Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva revealed Wednesday that homicides were up 95% this year over the same period in 2020, and said his department would issue more concealed carry permits to let citizens to defend themselves.

In an Instagram Live post, Villanueva revealed the grim numbers, as the region joined America’s ongoing crime wave:

The county ended 2020 with a 36% increase overall in violent crime, Villanueva said, making the increase in violent crimes thus far in 2021 all the more striking. “All huge numbers, all very, very troublesome.” He said that the rise in crime was an “existential threat,” along with homelessness and the passage of poorly conceived criminal justice reform.

He said the crime was worst in African American and Latino communities, and criticized the county’s Board of Supervisors for failing to address the issue.

Recognizing that the threat of crime to residents was increasing, Villanueva said, the department would accelerate the issuing of “carry a concealed weapon” (CCW) permits.

The Biden administration, when asked about the nationwide crime wave, has cited guns as the problem. But to Villanueva, at least, guns among law-abiding citizens maybe part of the solution, providing protection police cannot.

Villanueva has been a consistent opponent of efforts by Democrats to “defund the police,” and noted the LASD had been forced to cut 1310 positions in the past year, after being cut by $145 million, with $143 million more in cuts coming.

He spoke out against the Board’s support for “Measure J,” a referendum that passed in 2020 to provide “alternatives to incarceration” and fight “racial injustice” through 10% of the country’s budget.

Villanueva also disagreed with local leaders’ attempts to spend more money on housing for the homeless, saying it would attract more homeless from other states.

The sheriff has signed a recall petition aimed at George Soros-backed, left-wing L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón, who has pursued criminal justice reforms, over prosecutors’ objections, even as crime has soared in the county.

He also said Wednesday that L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti needed to explain why he had failed to “regulate public space” to stop homelessness, saying it was a question he needed to answer before leaving for “India,” where he is rumored to be the next U.S. ambassador.

He also criticized City Council member Mike Bonin for attempting to interfere with policing homelessness. Bonin is proposing to use beach parking facilities to house the homeless, a proposal residents oppose.

Source: Joel B. Pollak, Breitbart News