TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s gun science is about as faulty as his COVID-19 medical science. The governor this week said he wants to ‘end the gun violence epidemic’ in the state but is not so quick to end the actual virus pandemic lockdown against the state’s thousands of small businesses.
“Half of New Jersey’s gun homicides occur in only five cities. Over the last year, gun crimes in these cities have skyrocketed,” Murphy said, failing to note that the increase in gun violence has a direct correlation to his own statewide lockdown that keeps inner-city kids on the street and out of school. It also doesn’t address the mental health crisis caused by his extended lockdown.
In New Jersey, in 2020, homicides have increased by 23% statewide with nearly 300 murders. It’s a problem that is being witnessed across the country in major cities, urban areas, and even in the suburbs.
One of the root causes of the increase in violence is the extended pandemic lockdown restrictions keeping kids out of school, adults out of work, and the mental stress caused by the overall anxiety created by the pandemic. That anxiety level is caused by health concerns, financial problems, and socioeconomic problems caused by the pandemic.
New Jersey’s major hubs of gun violence and homicide can be found in 5 cities. Those cities are Newark, Camden, Paterson, Trenton, and Jersey City.
So, why is Governor Murphy targeting legal gun ownership in the rest of the state if out-of-control gun violence is happening with illegally owned guns in the state’s five large urban centers?
It’s science. Murphy’s science. Similar to the flawed science he used throughout the pandemic to close small businesses and leave large box stores open. The same science forced him to shut down outlets for improving mental health, such as gyms, movie theaters, restaurants, and others. The same science has taken inner-city kids out of school and onto the streets.
In 2020, there were 40 murders in Trenton; 16 in Jersey City, 23 in Camden, 27 in Paterson and 51 in Newark.
Those five cities account for 157 of the 287 murders across the entire state in 2020, or 54%.
Murphy needs to focus on where the problem is. It’s in the inner cities where the despair of the pandemic shut down is felt the hardest. He can start with reopening the state and letting people get back to work and off the streets. He can enact tougher gun crime laws or tougher laws against street crimes. He can stiffen penalties for the use of a gun during the commission of a crime.
He can reverse the anti-police rhetoric in those cities and properly fund police departments to keep the streets safe.