Crime is so bad in Los Angeles that even those on the political Left are buying guns.
According to a report from the New York Post, the rising crime in Los Angeles is spilling over into even the wealthy and protected neighborhoods, such as Beverly Hills, which is prompting its residents to rethink their views on guns.
“I’ve always been anti-gun,” Beverly Hills resident Debbie Mizrahie told the Post. “But I am right now in the process of getting myself shooting lessons because I now understand that there may be a need for me to know how to defend myself and my family. We’re living in fear.”
According to police reports, Los Angeles is experiencing a crime wave. Homicides are up 46.7% from two years ago. Shooting victims are up 51.4% and car thefts are up 48%.
Wealthy residents were also shaken earlier this month when Jacqueline Avant, the 81-year-old wife of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Clarence Avant, was killed during a home invasion, despite the fact she had on-duty private security.
Amid a spate of brazen daytime thefts, the head of the Las Angeles Police Department (LAPD) union advised tourists to stay away from Los Angeles—alluding to the dystopian anarchy film “The Purge”—and warned, “We can’t guarantee your safety. It is really, really out of control.”
The crime wave coincides with a $150 million budget cut to the LAPD, and a soft-on-crime approach from LA’s top prosecutor, George Gascón. Under Gascón, who is a gun-control advocate, prosecutions for crimes with guns have plummeted, while cash bail, the death penalty, life-without-parole sentences, and lower-level prosecutions have all been eliminated or radically reduced. Prison sentences, even for violent crimes, have been reduced, and thousands of criminals—including convicted killers—have been released back onto the streets.
According to LAPD police chief Michel Moore, many perpetrators were recently released from incarceration. Despite criticisms of his soft-on-crime approach, Gascón has kept mum.
While The New York Times claims “there is no clear evidence that the progressive policies of prosecutors are responsible for the rise in violence,” and Nancy Pelosi seems puzzled about where attitudes of lawlessness come from, hapless residents are resorting to self-help.
Last year, Los Angeles Sheriff Alejandro Villanueva promised to expand the number of carry permits issued through his office. As this was being written, he’d received over 8,000 permit applications and had approved over 2,000 of them. Self-defense, alone, still isn’t treated as a valid reason for a permit, but that isn’t stopping people from trying.
Joel Glucksman, a Los Angeles private security executive, estimates an 80% increase in inquiries for security. “Even hardcore Leftist Democrats who said to me in the past, ‘I’ll never own a gun’ are calling me asking about firearms,” he told the Post.
For years, the Hollywood elite have hypocritically demanded more gun-control laws from behind armed guards on their red carpets. Last year, prominent Hollywood stars and publications lobbied to defund the police. Now they are caught in a crime wave.
Hollywood’s limousine liberals obviously have the right to defend themselves when threatened. But, perhaps, they should think twice about demonizing groups like the NRA that defend that right.