By: José Niño
Irresponsible elected officials nationwide are allowing their cities to burn at the hands of looters and vandals.
To add insult to injury, some of these morally depraved politicians have had the gall to blame guns for the rise in violence, when anyone with a functioning pair of eyes and a brain could recognize that city officials’ decisions to undermine law enforcement are causing this mayhem.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has taken it upon herself to call for gun control in a time when her city requires actual political leadership and decisive action taken against criminals. Lightfoot has been vocal about keeping federal agents out of the jurisdiction that she has thoroughly mismanaged.
In a recent interview on MSNBC, the Chicago mayor called for the President to consider radical gun control as a “solution” to the violence plaguing Chicago:
“If the president was really committed to helping us deal with our violence, he would do some easy things.
"What he would push for is universal background checks, he would push for an assault weapons ban, he would push to make sure that people who are banned from getting on airplanes can’t get guns.”
Chicago has already established itself as one of the most violent cities in the U.S. Last month, shootings in Chicago increased by nearly 80 percent compared to the same time period in 2019. Breitbart News reported that last weekend alone, 65 people were shot (including a three-year-old), and 10 people were killed.
To suggest that Chicago’s lack of gun control is behind this wave of violence doesn’t pass the laugh test. In Illinois, people must acquire a permit, which is issued following a background check, in order to purchase any kind of firearm. In addition, Cook County (Chicago’s county) has had an “assault weapons” ban for nearly a decade.
Similar to cities such as Baltimore, Chicago’s gun violence “epidemic” is largely the product of a vast wave of criminality. According to a 2017 Gun Trace Report, the majority of crime firearms used in Chicago were possessed by adults who did not originally purchase them.
The notion that universal background checks will somehow be a cure to gun violence is naïve at best, and at worst, dangerously pig-headed. Criminals won’t bother to fill out forms or go through bureaucratic hurdles just to acquire a firearm. They’ll tap into the criminal underworld, which is already awash with illegal firearms.
So, there’s no magical gun control cure that will fix Chicago’s gun control problems.
If anything, the city should consider actually letting more law-abiding people be able to exercise their right to self-defense. It also wouldn’t hurt for the city to actually stand behind its law enforcement. There comes a point where politicians need to stop blaming external actors for their home-brewed problems.
José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.