News Analysis

Burlington violent crime explosion explained

By Dr. John Orlando

Violent crime has exploded in Burlington since 2020 to the point where most people I know will not go into City Hall Park, Battery Park and even Church Street anymore. Both the Progs and the mayor blame guns for the rise in crime, yet gun laws and ownership have not changed over the past two years.  The people who call for gun control never ask whether it actually works.  The facts show that it does not.

Studies show that there is no correspondence between gun laws and crime.  States with the weakest gun laws, like Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, have the lowest violent crime, while states with the strongest laws, like New York, Illinois, and Maryland, have the highest violent crime.  

It is also shown that gun ownership does not lead to more crime.  Canada has a higher rate of gun ownership than the U.S., but lower violent crime.  Nearly every home in Switzerland and Israel has a military rifle in it, but they have far lower crime rates than the U.S.

So what does contribute to crime? According to the FBI statistics, the variables affecting crime are:

  • Population density and degree of urbanization.
  • Variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration.
  • Stability of the population with respect to residents’ mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors.
  • Modes of transportation and highway system.
  • Economic conditions, including median income, poverty level, and job availability.
  • Cultural factors and educational, recreational, and religious characteristics.
  • Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness.
  • Climate.
  • Effective strength of law enforcement agencies.
  • Administrative and investigative emphases of law enforcement.
  • Policies of other components of the criminal justice system (i.e., prosecutorial, judicial, correctional, and probational).
  • Citizens’ attitudes toward crime.
  • Crime reporting practices of the citizenry.

Notice how gun control and gun ownership is not on the list, yet “Effective strength of law enforcement agencies,” “Stability of the population with respect to residents’ mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors” and “Policies of other components of the criminal justice system (i.e., prosecutorial, judicial, correctional, and probational)” are on the list.   

This confirms what everyone in Burlington—except the Progs —already know. Since the Progs “Defund the Police” movement in 2020, crime has exploded in Burlington just as it has everywhere else that tried it.  Except that all other cities were smart enough to roll this back when they saw what happened.    

Also, the Progs have prevented the police from stopping vagrants from harassing people, and so Burlington has become a magnet for homeless people from New York and elsewhere.  There are now no fewer than 7 hotels on Shelburne Avenue for the homeless, and Burlington Parks are effectively vagrant camps.

Plus, police have been removed from schools, meaning that teachers are now on their own if there is a violent incident.  The rational was that black students do not want them, but this precisely the opposite of what needs to be done.  Police and the black community need to interact with one another to improve relations, which is why community policing works so well.  But the Progs are sending a message to the community to be anti-police.  Notice how “Citizens’ attitudes toward crime” is on the list?

The Progs will never take responsibility for the mess they created.  Only when real leadership comes to Burlington will the situation return to what it was before the Progs took over.

The author, a Williston resident, is a Ph.D., editor of The Teaching Professor, and author of 250 professional articles.

Categories: News Analysis

28 replies »

  1. I just posted this comment on another article, but it seems to fit this one at least as well, so please allow me to repost it here.
    Every time I hear about a cop having to shoot a person it make me feel sad, for the person who got shot, their family, and the cop who was put into the situation where he, or she felt that was the only alternative. Crime, and mental health issues are like cancer. You can’t just diagnose it, and without treatment, expect it to go away. It is also not helpful to blame it on something, or somebody else. Back in the day you used to be fairly safe in the assumption that the poor soul doing something weird on the streets of Montpelier was probably a legislator, and would be gone in a few weeks/months, that is not the case anymore. That person is quite possibly a drug addict, or a mental health patient that is homeless, off their meds, and is living there “under the radar”. Aggressive panhandling that makes citizens uncomfortable should be deterred. By allowing this, municipalities are turning a blind eye to the anti-social behaviors that are the root causes of the problem. Criminals, also need to be addressed. Their activities are not socially acceptable, and should not be blamed on anybody or anything else beyond the criminal. There are people that are just bad people. Give them the opportunity, and they will prove it, time after time, after time ! Their actions deserve an opposite, and equal reaction. Saying “bad boy” (or girl) and telling them “don’t do that again” may work for a beagle, but a criminal does not have that innate, underling urge to please society that a dog has for it’s master. Criminals need consequences that makes them think before they act about their actions. Blaming society, the gun, the F150, the booze, their parents, or the drugs does NOTHING to hold the criminal accountable for their actions. The criminal made that decision. If that means we need to build more prisons, then so be it. Yes, our criminal justice needs to be “reformed”, but that does not mean installing a turn style in prison doors, that is not working, it deserves quite the opposite in my opinion. Law abiding citizens deserve to be safe in their homes, and on the streets that they pay taxes to enjoy. If the carrot is not working…….

    • I know this a serious matter and your comment IS spot on, but my oh my gosh your comments about the legislator and the beagle cracked me up…made my day, still chuckling, ha ha.

  2. Studies show that there is no ‘correspondence’ between gun laws and crime…

    … should read no ‘correlation’ between gun laws and crime.

  3. Few weeks ago was taking my pooch for a midday walk downtown. I wanted to view the ‘wildlife’ so to speak. I was not disappointed.

    Passed by the Police Station and headed a few blocks north on North Ave. Saw a scruffy looking man leaning headfirst against an apartment building. As I got closer I noticed a puddle collecting by his feet. He saw me looking and slurred: ‘Gotta go somewhere!’.

    I decided it might not be wise to point out the port-o-lets a few blocks down at Battery Park.

    What a vibrant city Burlington is becoming. Can’t wait for Pod city!

  4. It’s really to bad because I used to like going out to Church street but now I stay up north far away from most it. Welcome to the woke society.

    • it says only “climate”…and I said oh gosh here we go…….and then thought…what climate? the climate in the country (feelings, thoughts, motivations), the climate as in weather?, what climate are we talking here…….

  5. If the Dem-Prog Group Think persists, surely the result will be outright anarchy. Could that actually be their intention?

    • Hopefully the “Dem/Progs” pushing this agenda get a taste of the fruit of their labor !

  6. And Chittenden County re-ellected the same do nothing “Prosecutor”
    all over again.

    Same Judges, same empty corwbar hotels, crime after crime,
    Crime arrest, and crime again all same day !!

  7. Remove the clowns from City council, and actually hold them legally liable for their poor policy making, regardless of any legal exemption included in state statutes. They shouldn’t be protected from negligently harmful policy decisions such as a major cut in the police force.

  8. Have no fear, people. Senator weird energy Phil and Rep. bowtie Martin both from Chittenden County, will come to your rescue by trying to disarm all the law-abiding citizens of the state in the upcoming legislative session. It is much easier for them to come after those who are not the problem than it is dealing with felons carrying illegal guns and drug mules bringing the chaos to our streets. Since the government can’t protect us, it is our duty to protect ourselves and loved ones. This is why we have article 16 and the 2nd amendment. Say no to more firearms restrictions and fire those who swear an oath to defend our constitutions and then proceed to take our rights. And that goes for the governor too.

  9. Thank you, Dr. Orlando for your candidness about the situation in the “vibrant city” in this age of walking on eggshells. A credible criminal justice system is the very bedrock of any civilized society. It is what prevents the strong, agile and fearless from victimizing the more vulnerable.
    It is sad what has become of Burlington just in the short span since the dawn of the BLM era, when hating on the cops became very fashionable. Burlington voters brought this on themselves and a majority of Chittenden County voters also just recently wrapped it with a nice bow by failing to use the primary to change the philosophy of the State’s Attorney office…”where everyone deserves another chance”.
    The shame of it is that the situation is completely reversible but for the current political will. Just how many violent crimes will be tolerated before that political will can be bent back to a semblance of common sense?

  10. Stop the fairytale nonsense. Extreme Progressive Politics we’re fine before the Government and Big Pharma flooded the Country with Oxy. They stopped dispensing it, to little to late. Police, Courts, Rehabs, and Prisons weren t ready for it. In move Armed Gangs from urban areas with cheaper and available Heroin. They saw opportunity. Around this time the BLM thing spread to Vermonts tolerant well meaning people.Defund and abuse existing Police took root with the children of Woodstock. They may have meant well. Now a heroin begged at every intersection. Homeless rule Burlington at nite. Addicted kids have to steal to get their daily meds. Should we elect the same people who don t notice or even mention this? More of the same ain’t gonna cut it. 👍

  11. Climate has nothing to do with crime, John Orlando. That one bit of propaganda just destroyed your entire article. The main proponent of crime is GREED. The greed of criminals and the greed of politicians and officials.

    • He was quoting from the linked FBI document. It’s their list, not his. The article is compelling IMO. When people are told by the woke left that they are somehow “victims” of the climate, and that “climate justice” is their solution, is it surprising that some will use their assumed victimhood as an excuse to take the law into their own hands via criminal activity?

  12. “Progs” means progressive? We’ve got to stop calling them that. There is no progress, its quite the opposite……”Regressives”?

    • Bingo ! or, as George Carlin once said, “if the opposite of Pro is Con, then the opposite of progress is…..

  13. Look at who is committing most of the huge increase in violent crime. It’s blacks. Is it “rayciss” to notice that?

    Where are black leaders on this issue?

  14. Burlington , Vermont has to make a decision , and do so quickly. This town is in serious jeopardy of becoming yet another place where the degenerates have taken over. In the public library , intravenous drug addicts have literally taken over. They shoot up all day long in the rest rooms , nod out , sleep , talk loudly , eat and leave their messes all over. Burlington was nice 20 years ago. Even 5 years ago it was tolerable. Not anymore. City Hall Park is an open air drug market. Addicts beg for money all over. Now murder , guns , knives , and the rest that goes with unabated drug use has become common. Such a shame and such a waste.

  15. Burlington , Vermont , is now a disaster. For those who engaged to ” defund the police ” , you and all citizens of this town , have been paying the price. Bet you’ll never do likewise again. The homes you purchased , 10 , 20 , 30 plus years ago , have been devalued. Why ? It’s because the quality of life has descended , due to not enough police officers , a horrendous drug problem , mentally ill and drug addicted homeless swelling in numbers , an air of indifference , ” as in , not my problem mentality. ” In 2022 , gun crime and murders went off the proverbial chart. We had 5 murders that year , where normally one or two is the maximum . This town used to be lovely , not too long ago. However , with the insane influx of hard core drug users , the ever – growing mentally ill , and homeless , who deficate on our sidewalks , and shoot up drugs in our library , it’s plain for all to see. Soon , this town will be unhabitable , save for the addicts , homeless , mentally ill , and violent psychopaths.