Crime on the rise in American cities

As President Joe Biden lays out his plan to take on the spike in gun violence and crime across the country, "The View" co-hosts question the reasons behind the rise in violence.
10:38 | 06/23/21

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Transcript for Crime on the rise in American cities
Hello, andview."- so whoopi is out today, unfortunately, but fortunately Ana is here. So let us proceed. The pandemic isn't the only threat America is dealing with right now. Later today president Biden is laying out his plan to take on the spike in gun violence and crime across the country which has also led to an increase in black Americans arming themselves for protection according to a report from CNN. Watch. I feel like in this country, in this climate, if you don't know how to take care of yourself, you're at a disadvantage. I don't see why we can't exercise our second amendment rights. If everyone else can, why can't we? So sunny, more guns. More guns. Why do you think more black Americans in particular are buying guns, and do you think that that will lead to gun control? Well, it certainly led to gun control when the -- during the '60s and '70s, right? When the black panthers starteding in California. Definitely Reagan responded, and other politicians responded by cracking down on guns, and certainly I think that would happen here, and I will say anecdotally, a lot of my friends and family members have begun to purchase guns. They've begun gun training, and I think a lot of it has to do with the increase in violence against black people. The crackdown against black people. I mean, if you listen to the FBI's statistics, we had FBI director WRAY testify that the greatest threat in the united States is white supremacy, and who are the victims of white supremacy? Generally they are African-Americans, and so I really believe that that is why you are seeing African-Americans now buying -- buying guns and arming themselves and protecting themselves. The second amendment is for everyone. What concerns me though, joy, is what about people like philando Castile? He was a gun owner. He had a license to carry. A license to carry a concealed weapon, and during a traffic stop, he was killed, and he was murdered in front of his family. I'm concerned about the effect of -- the effect this will have on African-Americans. Uh-huh. Right. So Meghan, there are many elements that impact crime rates. Economics, the social climate, and plenty of other factors, but are you surprised at the increase -- that the increase is happening now? No because you're seeing this crime wave across major cities. According to "The New York Times," homicide rates have spiked 30% since last year and 24% just from the beginning of this year. Also anecdotally, my brother-in-law runs a gun run range in North Carolina, and he has had an incredible year of business in the past year and a half, and a lot of people that are coming to his gun range to learn how to arm themselves are people who have fled these cities and moved to north Carolina, and a lot of new gun owners, not just black people, but different ages, like, whole new set of demographic coming to him than he had ever seen before. California and New York both lost congressional seats. You're seeing this exodus of people outside of these cities, and when there's this messaging coming from Democrats talking about defunding the police and reimagining what police reform is, and not penalizing crimes in San Francisco. They're having problems in places like Walgreens and convenience stores where they're going to be allowed to loot -- loot and steal, excuse me, and shoplift and there's no ramifications for it, and it may be something that flies in, you know, college philosophical classes where you can have a conversation about what peaceful protesting, peaceful crime has allowed and okay, but when it comes to average Americans and these places, politics isn't always complicated. People want to feel safe. They don't want their businessespto be robbed and they don't want violent crimes on the street and be scared to, you know, bring their children to the parks or, you know, go for walks, and I think a lot of these people who have been running for office, and we saw in New York last night, the candidate was the one who ran on law and order, and the people defunding the police have come in very low so far. So I think you're going to see a lot more people leaving these major cities. Unless Joe Biden and these officials in the states get it under control or at least send the message they want to get it under control, there's going to be a real problem in the midterms and one final thing, another fascinating statistic is about hispanic voters. Specifically middle class hispanic voters which we saw a first signal of this in the last election, but I think going into midterms, it's a demographic that does not buy into statistically defund the police or socialism, and I think if this is going to be the messaging going to the left, it is definitely something that Republicans, if we -- if we are smart and play our messaging right, it has the capacity to pick up in the midterms. All right. Let me just say one thing about that because Biden never supported the defund the police movement, and Laura cooper of the major cities chief police association said, quote, there has not been a universal defund movement across major cities. I think there was a bit -- a little bit of retooling of department budgets, but I can't say that defund has actually played out. This may not be an actual thing that's happening. Ana, whys this happening now, this spike in crime, and what do you think Biden should be focusing on? Look. I think it's -- we already had pan uptick in crime, and I think being locked up for 15 months only made it worse. People -- there had been no mass shootings perhaps because there had been no mass gatherings, and now people are out, and the numbers we're seeing are scary. 296 mass shootings in this year alone, and we're only in June. 9,500 deaths from gun violence. That is very scary, and I think, you know, for a long time, people have thought, you're either on one side or the other of this debate, and this is not going to happen to me, but, you know, I'm here to tell you, as somebody who lost a family member at pulse, it can happen to you. It's happening in churches. It's happening in shopping malls. It's happening in theaters. It's happening in supermarkets. Nobody is safe regardless of where you live in America. Regardless of whether you have a gun or not, and I think the problem is, joy, that too often when we talk about this, it's either, let's just focus on mental issues. Let's just focus on black on black crime. Let's just focus on what's happening in the urban areas and the big cities, and you don't talk about gun reform, and on the other side, you don't want to talk about enforcing the current laws and the mental issues. It has to be a comprehensive approach. I'm very happy to see that Joe Biden is addressing this because it is an epidemic. It's not happening anywhere else in the world. Americans need to look at themselves and say, why is this happening here, and realize that it needs an all hands on deck approach, and that it needs all sorts of, you know, comprehensive strategy attacking and addressing multiple aspects which I think you're going to hear today from the president. Well, you know, I'm old enough to remember many decades where crime spiked, and I was afraid to, you know, go out at night, and, you know, you were scared you were going to be mugged in New York City, and then -- and then I have another statistic here that's interesting because from 1993 to 2019, and that is a period that I was not scared to go out. Crime steadily decreased in the United States. Every president since Clinton inherited basically a declining crime rate, and then it continued to decline until trump came along because trump resided over the greatest crime rise in modern American history. The murder rate shot up 26%, and mass shootings spiked. Hate crimes spiked more than 20% during his presidency. Now I don't want to lay the whole thing at his feet, but he did create four years normalizing crime. They consider themselves the law and order party, but all I see is more crime coming out of that administration where he seemed to let everybody off the hook. So I think it should be considered certainly in this discussion. Sara, do you think anti-police sentiment is a factor here at all? Yeah. I actually do. I think that we're seeing less police officers across the boards. We actually had recruitment down as much as 50% in some cities. Retirements are up. NYPD saw a 72% increase in police officers retiring. People aren't wanting to become police officers right now, you know, there was a time where it was a revered position, and I still revere the people who are willing to do our law enforcement and put their lives on the line, but with what happened in the last couple of years, it doesn't carry that same appearance right now, which -- but I -- I think it's also going to sadly affect the most low income areas across this country because right now they're pulling back on a lot of quality of life violations like enforcing those which are, like, carrying open liquor bottles, public urination, gambling, panhandling and they're retreating and asking officers not to pursue those, but in the article I read someone said the problem with that, is people were doing it, not at the fear they were going to prison, but they would be caught.- now they're not going to catch those, and they will become cycles in some areas. We're seeing about mass influx in guns. Ana said it best. Each side of this -- each party is taking a look at what they want to see and not the rest, and I think it's so much more layered and comprehensive, and one of the things that comes to mind is the local communities. Representative Val demings said yesterday when she was in charge in Florida, she was big about being part of the community. I'm hoping areas like boys and girls clubs, ymca, church leaders, I think we'll see the change if we take it on a grassroots community level because it varies so entirely as you cross this county.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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