Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Rafael Mangual testified in a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Graham, and members of the Committee:
I’d like to begin by thanking you all for extending to me another invitation to testify before this body on what is perhaps the single most important policy issue of our time: Public safety— especially gun violence. What I’d like to explore in this statement is the possibility that recent and future policing and criminal justice policy choices have been, and will continue to be, far more consequential for public safety outcomes than the Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen.
To put a finer note on it: When it comes to the important issue of public safety—our most pressing problem isn’t the possibility that more law-abiding citizens will now be able to carry firearms for self-defense in the small handful of states that didn’t already allow them to prior to Bruen; it’s that in so many parts of the country, legislative and administrative policy choices have exacerbated the risks associated with failing to arrest, prosecute, and meaningfully incapacitate high-rate, high-risk criminal offenders. As such, the focus of policymakers hoping to stem the tide of resurgent violent crime should be on identifying and plugging the holes created by recent depolicing and decarceration efforts.
Rafael Mangual is the Nick Ohnell Fellow and head of research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. He is also the author of Criminal (In)Justice: What the Push for Decarceration and Depolicing Gets Wrong and Who It Hurts Most. This essay is an excerpt from his book Criminal (In)Justice.
Photo: U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing feed