by Marshall Lewin - Tuesday, August 11, 2015
If you want to understand the hypocrisy, dereliction of duty and cynical buck-passing of the political class in Chicago today when it comes to fighting violent crime, here’s a fitting analogy:
Imagine a fire department whose fire chief spends so much time on the job getting drunk and surfing porn that he never quite gets around to filling his fire trucks with fuel or water. Then, when Chicago burns to the ground, and his fire trucks never leave the station, he cries to the press that he doesn’t have enough fire trucks to protect the city!... about 75 percent of those arrested for gun possession were back on the street by June ...
That’s exactly what the political class is doing in Chicago today when it comes to extinguishing that city’s exploding firestorm of gun-related crime. They’re not using the laws they’ve got to stop criminals—yet they’re demanding new laws to disarm good people.
That’s like disbanding the fire department—then trying to take away homeowners’ fire extinguishers.
From Chicago’s own President Barack Obama, down through U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon of the Northern District of Illinois, to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, every one of them is leaving the fire trucks idle, empty and useless in the fire station while Chicago burns to the ground—or more accurately, bleeds out.
Chicago is now the “Murder Capital” of the United States. In 2012, it was the only U.S. city to rack up more than 500 homicides—more Americans than were killed in Afghanistan that year.
This year, over Independence Day weekend alone, 82 people were shot, 15 of them fatally, in Chicago. The city has seen more than 1,600 shootings so far this year.
And what does the political class have to say about it?
In one breath, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy admits that of the nearly 700 people arrested for gun possession in the first three months of 2015, 75 percent of them were back on the streets by June. “Criminals are not being held accountable,” he says. Yet in the next breath, he pushes more anti-gun laws, claiming, “More guns, more shootings”—a statement in defiance of all available evidence!... for every 100 guns that were seized, federal prosecutors pursued less than one prosecution ...
Last November, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that “Cook County judges aren’t throwing the book at people convicted of gun crimes.” From January 2006 through August 2013, more than 13,000 cases that included gun violations were thrown out of court in the county that contains Chicago. In fact, more felony cases involving guns—from illegal possession to illegal sale to a felon—were thrown out of court than any other kind of case.
So, what does Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez have to say? “We strongly believe we need to strengthen our gun laws,” her spokeswoman told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I don’t think that anybody should be able to own guns,” Alvarez said.
The federal government isn’t doing its job of enforcing federal gun laws in Chicago, either. U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon, whose district includes Chicago, said, “We are not going to arrest our way out of the gang problem in Chicago.” Indeed, it appears he’s not even trying.
In 2014 in Chicago, over 2,500 people were shot—nearly 400 of them fatally—and police seized more than 6,252 guns. Yet out of those 6,252 guns seized, Fardon’s federal prosecutors saw fit to pursue just 62 weapons prosecutions. In other words, for every 100 guns police seized, federal prosecutors made just one prosecution.
Even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel—Obama’s former chief of staff, and Bill Clinton’s “point man” on gun control—agrees. As he told the Chicago Sun-Times, “We took 400 guns off the street in our combined areas where we worked together [with federal agents]. They prosecuted four of the 400 at the federal level. I am giving you the facts.” ... more felony cases involving guns were thrown out of court than any other kind of case ...
These facts point to a larger, indefensible overall trend: According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a non-partisan analysis of federal law enforcement statistics, out of 90 federal judicial districts in the United States, Chicago in recent years has ranked near the bottom in terms of gun prosecutions. In 2014, it ranked 82nd out of 90 districts.
And Chicago isn’t the only place where federal gun law enforcement is lacking. Nationwide, between 2004 and 2011, federal gun prosecutions dropped by roughly 40 percent. If Barack Obama truly wanted to save lives, he wouldn’t have allowed federal gun prosecutions to decline to the lowest level in a decade.
Here’s the upshot: Chicago isn’t enforcing its gun laws against criminals. Cook County isn’t enforcing its gun laws against criminals. The federal government isn’t enforcing its gun laws against criminals. As a direct result, armed, dangerous criminals are being bounced back to the streets ... violent crime is skyrocketing in Chicago ... and while the city explodes into a firestorm of violence, and the fire trucks sit idle and empty in their stations, the political class is trying to take away the public’s fire extinguishers—your right to keep and bear arms.
That’s not just dishonest—it’s dangerous. It’s destructive of our freedom and our safety.
And there’s only one way to stop it: Get informed. Get involved. Get the word out. And get on board—by joining the NRA.
Use Your Power!
We’re fighting to demand enforcement of the laws already on the books to control violent criminals. We’re fighting to defend your right to protect yourself and your family when the authorities can’t or won’t. And as the most important elections in a generation approach, we need your help.
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