by WorldTribune Staff, October 9, 2023
Burning the midnight oil is not a recommended undertaking for workers in violence-plagued Washington, D.C.
When putting in late hours, many U.S. Congress members say they have been hunkering down and sleeping in their offices rather than venture out into the U.S. capital city at night.
Missouri Republican Rep. Eric Burlison, in a radio interview on the “Todd Starnes Show” on Wednesday, said the city has become “very dangerous” after dark.
“I don’t want to walk back and forth from an apartment in D.C. at night or in the morning — early morning — to get to work,” Burlison said. “It’s not a safe environment.”
Burlison cited the recent carjacking of Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas Democrat, who had his car stolen at gunpoint in the Navy Yard neighborhood.
“It’s insane to even own a car in D.C. because wherever you park, it is going to cost you a fortune and it’s likely to get broken into and you’re likely to get carjacked,” Burlison said.
D.C. has been besieged by violent crime in 2023; Homicides are up 38%, robberies up 70%, and carjackings up 111% compared to 2022.
“Any reasonable person would be afraid of the increase in crime and the danger of being in the capital,” Rep. Andy Harris, Maryland Republican, told The Washington Times. “Personally, I think that Congress should return to its constitutional authority and take over more of the way Washington, D.C., is run. I think the current government in [the city] is an abject failure.”
The D.C. Council defunded part of its Metropolitan Police force in the wake of the 2020 Antifa/BLM riots. The city now has a 50-year low in active duty officers.
The D.C. Council also overhauled the city's criminal code in February. That was the same time that Rep. Angie Craig, Minnesota Democrat, was assaulted in her apartment building by a man with 12 prior convictions.
In March, a member of Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s staff was stabbed at random by a man who had just finished a lengthy prison term.
"In July alone, a Kentucky tourist, a construction worker, a bike messenger and an interpreter who served in the Afghanistan War were all gunned down in stickups for either their personal items or their cars," Matt Delaney noted in an Oct. 5 report for The Washington Times.
During a recent meeting on safety in D.C. hosted by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Bryan Steil, those in attendance were advised to keep phone calls short to avoid distracting themselves, and to leave space at red lights in case they need to speed away from would-be carjackers. Other lawmakers have hired personal bodyguards.
The owner of a private security firm told The Washington Times the business has grown 300% since the summer of 2020.
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