After 46 people were wounded and six killed over the weekend, something had to be done.
While many were enjoying fireworks and meat on the grill, few knew about the carnage that raged over the holiday weekend leaving 46 injured and 6 dead in Chicago. In response, President Trump declared on Twitter, “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year.” (via Reuters)
Chicago has been plagued with gun violence for many years. At the time of this article Chicago has seen 1,737 people injured with 306 of them killed. What’s more disturbing than the vast amounts of shootings are that they’re low compared to previous years. Last year saw 762 murders across the city, making it the most homicides of any major U.S. city and a record high in the last 19 years for Chicago.
The federal help Trump mentioned in the tweet are 20 federal agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agents will collaborate with local law enforcement to create the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force whose mission is to shut off the flow of guns to the local gangs.
With a few exceptions, the majority of the shootings have been gang-related. The guns used in the shootings are typically obtained through the rampant illegal gun trafficking that occurs within Chicago. Regardless of the implemented policies and restrictions on guns, the illegally obtained weapons find their way into criminals hands.
The Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force hopes to disrupt the illegal gun trafficking and keep the gangs causing the majority of the violence in check, according to a statement by Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson over the weekend. “This new strike force will significantly help our police officers stem the flow of illegal guns and create a culture of accountability for the small subset of individuals and gangs who disproportionally [sic] drive violence in our city,” Johnson stated. (via CNN)
In reference to questions attempting to link the rising gun violence to citizens being able to obtain weapons legally, the Trump Administration made it clear that the crime in Chicago was “driven more by morality” than the ability to obtain guns.
It’s important to note in Chicago’s case is that the majority of the shootings are the result of gangs using illegally acquired weapons. These are not law-abiding citizens with legally obtained weapons. These are criminals who get weapons from back-alley deals and foreign vendors. No policy, legislation, or restriction of the Second Amendment — the right to bear arms — on regular citizens will stop the flow of criminals perpetrating violence. Cutting off the illegal black markets and criminal supply chains will, which is what the ATF agents and law enforcement is striving for in Chicago.
Though the left may be tempted to blame the violence in Chicago on the items used to commit the crime, we need to remember that the mind of the shooter is the real problem. The declining morality and loss of values among Americans is the source of this evil and the poor economy doesn’t help, either.
Take away the guns and gang members or any criminal will pick up the next weapon available to them. Criminals are not limited to one type of weapon.
While it’s important that guns are only in the hands of those who are trustworthy and responsible, spending time encouraging people to be more trustworthy and responsible will go farther in the fight against crime than any legislation can.