How did a penthouse-dwelling real estate mogul who once supported gun control become the favored presidential candidate of the NRA? The Trace says it began in 2015, when a political operative secured an eight-minute speaking slot at the group’s annual meeting in Nashville. “I love the NRA,” Trump declared.
Sales spiked to all-time highs last year under the irrational trope that President Obama was going to “take away our guns.” But gun manufacturers and retailers are seeing a downside as President Trump snuggles with the NRA: Gun sales have dropped sharply since he was elected.
Ames Grawert of the Brennan Center says the attorney general’s rhetoric about an alleged crime wave will be used “to try to justify what the administration wants to do in rolling back some Obama-era criminal justice policies.”
In a critique of the Trump administration’s first 100 days in office, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University complains that the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions talk about a “nonexistent crime wave.”
Will his minions in the U.S. Justice Department be willing to follow Jeff Sessions as he tries to lead American criminal justice back to the lock-’em-up days of the 1990s? Harvard’s Alex Whiting says, “I don’t know if he is really going to be able to persuade the department to follow his lead on this.”
James Forman Jr., a Yale law professor and former public defender in Washington, D.C., explores the culpability of black politicians, criminal justice officials, clergy members, activists and others in creating mass incarceration. His book is “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.”
Kentucky’s “Blue Lives Matter” law makes it a hate crime to target police officers, a legislative trend sweeping a number of states. At the same time, lawmakers in New York, Connecticut and Illinois are responding to surging reports of hate crimes against racial, religious and ethnic minorities by trying to strengthen laws and policies that target criminal bias.
Former National Institute of Justice director John Laub and other academic leaders want “to ensure that DOJ does not slip backwards and continues to use science and evidence with respect to policies regarding crime and justice.”
The president’s misinformed policies, plans and pronouncements may actually increase disorder. Criminologist James Alan Fox writes, “Trump’s exaggerated view of America’s crime problem may ultimately become prophesy.”