In focus with Chris Stewart on violence in the world

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.

 play-arrow 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.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • godisdead August 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Stewart is a piece of work. He blames citizens criticising the police for increasing the crime rates.
    When police departments are out of control, violating citizens rights, citizens certainly have the right and responsibility to speak up. Too many times the police have crossed the line and got away with it.
    Stewart claims the police now fear they are under too much scrutiny from the public (cell phone cameras) and can’t do their jobs.
    If the police had adequately policed themselves, instead of violating citizens trust, there would be nothing to fear.
    Stewart is clearly pandering to fears of violence in our society, but he has no solutions.

    • RealMcCoy August 12, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Don’t act like there isn’t a hate group called Black Lives Matter operating with impunity out there right now, and calling for violence against the police officers. They look for any possible perceived slight to rage against. Even your beloved liberal media CNN has been reporting on that now.
      And if BLM would stop inciting riots every time a thug that “dindu nuffin” gets shot for attacking a police officer, wouldn’t that help build trust back?
      If any elected official is clearly pandering to fears of violence in our society, it is obama and his groupies.

  • Pheo August 11, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Will you be running a similar series of stories for Rep. Stewart’s Democratic opponent, Christine Albarran?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic August 12, 2016 at 9:28 am

      We certainly could, Pheo. But understand this series is not campaign coverage. We had opportunity to bring the congressman in studio at this time – something we’ve been discussing for a while. He is the elected congressman for the region and we addressed a number of weighty issues with him, and the accompanying news reports reflect those issues objectively. That an incumbent seeks re-election cannot limit our reporting specific to what he or she is doing today on the issues impacting their constituency.
      It’s a fair question and our coverage specific to the election and the candidates is by no means finished. 🙂
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • Henry August 11, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    “…I’m optimistic that we can figure this out.” Hey Congressman, how about some concrete proposals? The current administration’s “hope and change” isn’t very effective against it, so we need some leaders to step up.

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