CEDAR CITY – Rep. Chris Stewart remains optimistic about the future despite the violence he says has risen to a critical level in recent times.
Between the impending threats of terrorism, both in and out of the United States, and the violence repeatedly seen in the streets of American cities, Stewart said he believes national security is one of the most important issues facing the country today.
Last January, the Deseret News reported Stewart told Utah lawmakers the United States is in its “most dangerous times since 1939.”
The Republican congressman repeated those same sentiments in a recent interview exclusively with St. George News, adding that violence is increasing and becoming more widespread than in the past.
See video of our Chris Stewart interview top of this report.
“I mean, we’ve see the attack on the Catholic Church in France where the priest was beheaded, and you know, we’ve become numb to that,” Stewart said. “So I’m aware, as I’ve said only about 10,000 times, it is a dangerous world, and we have challenges ahead of us.”
Stewart gave a speech to the House floor in May where he honored Salt Lake City Police Officer Ben Hone, who saved two female college students from a violent home invasion last year.
At that time, Stewart censured the public and the press for being “highly critical of law enforcement.” He pointed to the criticism as being part of the problem that has led to higher crime rates across the country. He said:
Such criticism of police efforts doesn’t come without a cost. It forces the officers to pull back, to become overly cautious, to view every encounter that they may have through the prism of a lens of a media event. And what is the result of this? We now know that crime rates have been rising across the country, and interestingly and sadly, they are rising in some of the poorest communities, the communities that most need the help of the police.
Still, Stewart told St. George News he remains optimistic and believes the country will get through these difficult times.
“But I tell people sincerely that I’m optimistic that we can figure this out,” Stewart said.
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