President Obama addresses the International Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

FBI Director James Comey has made two recent speeches where he warns us there is an emerging trend of police officers standing down or demonstrating reluctance to engage criminals because they are worried about sparking a situation similar to the riots in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore. Comey’s comments do not fit the Obama administration’s narrative on crime, and drew criticism from civil rights activists, law enforcement unions and the White House. Well, what do these groups have in common?  That’s easy — they’re almost all Democrats, and they may be going down a slippery slope of promoting policies that have the effect of being pro-crime and anti-gun at the same time. Calling Democrats “pro-crime” may sound a tad harsh, but if you are for inhibiting police activity, causing fewer arrests and making mass releases from prison, what else would you call it? The politics of this issue are not fully formed, but if the Democrats don’t watch it, they run the risk of being the “pro-crime” party in the United States. The FBI director’s observations serve as another reminder that crime is growing as an important issue in the 2016 elections.

The Democrats seem to be held hostage by a group of hotheads — namely, the Black Lives Matter crowd. I don’t think the Democrats have thought this through. They have allowed themselves to be intimidated into positions that could be untenable in a general election. As I have said before, I think it is absurd that anyone should have to apologize for saying, “All lives matter.” No doubt Hillary Clinton is thinking about how she will create a spike in black voter turnout in 2016 as she tries to replicate President Obama’s winning coalition, but I don’t think caving to this marginalized group is really the answer.

A core responsibility of the president is to ensure that America exists in a safer world and that Americans are safer in their communities. As you look around the world and see the turmoil abroad and listen to the FBI director at home, nothing seems safer. In the RealClearPolitics polling average, 53 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of foreign policy. A recent Gallup poll showed a plurality of 46 percent of Americans think there is more local crime today than there was one year ago.  And instead of finding the root cause or showing true leadership, Obama fixates on gun control and making it harder for law-abiding Americans to have guns. In fact, he gave yet another speech today calling for gun control. Meanwhile, a Gallup poll published last week revealed that 56 percent of Americans believe that if “more Americans carried concealed weapons … the country would be safer.”  And in the latest Post/ABC News poll, 63 percent of Americans “blame mass shootings on failed mental health treatment [rather than on] inadequate gun control.”

So the political question Republicans will be asking in 2016 will be, “Do Americans feel safer in the communities the Democrats want to shape in their own image?” The fact is, if the Democrats had their way, there would be less police activity, fewer criminals in prison, more criminals on the street and fewer law-abiding Americans with guns. It’s hard to argue anything else. The FBI director is ringing the alarm bell, and our candidates are all on notice.