Commentary: An American Horror Story

Close up of Capitol with Trump and America flag in the wind

Thomas Caldwell’s wife awakened him in a panic at 5:30 a.m. on January 19.

“The FBI is at the door and I’m not kidding,” Sharon Caldwell told her husband.

Caldwell, 66, clad only in his underwear, went to see what was happening outside his Virginia farm. “There was a full SWAT team, armored vehicles with a battering ram, and people screaming at me,” Caldwell told me during a lengthy phone interview on September 21. “People who looked like stormtroopers were pointing M4 weapons at me, covering me with red [laser] dots.”

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Commentary: Secure Law and Order in America

Over July Fourth weekend, according to CNN, at least 233 people were killed and 618 others were injured in more than 500 shootings across the country. Unbelievably, those tragic statistics actually represent a 26 percent decrease from July Fourth weekend in 2020. But overall, violent crime in 2021 across the nation—and especially in major urban corridors—has only increased over 2020’s horrific baseline. Nationwide murder rates in 2021 to date show a roughly 25 percent annual increase over 2020, and that number spikes to roughly 30 percent in our large cities. In New York City, there has been a 32 percent year-to-date increase in rape and a 42 percent increase in grand larceny.

Increasingly, Americans do not need to look very far to experience the horrific violence in an up-close and personal manner. Last week, for instance, a 22-year-old University of Chicago student was senselessly killed by what appeared to be a stray bullet while riding the subway system near the university’s Hyde Park campus. As a University of Chicago alum and former Hyde Park resident, that could have very easily been me. But such heartbreaks are not limited to the city of Chicago, America’s murder capital. All across the nation, “could have easily been me” is becoming commonplace, as Americans survey the carnage and destruction all around them.

The extended escalation in violent crime in America began in earnest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s unfortunate death. Black Lives Matter, an avowedly Marxist organization despite its anodyne-sounding name, immediately latched onto the post-Floyd national racial reckoning and instrumentalized it for its own agenda. Together with Antifa and various left-wing anarchist groups, BLM helped orchestrate a summer of riotous mayhem and bloodshed like the country had not seen in decades. Major cities were hit the worst, but even distant suburbs such as Kenosha, Wisconsin, were not spared the BLM-antifa warpath.

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