Giffords Fumbles the Facts

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and thus clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

– H.L. Mencken

The Rio Grande Foundation does not weigh in on the issue of firearms, but we couldn’t help but notice that last week, “former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy Combat Veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly … endorsed Michelle Lujan Grisham for governor of New Mexico at a campaign rally in Albuquerque. The event featured local gun violence prevention activist Miranda Lovato, Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis, as well as Howie Morales, candidate for lieutenant governor.”

Giffords, according to the Albuquerque Journal, told those present: “These are scary times — racism, sexism, lies, violence.”

The former fedpol’s statement was absurdly inaccurate.

FBI figures show that “the violent crime rate fell 48% between 1993 and 2016,” and the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that during the same period, the rate fell 74%.” (Furthermore, “FBI data show that the [property-crime] rate fell 48% between 1993 and 2016, while BJS reports a decline of 66% during that span.”) On Friday, The New York Times noted that crime “is down roughly 50 percent since 1990. Both survey research and police statistics reported to the F.B.I. show the trend. It has gone down under Democrats and Republicans at all levels of government who use a wide variety of approaches to enforcement.”

As for the rise of “racism,” no one’s told Americans lookin’ for love. Last month the U.S. Census Bureau found that the “percentage of married-couple households that are interracial or interethnic grew across the United States from 7.4 to 10.2 percent from 2000 to 2012-2016,” with all states experiencing an increase. Think that trend suddenly stopped on January 20, 2017?

The “sexism” charge is equally specious. In 2017, women earned “a disproportionate share of college degrees at every level of higher education … for the eleventh straight year (since 2007 when women first earned a majority of doctoral degrees).” Men “who do enroll in college, at whatever age, are more likely than women to drop out, and they graduate at lower rates.” Meanwhile, “men without a college degree are disappearing from the labor force. The share of prime-age men (ages 25-54) who are neither working nor looking for work has doubled since the 1970s.” In the current election cycle, more women are running “for the highest elected offices than ever before — so far, at least 575 women have declared their intention to run for the House, the Senate or governor.” (In November, the Silver State might elect the nation’s first female-majority legislature.) And “wage discrimination” remains a pathetic myth, perpetuated by an “army of gender scholars and activists in our universities and women’s research institutes” who “rarely engage directly with critics and skeptics outside of the gender equity universe.”

Giffords, Lujan Grisham, and their far-left ilk have gone more than a little batty over the results of the 2016 presidential election. But that doesn’t give them license to make stuff up. America is not mired in racism, sexism, and violence under the current chief executive — and it wasn’t under the previous occupant of the White House, either. Identity politics and Chicken Little-ism may win liberals a measure of success at the ballot box, but they feed unlimited-government policies that hobble Americans’ freedoms, incomes, and opportunities.

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