Ahead of the midterm elections in November, both Democrats and Republicans in Pennsylvania are searching for ways to gain leverage on the topic of crime prevention. President Joe Biden is prepared to drum about his ideas to combat crime during his visit to the state of Pennsylvania.
According to the White House, President Biden plans to use his visit on Tuesday to criticise Republican lawmakers for rejecting his initiative to reinstate a ban on assault-style firearms.
Earlier this year, following mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, members of both parties collaborated in an unprecedented attempt to enact bipartisan gun safety legislation. However, Biden has insisted on many occasions that more steps are still required.
As a senator in the United States, Joe Biden was a leader in the effort to establish a temporary ban on assault-style weapons, which included rifles that are comparable to the AR-15 and have seen a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years. Now, he wants to permanently reinstate the prohibition.
The announcement of Barre comes as Democrats work to thwart Republican attempts to gain an edge in the November elections by capitalising on popular anxiety over crime.
It is a particularly contentious matter in Pennsylvania, a pivotal swing state that is now contesting elections for both the governor’s office and a seat in the United States Senate.
Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor, has accused the Democratic candidate for governor, Josh Shapiro, of being weak on crime as the state’s twice-elected attorney general. Mastriano made this accusation at a recent event, where he stated that crime has gone up on his opponent’s watch and that Shapiro “stands aside” as homicides rise across the state of Pennsylvania. Shapiro is currently serving in his second term as attorney general.
According to the numbers provided by the state, while the number of homicides has been on the rise in Pennsylvania, total crime seems to have decreased over the course of the last year.
Since taking office in 2017, Shapiro has served as the state’s attorney general. In that capacity, he has travelled around the state to speak on the critical need to increase the number of law enforcement personnel and clamp down on illegal gun trafficking and “ghost firearms.” In December of last year, he said that by working together, state agents and Philadelphia police officers, they were able to lessen the number of shootings that occurred in neighbourhoods that were experiencing gun violence as a result of drug trafficking.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, a heart surgeon turned television star, is the nominee for the Republican seat in the United States Senate. Dr. Oz has attempted to paint the Democratic candidate, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, as being extremist and dangerous on criminal policy.
Fetterman has indicated that he agrees with the suggestions that more reformed and elderly inmates may be freed from state prisons without jeopardising the safety of the general public.
Although Fetterman does not intend to go to Wilkes-Barre with President Biden, it is anticipated that he will participate in the Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh when President Obama is in town on Monday. Biden will also be in Pennsylvania on Thursday for a prime-time speech, which the White House has said would address “the continuous war for the spirit of the country” and safeguarding democracy. Biden’s speech is scheduled to take place in Pennsylvania.
According to a study that was carried out by the AP and the NORC in June, just 11% of individuals living in the United States cited crime or violence as one of the top five concerns that they believe the government should focus on addressing in the next year. This number has not moved since December, and it is far lower than the proportion of those who name many of the other problems as being the most important for Americans.
In addition to this topic, President Biden intends to discuss the incident that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6 and the part that law enforcement played in protecting Congress. In a recent virtual presentation that he gave to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives on July 25, he focused his attention on this particular topic.
Biden has proposed a strategy that will cost $37 billion in order to combat crime and increase the resources available to law enforcement. He proposes that the United States Congress provide $13 billion to assist local governments in recruiting and training a total of 100,000 police officers over the course of the next five years. A further $5 billion would be allocated to fund initiatives that might assist in preventing violence before it happens, while an additional $3 billion would be allocated to the clearing of court backlogs and the resolution of cases involving murders and weapons.
In addition, President Biden is proposing the allocation of $15 billion in the form of grants to organisations working toward the reduction of violent crime or the development of public health responses to nonviolent occurrences.