Coming off a grim year in which it racked up 762 homicides—more than New York City and Los Angeles combined—the Windy City has seen 2017 pick up where 2016 left off. As of Monday, 42 people had been murdered and another 228 shot—representing a 23.5 percent and 5.5 percent increase, respectively, over the same period last year.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson knows that the vast majority of these murders aren’t being committed by law-abiding gun owners, but by repeat offenders with known ties to gangs. And while he’s been critical of the criminal justice system—“We just don’t have a deterrent to pick up a gun”—changes aren’t coming any time soon.
So can the Donald Trump administration make a difference? Let’s hope so. He was an early supporter of Project Exile, which promises quick federal prosecution for armed criminals. And he promises to move swiftly to begin taking dangerous armed criminals off the streets using existing federal law.