Restoring Law and Order in America

On June 25, President Biden signed into law the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” a gun control bill that sailed through the U.S. Congress in reaction to recent mass shootings. With another high profile mass shooting happening on July 4, many politicians are already wondering if it went far enough. But “mass shootings,” the overwhelming majority of which are perpetrated by well armed inner city gangs, are just one tragic element of an overall breakdown of law and order in the United States. Restoring law and order is possible, and does not require radical, reactionary measures, but rather the reinstatement of policies that have worked in the past and will work again.

An example of reactionary populism spinning into radical territory can be found in a recent American Greatness essay written by the usually more measured Josiah Lippincott. In his May 22 essay, “America Should Bring Back Public Executions,” Lippincott suggests that “Every town square in every little town in America should have a gallows—a stark reminder of the power of the state to enforce order and decency. As a country, we need a heavy dose of reality to counteract the soporific effect of endless propaganda and life in the virtual world.”

The second half of Lippincott’s remarks ring true. A heavy dose of reality would be a deterrent to crime at all levels, from mass murder and treason to vandalism and petty theft. Restoring swift and certain justice in the form of unpleasant consequences for unacceptable behavior is […] Read More