by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Some residents of heavily Democratic cities are reconsidering approaches to public safety amid a spike in crime that has swept nearly every major metropolitan area in the country.
In unexpected places where liberal views on firearms and policing have dominated the conversation, a growing number of people are embracing gun ownership or backing measures that would boost law enforcement in response to the rise in violence.
Polling shows voters are dissatisfied with the way the Democratic Party’s leaders have managed the crime wave.
An ABC News/Ipsos poll published earlier this week found that just 36% of voters approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of crime, while 61% disapprove.
On gun violence, 66% of voters disapprove of Biden’s performance, with 32% approving.
The loss of confidence in Biden’s ability to navigate the issue has come as the nation’s homicide rate hits historic highs. And the growing concern is pushing people in some of the country’s most prosperous neighborhoods to get creative about keeping their streets safe.
Applications for concealed carry permits have exploded in Los Angeles County, where voters went for Biden by more than 40 points.
Since late 2018, the LA County Sheriff’s Office approved roughly 2,100 concealed carry permit applications, compared to the less than 200 permit applications that were approved by the same office the four years prior, according to a report by a California-based journalist.
Michael Shellenberger, who spoke with a number of Beverly Hills residents for a report about the area’s changing attitudes toward crime, said fear has driven many liberals to revisit their ideas about guns and policing.
“They know they’re more afraid, and I think that they’re aware that it gives them new insight into what life is like when you don’t have enough police and enough security,” Shellenberger told the Washington Examiner.
“There’s just a lot of progressive buyer’s remorse right now.”