As of October 19, 2021, Portland, Oregon, has surpassed the record number of homicides for a given year with 67 homicides year-to-date.
Fox News reports that Portland’s record number of homicides for one year was 66, set in 1987, but the city has seen 67 for 2021.
The Associated Press notes that there have been “about 1,000 shootings” in Portland and “firearms have accounted for three-quarters of homicides.”
While many of the shootings can allegedly be traced to “gangs, fights and retaliation killings,” the violence is so widespread that innocent bystanders are endangered.
For example, 34-year-old Jacob Eli Knight Vasquez was struck by a stray bullet and killed in late September while sitting in a popular pizza bar.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) September 25, 2021
Vasquez’s family pointed to police budget cuts and other restrictions that tie officers’ hands.
Vasquez’s brother-in-law, Don Osborn, said, “Let’s please untie the hands of our law enforcement officers. I believe if the proper tools were in place for our law enforcement officers, this wouldn’t even have happened.”
On June 22, 2021, Breitbart News observed Portland Police Association Executive Director Daryl Turner describing officer morale being “as bad as it’s ever been.”
Turner told NBC Nightly News that defunding the police had played a role in the conditions:
Morale is as bad as it’s ever been before. We’re dealing with rioting at a level and sustained violence that we’ve never seen before, we’re looking at violence in our city, gun violence in our city, like we’ve never seen before. We’re looking at the most catastrophic staffing levels that we’ve ever seen before; we’re looking at budget cuts to defund us at levels never seen before.
Gabby Giffords’ gun control outlet, Giffords, explains that Oregon has universal background checks, a red flag law, and gun storage requirements, among other controls.
Democrats at the federal level have spent years pushing universal background checks and a red flag law as a way to make America safer.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.