Culture Wars/Current Controversies

After Years of Failure on Gun Control, Democrats Push More Police Funding

By The Intercept

Mass shootings used to trigger calls for stricter gun control. But with gridlock in Congress and midterms looming, Democrats turn to more cops instead.

After a mass shooting on a subway train in Brooklyn, New York, last Tuesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams vowed to double the number of subway cops. He had already sent an additional 1,000 officers belowground in February, in response to reports of crimes on the subway, to patrol platforms and expel homeless people from the transit system.

Adams’s deference to more policing as a salve for gun violence may stem from his own history in the New York Police Department, but it also fits him into a pattern now evident within the national Democratic Party. Where Democrats once reacted to gun violence — especially mass shootings — by calling for stricter firearms regulations, today they are increasingly turning to greater funding for the police.

Lawmakers have been able to come up with funding for the carceral system that takes taxpayer dollars away from other causes, said Kareem Henton, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Cleveland who is working with a coalition fighting the construction of a new multimillion dollar jail in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. “And yet, things that we’ve been begging for as far as providing better solutions for some of the issues that we’re plagued with like homelessness, houselessness, people with these addiction issues and mental health issues that go in and out of our system and it doesn’t get addressed. And it’s still a problem.”


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