For months — in some cases, well over a year — public schools were kept closed by COVID-19 alarmists and teachers’ union advocates who, despite knowing the virus posed little threat to minors and schools weren’t significant vectors of transmission, thought the benefits of safety outweighed whatever costs we would end up paying for in the future.
And now, a member of the Board of Supervisors in one of America’s most liberal cities is blaming the lockdowns for a roving gang (or gangs) of minors mugging moms with baseball bats.
So yeah, that tradeoff may not have worked out in our favor.
How long they stay is anyone’s guess, considering it was the site of 11 phone robberies last week alone, according to the Wednesday article.
The modus operandi of the robbers is to approach mothers and nannies as they leave school with baseball bats and attack them, the U.K. Telegraph reports.
“One woman was reportedly hit with a baseball bat, while another was punched in the face, before the offender ran to a getaway car and drove off,” the outlet noted.
The previous Thursday, the Telegraph noted, one minor had been arrested in connection with the robberies. Police are still searching for the other suspects, who they believe are part of the same gang.
— Andrea Caldwell (@heavenlysmiles2) July 5, 2023
Should these kids be charged as adults?
Now, this being California, there’s always some root cause behind violent crime that doesn’t place the onus on the offender themselves. Thus, when San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Rafael Mandelman offered an explanation for the robberies, it was hardly a stunner.
What was a surprise is that his excuse for kids “doing these really awful things” actually might not be off-base.
“I think, what happened with kids not being in school, I think there may be something going on with that, that we’re going to be experiencing for a while,” he said.
“Those couple of years where school was erratic or non-existent, where everyone was under stress, parents and caregivers were under stress. That was probably impacting vulnerable communities more anyway,” Mandelman added.
“Sociologically. who knows what was going on, but I would not be surprised if we are going to be experiencing the lingering impacts of that for a generation.”
Of course, San Francisco has had a crime problem for some time; it was bad enough that in 2022, the city recalled progressive, Soros-funded District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
That hasn’t necessarily improved matters, however, with the Telegraph citing an 11 percent increase in robberies for the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
“Violent robberies are being carried out in broad daylight in wealthy enclaves such as Noe Valley, a tight-knit community, where free yoga classes are held every Sunday in the town square,” the Telegraph noted.
“One victim of the string of recent attacks, who only wished to be identified as CW, said the police appeared to have ‘zero interest’ in investigating her attack.
“She was thrown to the ground by a boy who stole her phone last Monday when she was on the way to collect her daughter from the nursery. A neighbor’s security system caught the car on video and she was able to track her phone for 18 hours after the attack. But after she reported the crime, no investigator responded to the developments.”
Another mom talked to the Telegraph about being punched in the face and having her phone stolen — all by robbers using the same getaway car.
“For 24 hours, I had been trying desperately to get the police to engage with me to stop these guys. Zero response. And then it happened again in the same location,” she said.
Mandelman’s explanation? While San Francisco’s progressive approach has done a good job of “dismantling the systems” (if any explanation of what these “systems” were was given to the Telegraph by Mr. Mandelman, it was sadly missing from their report) without actually, you know, solving the issues that cause crime.
Which is accurate, except Mandleman probably isn’t the guy you want in charge of implementing those solutions: “I don’t think that our interventions for people who are committing petty crimes are particularly effective,” he said. “I mean, fine, you don’t put people in jail, but what are you doing? Well, if you’re doing nothing, then what’s the outcome going to be? Not great.”
So, what, are we bringing back those “scared straight” visits to jail? Having Dr. Phil send them to teen boot camp? At least Mandleman identifies two of the city’s issues: shuttering schools because of the COVID panic and a soft-on-crime policy that likely ensures none of these miscreants will face any serious repercussions from their actions. Beyond that, he seems to be clueless.
He is right, however: San Francisco, like so many other American cities, has created a sociological problem that will haunt us for decades to come. We have double-masking politicos and teachers’ union bosses to thank for that. And while those types used to be able to hide out in neighborhoods like Noe Valley, the problems they’ve created are following them home to roost.