Soft-on-crime policies endanger our communities

By Erik Aadland

Families across the nation are feeling unsafe. Crime is rampant in our cities and continues to increase. District attorneys fail to prosecute offenders. State legislatures have eased sentencing guidelines and drug enforcement while making it more difficult for police officers to do their job. The federal government refuses to secure the border and stop the flow of human and drug trafficking. All these issues add up to a climate of fear afflicting law-abiding Americans.

In Colorado, these soft-on-crime policies have had disastrous results. Fentanyl overdose deaths are expected to reach 1,500 this year, an increase of nearly 50% over last year’s already skyrocketing number. Colorado is number one in the nation for cocaine use. Our state also leads the nation in auto thefts, and led the nation in bank robberies last year with a likely increase in 2022.

We must ask why this is happening and hold those responsible accountable. Sadly, there is a common thread between all these destructive policy developments: Democrat leadership. From Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, to Congress and the Department of Justice, to state and local governments, we see that Democrat politicians have made us less safe due to their misguided, ideologically driven decisions.

In fact, my opponent, Brittany Pettersen, is an example of how Democrat legislators have contributed to the lawlessness endangering our people. She co-sponsored a bill lowering the charge for possession of up to 4 grams of fentanyl (enough to kill over 2,000 people) from a felony to a misdemeanor, emboldening dealers at the street level. She also voted for a bill reducing sentences for felony murder to as little as 16 years in prison. It is unfortunate how her voting record and positions have consistently put criminals ahead of ordinary Coloradans.

Clearly, there is a dereliction of duty by our current leadership at multiple levels of government. However, with new elected officials, we can take the following steps towards safer communities:

  • Stop denigrating police officers. We must restore respect for law enforcement and the rule of law. 
  • Properly fund the police. Ending efforts to defund police departments is key to empowering law enforcement and fostering retention of experienced officers.
  • Reduce judges’ sentencing options. There should be a clear minimum of time served before release for any violent crime at the state or federal level
  • Require prosecutors to enforce the law. Any district attorney pursuing a policy that intentionally fails to prosecute any category of crimes should be removed from office. 
  • Close the southern border. A secure border, as implemented by finishing the wall, will curtail the flow of trafficked persons and deadly drugs such as fentanyl into our country.
  • Protect the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. We all have a right to self-defense as clearly articulated in the United States Constitution. 

Let us act decisively at both the state and federal levels to turn away from these dangerous and failing Democrat policies and back towards a commitment to public safety. If you want safer communities, vote for Republican candidates this November.

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About the Author:

Erik Aadland is a candidate for Congress in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District. He is a husband, father, combat veteran, and businessman. To learn more about Erik, please visit