no repercussions. If they thought for a moment that the police had orders to shoot to kill or that they would face a decade in jail, those kids would have found something else to do with themselves over the past few nights.

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On the one hand, it is a shame to see videos of youth running wild in a formerly impressive city. One thinks of the damage caused and the trauma for those who had to endure being attacked or harassed. On a different level, one thinks of the broken homes and the lack of father figures that, if present, would have made it clear that going downtown to make a riot is not on the menu for evening activities. My kids always remind me that it is the people of Chicago who voted in both the outgoing and incoming mayor, each a Leftist ideologue who has never met an excuse for the violent behavior of city youth that they could not accept. Kim Foxx, the Cook County, Soros-branded DA who spent more time on Jussie Smollett’s case than on more pressing murder and theft cases, was also democratically elected. If these officials had stormed the city from Lake Michigan, one would feel sorry for the conquered population, but no, these people who do not support their police or keep the bad guys in jail were elected by majorities of the locals. So maybe one can feel sorry for the 40% who voted against them and are still badly affected by the dozens of shootings every weekend in the city as well as the high taxes, but in the end, democracy works by 50 percent plus one vote.

So we should feel sorry for fellow Americans who suffer from urban chaos, violence, and destruction, but we also have to realize that these are the cities that these people want. REI is the latest company to abandon Portland, after Walmart pulled out its last remaining stores. The ones who shoplift hundreds of dollars worth of goods at a time know that the security guards will not risk their lives or careers to take them on and that the police, now in much smaller numbers from departures as well as reduced budgets, have bigger problems on their hands. Also the police know that the DA will not prosecute shoplifting and many other crimes like smash-and-grab robberies; even violent crimes lead to no bail in Soros DA big cities, so what is the purpose of the police risking life and career, only to see the same guy in front of them at the McDonald’s drive-thru the next morning? Criminals will do everything they can do where they firmly believe that they will not be caught, injured, or prosecuted. There was a video a few months back of an owner of a liquor store who shot a would-be robber. As the latter returned to the car bleeding profusely, he screamed incredulously that the guy almost took his arm off. Obviously, he expected an easy job, a big payday and a quick get-away. Under most circumstances, he would have been right. The ones who fight back risk themselves being prosecuted and sent to jail. And the bad guys know it and take advantage of the situation. Every time Alvin Bragg prosecutes someone who fought off a criminal, the rest of the New York population takes notice and looks for real estate listings in Florida.

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If one looks at the behavior of criminals in big cities, he or she might think about the billionaire who pays far more to his tax attorneys than he pays to Uncle Sam. People do what they believe they can get away with, and those tax attorneys are charged with finding creative ways to legally shield wealth from being taxed. Obviously, there is a world of difference between legal tax planning and illegal looting and violence, but the underlying principle is the same: what can I get away with with a near zero chance of getting caught and/or being punished? If local cops shot the first looter in Compton this week, there would have been no others. The same in Chicago. A couple kids in the hospital or facing a decade in jail, and there would not have been a second night of rampaging through the streets of the Windy City. But the local population, through its choice of elected officials, has stated that it does not want tough policing or aggressive incarceration. Unfortunately, only throwing the bad guys in jail and keeping them there has been found to be the solution to high crime. New York was a pleasure when there was stop-and-frisk—Central Park was safe, Times Square was family-friendly, and there was no graffiti on the trains. Today, one reads all of the time about another “random” stabbing or a shooting or someone being pushed yet again onto the subway tracks. And then the second line in the article says that the perpetrator had a dozen previous arrests but was released the prior week without bail. One can either have safe cities or lots of criminals out and about. One cannot have both.

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Kurt Schlichter wrote on these pages last week that the trans incursion into women’s sports, jails, awards, and jobs will only end when women put their foot down. Today, many women support guys cleaning up the medals in swimming and biking and support a guy putting on a skirt and saying that he is the first woman surgeon general. Only if women decide that they will not have guys take their places or invade their spaces will there be a change back to what was generally considered normal. And the same goes for Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Portland and LA. If the voters of those once-great cities decide that they want law-and-order mayors with law-and-order DAs and police chiefs, they might actually live to see their cities safe and prosperous again. But as long as they elect left-leaning ideologues who have their own police details, expect more wilding and looting. The ones destroying the foundations of a successful society believe that they can get away with it, and it would certainly appear that they are right. Politicians justify the bad behavior, and the cities get more of the same.

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