Senator Lindsey Graham has taken aim at soaring crime rates in “big Democratic cities and states”, earning a swift reminder that his home state of South Carolina has one of the highest rates of violence in the United States.
Mr Graham appeared on Fox News on Monday to spout claims that high gun ownership rates in South Carolina deterred criminals and helped to keep street crime in check.
“If you do this crap in South Carolina, you’ll be lucky if you go to jail. You’ll be lucky if someone doesn’t shoot you,” Mr Graham said.
“We’ve lost deterrence ... People no longer feel afraid to assault someone in the streets. Nobody feels afraid to go into Walmart and clean out the place because nobody in the prosecution level is going to do a damn thing. ”
Responding on Twitter, former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele pointed out Mr Graham’s home state experienced a 25 per cent spike in its murder rate in 2020.
Umm Senator perhaps you should speak with your State Law Enforcement Division before jawboning about South Carolina shooting people as a deterrence to violent crime: The murder rate went up around 25% in 2020; aggravated assault went up around 9% in 2020. https://t.co/n8pxi2VsSo https://t.co/y1DMG0zHB8— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) July 27, 2021
“Umm Senator perhaps you should speak with your State Law Enforcement Division before jawboning about South Carolina shooting people as a deterrence to violent crime: The murder rate went up around 25% in 2020; aggravated assault went up around 9% in 2020.”
In 2018, California ranked as the 14th most dangerous state, with a violent crime rate of 447.4 per 100,000 people, while New York was 25th, with 350.5 incidents.
Meanwhile, South Carolina was 9th with 488.3 violent incidents per 100,000 people.
The city of San Francisco has become a regular target for Republican lawmakers since it voted in Proposition 47 in 2014, which lowered criminal sentences for certain nonviolent crimes like shoplifting.
There is no street crime in South Carolina because they street crime away the street crime? https://t.co/HbtTdxIeNz— Elika Sadeghi (@elikasadeghi) July 27, 2021
Under the initiative, shoplifting of goods under $950 for shoplifting is considered a misdemeanour, rather than a felony.
Viral clips of brazen shoplifters making off with huge hauls of stolen goods have sparked discussions about safety in the city.
However, law enforcement in the city have rejected claims of rampant lawlessness in the city, and say crime rates overall are down this year.
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