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October 4, 2023

No, Chris Was NOT Murdered by ‘Gun Violence’

A family says goodbye to a husband, father, brother, and son, who was murdered by an assailant with 66 prior charges.

“To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary for the accomplishment of this noble end and aim.” —James Wilson (1790)

I was struck by the similarity of a random murder this week in New York — one that was remarkably like the random murder of an extended family member here in Chattanooga, Tennessee last week. In reality, these murders are not random, but rather a predictable consequence of failed urban leadership.

The murder of Ryan Carson, a white social justice activist in New York, was recorded on a security video. After leaving a Long Island wedding, he and his girlfriend were waiting for a ride on a Brooklyn street in the early morning hours when he was accosted by a thug. After an altercation, he was stabbed to death and died on that dirty sidewalk in front of his frantic girlfriend. Though clear images of his black assailant were captured and wanted posters issued, NYPD investigators are still seeking to identify the murderer.

Carson was the latest victim of the social polices for which he advocated. He was not killed by “knife violence.”

In Philadelphia, activist/journalist Josh Kruger was shot and killed in his home by an unknown assailant. In Minneapolis, leftist “defund the police” activist Shivanthi Sathanandan was “mugged by reality” as she was “violently car jacked in the driveway of [her] home” by a group of black thugs. On Monday, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) was accosted at gunpoint in a Washington, DC, carjacking by a black street gang.

Democrats’ pandering soft-on-crime policies have plagued urban poverty plantations with violent crime for decades, which was part of the reason that black Democrat Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson recently did something courageous — he switched parties.

Here in Chattanooga this morning, the family of Chris Wright said goodbye. He was murdered last week and, as was the case in New York, his murder was also captured on video. However, our local police have better than an 80% case closure rate for murders, and quickly arrested the assailant.

Though Chris was widely known in our community for his kindness and generosity, he was no “social justice warrior.” He was a husband and father of three, his youngest born just a few weeks ago. He was a graduate of Yale, where he played football for four years, becoming an Ivy League champion in 2006. He earned his MBA from the University of Chicago and then became a successful business partner with a holding company.

Chris was walking back to his car last Thursday night after meeting with friends ahead of his 20th high school reunion. He was accosted by a black man and after an altercation, was murdered. His assailant had 66 prior charges in Chattanooga, as well as charges in other jurisdictions, including multiple aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, and home invasion convictions. For most of those charges he received suspended sentences.

How did Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly respond to the 23rd murder in Chattanooga this year? Well, predictably for a wealthy white privileged Democrat. Though Chris did not match the typical demographic profile of urban murder victims, who are overwhelmingly black residents, Kelly blamed his murder, as he has others, on “gun violence”: “This was not gang violence, or a mugging, or a robbery. It was an isolated, senseless, and brazen act of gun violence. … Gun violence is taking a serious personal toll on people’s lives and hurting Chattanoogans’ ability to feel safe in our community.”

If it was “gang violence, or a mugging, or a robbery,” Kelly still would have blamed it on “gun violence.” He is one of leftist billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s “gun reform” activists. Of course, “gun reform” is a euphemism for “gun control,” which is a euphemism for gun confiscation, and always has been. Never mind that only law-abiding citizens obey laws, or that many cities with the most restrictive “gun control” policies have become the most dangerous cities in the nation — where law-abiding citizens are increasingly victimized by violent outlaws who know their law-abiding victims in so-called “gun free zones” have no means of defending themselves.

Likewise, “gun violence” is a euphemism for “cultural violence,” which is the actual underlying problem. It’s much easier to blame “gun violence,” because most Democrats do not possess the modicum of discernment sufficient to acknowledge, much less understand, the more complex systemic problems, the cultural effluent of which is violence.

Commenting on urban violence, Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, a black woman who understands violence is a culture problem, declared: “This is not about law-abiding gun owners. Even if you took all guns…from law abiding citizens, the others who mean harm, who mean to kill and maim, they’re still going to have guns. So we have to figure out what is going on in our communities…to figure out the real problems so we can determine the real solutions. … If we don’t lock [offenders] up and just release them back into the community so they can keep killing, when do we say ‘enough is enough’? … Who is in charge? Is that the mayor? Is that the chief? Let’s start naming names, because otherwise no-one is accountable… We need leadership, true leadership, because this is not happening where the movers and shakers live. … This has to stop, and we know where it starts. … The people who elected here, they are in charge, they must make the adjustments so the shootings don’t keep happening.”

Demo mayors across the nation, with the exception of the aforementioned mayor of Dallas, don’t want to touch the politically inconvenient truth that a grossly disproportionate amount of that violence is black-on-black, the direct result of a Demo-induced culture of violence spawned primarily by generations of their failed social policies. Those policies resulted most notably in the disintegration of families, and the common denominator connecting almost all violent offenders is that they grew up with absent or ineffectual fathers.

The consequence is metastasizing violence in the urban centers that have been under Democrat control for generations – the deadly result of the unspoken leftist bigotry of low expectations.

Chattanooga has been subject to a succession of Democrat mayors for years — the last outstanding leadership here was the one term served by former Sen. Bob Corker two decades ago. Under current Mayor Kelly, our city has been ranked the second worst-run city out of 149 assessed – better than only San Francisco. Kelly dismissed the assessment of his performance declaring of the report, “This is not a serious news organization,” and insisting, “Chattanooga has its mojo back.”

Moreover, under Kelly, and more relevant to this analysis, the city is now #6 in U.S. News and World Report’s respected assessment of the Most Dangerous Places in the U.S. in 2023-2024, a ranking based on a “metro areas murder and property crime rate per 100,000 people.” As for his response to surging violent crime, Kelly announced his reelection bid for a second term saying, “We’ve got a lot of work left to do.” That is understated. He did cancel a campaign fundraiser scheduled for today so it would not coincide with the funeral.

For a city that ranks very high on regional activities and outdoor recreation, and for retirement quality of life, those rankings will eventually suffer as a result of poor city management and safety issues.

Kelly, and all those Demo mayors who are predisposed to hurl insults at victims by calling assaults and murders “gun violence,” do their constituents a grave disservice. Of course, they rarely get called out for such lazy rhetorical insults because most urban victims are black citizens whose names will never be picked up by mainstream news platforms unless, of course, they were murdered in one of those exceedingly rare cases involving a deranged white racist — those bogeymen that Joe Biden insists are lurking around every corner.

As for Kelly’s assertion about this crime being “isolated and senseless,” it was isolated only in that the victim was white, and senseless in that the assailant should have been buried under a prison. Further, it is a mistake to assume that there was something isolated about the assailant’s criminal record. There are hundreds of thugs on the streets of Chattanooga with criminal records equal to or far worse than the murderer in this case. Multiply that by tens of thousands of thugs and hundreds of thousands of victims in urban centers nationwide, whose violence has been enabled by “defund the police” and “prison reform” advocates who insist incarcerated violent offenders are victims of “systemic racism.”

Chris Wright’s blood, and that of all victims of violent assault and murder, are on their hands.

To be clear, Kelly is certainly not singularly responsible for the decades of bad policies which have produced violent offenders in Chattanooga, but he perpetuates that malfeasance by not acknowledging the underlying systemic problems, instead trotting out his diversionary “gun violence” rhetoric.

Before Kelly entered office, former local District Attorney Neal Pinkston was responsible for dismissing or pleading down this and other violent assailants’ charges to misdemeanors.

Fortunately for Chattanooga, there is a new Tennessee 11th Judicial District DA, Coty Wamp, who is doing everything in her power to prosecute criminals to the full extent of the law. But the consistent and informed analysis I receive from command-level law enforcement leaders across the nation is this: Until leftists stop perpetuating the policies responsible for the cultural degradation responsible for sociopathic violence, the only solution to reduce violence is stricter sentencing guidelines and more prison space. Thus, Wamp is facing pushback because of limited prison space, and that is an issue that no municipality will solve overnight – but we better start now.

The bottom line is that Ryan Carson, Josh Kruger, Shivanthi Sathanandan, Henry Cuellar, and all Americans, should be safe in their person and property and secure in their ability to defend themselves. Until Democrats who hold local, state, and federal offices tell the truth about the foundational causes of violence rather than denigrating victims with political agenda slogans, no Americans will be safe in their person and property, except to the extent they have the right of self defense.

To that end, if the career criminal assailant who murdered Chris Wright was in prison where he belonged, Chris would have gotten home Thursday night. He would have been with his family Friday morning and professional colleagues that day. He would have been with his friends for their high school reunion Saturday, and he and his family would have taken their regular pew in our local church Sunday. But all of that was taken from him, his family and all who knew him. While I only know the names of a few victims of violent crime in our city, I will never let Mayor Kelly and his DEI administration forget the name Chris Wright.

(We ask your prayers for chris’s wife Acacia, sons Declan (4) and Abbott (2), daughter Aprilia (9 weeks), and for his parents Janet and Greg, and brothers Wells and Greg Jr.)

FOOTNOTE: Regarding so-called “gun violence” and “mass shootings”: For the record, murders of multiple people, particularly mass murders, are very rare in our nation of 330 million people. There were approximately 25,000 homicides in the U.S. in the latest year of record, which you can view state by state, and fortunately there are indications that homicides may be declining after the surge in violence unleashed by Joe Biden and his Democrat agitators in 2020.

The Demos ubiquitously and falsely label the generational murderous contagion they have seeded, “gun violence,” and focus exclusively on the infrequent high-profile “mass shootings,” which account for only a tiny fraction of all homicides. More than 99% of murders in the U.S. are not the result of mass attacks. (Notably, guns don’t commit violence, thugs and sociopaths commit violence.) The oft-cited Gun Violence Archive defines a “mass shooting” as any incident that involves a “minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed.” The vast majority of those violent attacks are the result of drug and gang violence committed on Democrat-controlled urban centers.

In a country and culture that ignores the rising generation of sociopathic murderers – thugs in violent urban centers who are saturated with cultural violence to the point of glorifying it, it is fortunate that the incidence of mass murder is not ten times higher. Arguably, the only thing keeping that number from being higher is that 125 million Americans are legal and responsible gun owners.

Democrats don’t focus on the vast majority of murders, particularly the epidemic of black-on-black murders on their degraded urban poverty plantations because they want to avoid at all cost, the “inconvenient truth” about race and violence, which is the direct result of failed Democrat social programs. Those murders aren’t useful for the gun control narrative they invoke to evoke emotional reaction from mostly wealthy white suburban women, whom form the Demos’ largest voter constituency.

As for actual mass murders, that is detailed in the FBI’s data on “active shooter incidents” – which it defines as “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area” – in 2022 the FBI reported 50 incidents resulting in 313 casualties (100 killed and 213 wounded). That number was up significantly from 2020, when the FBI reported 40 incidents resulting in 164 casualties (38 killed and 126 wounded). A more relevant record of “mass shooting” data is maintained by the Associated Press and Northeastern University, which uses the Department of Justice definition of mass public shooting: “A multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms.” These numbers fluctuate significantly year over year, and range between 20 and 40 incidents.

FOOTNOTE 2: Regarding why Democrats only focus on less than 1% of murders nationwide – they are intentionally using these rare high-profile tragedies to foment fear – most notably their oft-repeated but erroneous claim that “gun violence is the leading cause of death for children.” If by “children” they mean gang and drug associated murders of those primarily between the ages of 16 and 21, then yes. Democrats are experts at fomenting fear and division.

The fear and angst Demos are intentionally propagating is taking a toll on Americans’ mental health. Psychological researcher Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson observes: “Watching it time and time again on your phone or on the headlines can really impact you in ways that I don’t think we knew before to be as impactful. It’s so ‘in our face’ all the time and we have access to so much footage, so many pictures, so many videos, so many accounts that we’re ingesting it in ways that’s really unhealthy for us.” The result for many mothers is an irrational fear that their children will be shot. That is precisely the fear that Democrats want to perpetuate, especially among their female constituents, in order to advance their gun control agenda.

FOOTNOTE 3: Regarding those so-called “assault weapons,” for much the same reason Democrats focus only on the rare high-profile attacks to generate fear and angst, some of those attacks involve semi-automatic rifles versus pistols, thus the calls to ban them. However, rifles and shotguns of combined are used in less than 3% of all homicides, but Democrats never let facts get in the way of their political agenda.

FOOTNOTE 4: Regarding firearms and violent crime, researcher John Lott reports, “Over 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms.” Again, the only thing keeping that number from being much higher is that 125 million Americans are legal and responsible gun owners.

FOOTNOTE 5: Regarding firearms and suicide, 54% of all deaths involving firearms are suicide, most also involving drugs or alcohol abuse, but the big numbers in “gun violence” reports often do not distinguish between murder and suicide. It would seem that the Demos’ support for assisted suicide is in conflict with their support for gun control.

FOOTNOTE 6: Regarding alcohol v firearm deaths, Demos should ban alcohol because alcohol abuse is far more deadly than firearm abuse. More than 140,000 people died from alcohol abuse last year – that’s SEVEN times the number homicides associate with fire arms. Drunk drivers are responsible for 28 deaths per day. And notably, it is estimated that alcohol is also a key factor in at least 30% of homicides involving a firearm. (Include illegal drug use and that number jumps to about 60%.)

If Democrats are serious about homicides, they should outlaw alcohol. Problem is, the vast majority of alcohol users possess and use it legally and responsibly. Likewise, the vast majority of firearm owners possess and use them legally and responsibly. Enacting a prohibition on firearms is tantamount to enacting a prohibition on alcohol. In both cases, only law-abiding users obey the laws, while lawless users don’t.

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