How law and order policies save American lives in the Trump era
The policies of President Trump are saving lives. The murder rate in the United States fell by 6.8 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This means more than 1,000 fewer Americans died from homicide in the first full year of President Trump than in the last full year of President Obama.
But the sharp decline in murders is just part of this encouraging news. The destructive crime wave that first materialized in 2014 is finally receding, with the overall violent crime rate shrinking by 3.9 percent last year. Notably, the two categories with the largest decreases were robbery and burglary, indicating that the abundance of opportunity in the economy is likely making people safer as well as more prosperous.
Make no mistake, this sizable reduction in crime is no coincidence. It is a result of the multifaceted approach that this administration has taken on criminal justice reform, which involves empathetic efforts to tackle the root causes of crime and pragmatic measures to ensure that police officers are able to do their jobs safely and efficiently.
In stark contrast to his predecessor, for instance, President Trump has openly praised our brave men and women in blue, providing all our law enforcement officers the critical support and protection they need to keep American communities safe. That sort of presidential encouragement was sorely lacking under President Obama, who praised groups such as Black Lives Matter and even turned a blind eye to the spate of police killings that took place during the final years of his administration.
President Trump pledged “to restore law and order and justice for all Americans,” adding that he firmly stands with the families of police officers killed in the line of duty. Since then, he has faithfully kept his promise to law enforcement. Soon after taking office, he signed an executive order designed to prevent violence against law enforcement officers by developing strategies to combat crime against police and pursuing new legislation to enhance the penalties for committing horrible acts of violence against law enforcement officers.
President Trump has also issued executive orders to strengthen our immigration system by improving the screening and vetting protocols of our refugee program to ensure that we detect potential criminals before they enter the country. He overcame Democratic obstruction in Congress to secure funding for construction of new physical barriers along the southern border, a vital part of his strategy to combat human smuggling and drug trafficking operations that exploit our weak immigration laws, as well as the violent gangs that terrorize our communities. The Supreme Court has upheld that action, and there will be about 450 miles of new border wall constructed by the end of next year.
Those are all good reasons to expect further reductions in violent crime moving forward, but they only represent one side of the coin. In addition to strengthening the capabilities of law enforcement, President Trump recently renovated our entire criminal justice system through bipartisan legislation, correcting many long standing inequities with the most ambitious prison reform package in generations.
The First Step Act, enacted this year, aims to reduce recidivism by better preparing nonviolent offenders for life after prison through programs that teach important skills to enable former inmates to provide for themselves without returning to crime. The legislation also reformed outdated federal sentencing guidelines that disproportionately affected minorities and created a pathway to earlier release for inmates who have demonstrated good behavior and a genuine desire to reform.
All this has had a tremendous impact on the African American community. Historically, blacks have been disproportionately impacted by violent crime. In 2015, for instance, African Americans accounted for 51 percent of all homicide victims despite constituting just 13 percent of the national population. By dramatically lowering the murder rate, President Trump is saving hundreds of black lives across the country.
When Donald Trump promised to be the “law and order” candidate, he vowed to set forth a strategy that would significantly reduce violence and crime. By keeping his word, he has been saving thousands of American lives, a trend that will continue under his leadership and with his ongoing support for law enforcement in the United States.
Madison Gesiotto is an attorney and a commentator who serves with the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign. She was an inauguration spokesperson and former Miss Ohio. She is on Twitter @MadisonGesiotto.