Democrats want to blame guns, poverty, and, of course, President Trump for the massive crime wave that has swept major American cities over the last 15 months. But we had guns, crime, and President Trump in 2019. And in 2018, 2017, and 2016.

Here’s what we didn’t have before 2020: a massive, nationwide effort to vilify police officers, eliminate punishments for crime, and defund America’s law enforcement departments. The increased homicides in every city should be placed squarely at the feet of radical Democrats and their terrible, counterproductive policies.

Now it looks like even Democratic law enforcement officers are abandoning ship. Three Virginia sheriffs have switched parties in the last year in direct response to the “defund the police” movement. The latest, Sheriff Chip Shuler of Smyth County, became a Republican after his application was unanimously approved by the county GOP.

“I am changing to the Republican Party because of the relentless attack on law enforcement by Democrats in Richmond and Washington,” Shuler said. “My deputies work hard to serve and protect the citizens of Smyth County. As sheriff, it has been difficult to watch my deputies try to move forward during this unprecedented assault on our profession. We (law enforcement) remain an honorable profession and should not be judged by the bad acts of a few. I have always been a conservative throughout my law enforcement career of 38 years.”

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The two other sheriffs, John McClanahan of Buchanan County and Brian Hieatt of Tazewell County, voiced similar concerns with the “assault” on law enforcement spearheaded by the Democratic Party.

Some sheriffs aren’t becoming Republicans, but they’re beginning to adopt more right-leaning policies.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is no friend to gun owners. He’s pushed for increased gun control throughout his career, and it’s been historically difficult for gun owners to obtain a concealed carry permit in his “may issue” jurisdiction (i.e., law enforcement may or may not issue a permit to qualified applicants).

But after he announced this week a 95% spike in homicides in LA County, he’s vowed to issue more concealed carry permits.

“Sheriff Villanueva said LASD will not move to a shall issue standard where ‘anyone who can fog a mirror’ gets a CCW, but LASD will be increasing staffing to process ‘good cause’ CCW permits in recognition of increasing danger to public,” according to local reporter Bill Melugin.

Villanueva said he made the decision due to “less cops, more crooks, less consequences.”

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I’m not expecting LA County to become a mecca for gun rights and armed self-defense, but we shouldn’t discount the magnitude of Villanueva’s announcement. He’s contradicting everything his party says about firearms and the Second Amendment right to self-defense. Democrats want to disarm Americans and force them to rely on the government. With this announcement, Villanueva is beginning to acknowledge that the government can’t always be there to solve every problem.

The Democrats have a huge mess on their hands. Their law enforcement policies are deeply unpopular, both with average Americans and with police officers within their own party. Hopefully, we’ll see more defections as even more Americans realize the idiocy of defunding the brave men and women standing between law-abiding citizens and the criminals who want to do us harm.   

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.