Chicago, Illinois, as one of the nation’s largest cities, undoubtedly has seen its fair share of violence and mayhem. But the past few weeks have proven to be more dangerous and deadly than ever. As the Associated Press reported, by the middle of the day on the day after Independence Day, 13 people had been killed and nearly 60 more shot during the weekend.
“At least 13 people, including a 7-year-old girl at a family party and teenage boy, were killed in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend, police said. At least 59 others were shot and wounded.”
The outlet went on to describe one shooting, in particular, saying, “Just before midnight Saturday, four males opened fire on a large gathering in the street in the Englewood neighborhood, police spokesman Tom Ahern said. Two males died at the scene and two more, including a 14-year-old boy, died at a hospital, Ahern said.” Four others were injured; one was in critical condition and the other three were in fair condition, Ahern said. The four attackers fled the scene.”
And the kicker:
“No one was arrested.”
However, these numbers were found to a bit on the low side. NBC reported that there was a total of 16 dead and another 69 wounded from the weekend’s activities.
Now, there could be a significant number of things we could blame this violence on. After all, we are just now picking ourselves up from the economically disastrous tailwinds of the Novel Coronavirus. Add that to the civil unrest and racial debates going on nationwide, and we have a recipe for a perfect disaster.
But Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot has other ideas on what caused all this hate, and it has nothing to do with what’s going on in our nation right now.
Instead, it all has to do with the age-old problem with guns.
Of course, it took a child dying for her to even begin a conversation about what was going on.
She tweeted late Saturday night, “Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun. As a city, we must wrap our arms around our youth, so they understand there’s a future for them that isn’t wrapped up in gun violence.”
However, once again, Lightfoot has taken the easy way out, blaming a symptom and not the root of the problem. She, like many Democratic leaders, refuse to look at gun violence as the result of an underlying issue. Instead, they act like it’s the tool’s fault that someone misused it.
Guns are not the problem. And Chicago’s gun laws are indisputable proof of that. The Windy City is, in fact, home to some of our nation’s strictest gun laws. And yet, somehow, its streets are filled with illegal firearms of all kinds.
This tells me and anyone in their right mind that putting up stricter gun laws or adding more gun control isn’t the answer. Instead, maybe we should be looking at the city’s leadership, in particular, Lightfoot herself.
As I mentioned at the beginning, Chicago has been no stranger to violence and crime. Gangs have been an ever-constant problem for city officials, and yet it seems Lightfoot has been light on the touch in dealing with them.
Take a recent conversation she was known to have with the entire city council, for example. The discussion, which was supposed to be private, was reportedly leaked to CBS after Lightfoot ignored the plight of her citizens.
Alderman Raymond Lopez, as head of one district, reported to the mayor that the looting was getting really bad, and the local gangs were using the distraction as an excuse to cause even more problems. He noted that he had “gang-bangers with AK-47s walking around right now looking for some payback.”
And what did Lightfoot do in response? She changed the subject and moved on to the next district.
By the way, this was mere days after George Floyd’s death. And yet an entire month later, she and her city council have done nothing more stop such bold acts of violence.
Instead, the death toll has only escalated, rising to nearly four times that of the American deaths happening in Afghanistan right now. Over the weekend, only four soldiers were killed and another 12 wounded. Meanwhile, in Chicago, it’s more dangerous to attend a family cookout or walk to the grocery store. Let that sink in.
If we are going to defund or cancel anything in Chicago in the future, I say it should be Lori Lightfoot.