Buffalo Deserved More Attention Before the Mass Shooting

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week that the number of gun-related homicides in 2020 is the highest since 1994. Gun purchases also hit a record that year, but the CDC notes that Their findings “do not support causal inference” because studies have not established a direct link between more gun sales and more gun violence.

Unfortunately, much of the media commentary surrounding last weekend’s horrific shooting in my hometown of Buffalo, NY, is driven by causal inferences. A young man motivated by racial hatred is accused of traveling 200 miles just to kill black people. A nation in shock and illness mourns because his actions do not represent who we are as Americans in the third decade of the 21st century.

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However, today’s tragedies can no longer be understood as such by our elites. Instead, they are often viewed through the prism of thought to create a fancy story. Gun control advocates are using the Buffalo shooting to talk about gun availability. Political parties are using them to blame Fox News. And activists, who ignore or downplay racially motivated attacks by black perpetrators, are implying that all white people — through white supremacy — must responsible for the actions of a white person.

When a black racer with a history of posting cowhide pelts on social media plowed through his car during a parade in Waukesha, Wis., late last year, killing six white people, the newspaper reported. even reluctant to mention his race. President Biden traveled to Buffalo this week to visit the site of the shooting. Just to be clear, he’s never been to Waukesha.

It’s a pity that Buffalo only gets the attention it deserves, because the city has been traumatized for decades. Its population peaked in 1950 and has been declining steadily since the 1970s. Today, the former industrial powerhouse is the third-poorest city in terms of size in the country, with more than a third of its residents living in the country. food stamps. Three-quarters of the city’s public students are eligible for free or reduced price lunches. From 2019 to 2020, homicides are up 30% nationally but up 34% in Buffalo, according to Buffalo News. In 2020, there are 100 more shooting victims than the city average over the previous decade.

And while the actions of a self-described white supremacist brought Buffalo into the spotlight, the city’s problem was hardly white supremacy. Buffalo has a black mayor serving his fifth consecutive four-year term. The leader of the City Council and superintendent of schools is also black, as is the man who served as police commissioner from 2018 until his retirement earlier this year. Like other cities in earlier eras – Coleman Young’s Detroit, Marion Barry’s Washington, Sharpe James’ Newark, NJ – Buffalo’s black underclass has become poorer under the direction of skin politicians black. Voting people who share your race or ethnicity is no guarantee that they will act in your best interest.

Race is emphasized in discussions of social inequality because doing so will advance political agendas. But mismanagement and political laxity were the most likely culprits for Buffalo’s downfall. “Cities like Buffalo,” urbanist Aaron Renn wrote in Cities Magazine in 2015, “find themselves caught in a downward spiral as population declines drive up costs and taxes, which makes many people and businesses leave — driving costs and taxes even higher. “Democratic leaders in the state have consistently been less focused on the Buffalo area, which is less inhabited, and more focused on the densely populated area of ​​New York City, which also serves as a base. fundraiser.

Worse still, New York’s emerging economy is often an afterthought for Democrats looking to appease their progressive base. One example is former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban mining, which has benefited neighboring Pennsylvania. “Some of the state’s weakest earnings growth rates are in [upstate] EJ McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy wrote in 2020. The counties that would otherwise gain the most from shale gas production, through hydrofracking, are “by 11 states alone.”

In recent years, New Yorkers have tended to be more progressive and lower-class focused, which bodes well for places like Buffalo. Although the current governor, Kathy Hochul, is a native of Buffalo, she knows that prioritizing her homeland’s real economic needs is a political risk. So her idea of ​​helping those back home isn’t about enabling cracking or cutting taxes and easing regulations that are tough on businesses. It provides $750 million in tax benefits to the billionaire owner of the Buffalo Bills to build a new football stadium.

I am a lifelong Bills fan. But with all of the challenges that upstate New York is facing, the only thing it might need less than taxpayer dollars for a new stadium are photo visits from President Biden while the nation is on the move. This family is mourning.

Wonderland: With political protests, crime and personal choices on the brink of insanity, it may be time to revisit the ‘Broken Windows’ policy approach pioneered in the 1990s. Image: AP / Reuters / Getty Images Synthesis: Mark Kelly

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Alley Einstein

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