Edina postal robbery and our ‘new normal’

There has been a fair amount of effort to characterize our crime problem as improving. These efforts typically cite a handful of crimes that have decreased slightly when compared to last year or even last quarter. 

The recent armed robbery of an Edina postal carrier in broad daylight is further evidence that our concern for the state of public safety is justified, not overblown fear-mongering. 

In the past, even when we had far higher rates of violent crime, the public was still relatively safe. Becoming a victim of random violent crime was easy to avoid by simply avoiding risky behavior and risky areas at risky times of the day. 

In 2023 these conventional rules for remaining safe don’t quite offer the same assurance they once did.

In the past couple of years since social unrest and the anti-police movement have taken root, we have witnessed random violent crime befall people doing nothing more risky than returning to their homes with groceries in Minnetonka, watering their lawns with the garage door open in Golden Valley, filling up with gas in Plymouth, walking a family member to their car after a wedding in Minneapolis, or god forbid attempting to stop juveniles from breaking into a family car parked in front of their home at 6 am in St. Paul. 

Of course, these are but a handful of examples of what has steadily become the new norm — people violently victimized, seemingly at random, often while at their homes or in their historically safe neighborhoods.

This new norm turns the tables on the lazy and unimaginative use of a few data points to make the argument that our collective public safety is improving. People know that isn’t true — they can taste it, smell it, and feel it. 

No. Things have changed in 2023 — and it’s not for the better.

We can either sit back and hope the social justice efforts of our Legislature and many city councils work over time, or we can support the tried and true methods of aggressive, proactive policing coupled with resolute prosecution of offenders.

It’s mind-boggling why we’ve allowed our common sense to be hijacked.