Insanity is repeating the same failing action but expecting success. Chicago Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing a perpetual crime problem and she continues to eliminate law enforcement positions and blame others.
The mayor is in a war of words with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx about Chicago criminals taking Easy Street, recently denouncing Foxx’s unwillingness to charge a daylight gang shooting that was caught on camera.
Meanwhile, innocent Windy City residents who just want safe communities are left defenseless by crippling gun control laws, lack of police support from elected officials and a revolving door where public prosecutors let criminals walk free.
Chicago Crime Clarion Call
If there’s anything left to shock the senses in Chicago, it might have been the daylight incident caught on camera. Criminals exchanged gunfire between cars and a home with police officers nearby. Tragically one person was killed. Five others were taken into custody. Despite the clear evidence to charge criminals, nothing was done.
Mayor Lightfoot immediately blamed Foxx. “Given that evidence, a pod camera right there that captured the entire thing…why isn’t that enough?,” the mayor asked. “If the bad guys that are out there that are picking up guns and shooting without any regard for the sanctity of life, do not believe that there’s accountability for them, the brazenness will not end…and our communities will not be safe.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Foxx called the mayor’s blame-shifting “wrong” and “inappropriate.”
The back-and-forth wasn’t limited to the two elected leaders either. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois jumped at the chance to lash out. Addressing the mayor and Chicago Police Superintendent Donald Brown, the group said the two, “need to end the finger-pointing and blame game and get serious about addressing the spike in gun violence.”
The irony here is rich. A mayor who slashed the police budget is blaming the prosecutor who won’t jail criminals even when they’re caught on camera.
At least 100,000 Chicagoans have fled as Mayor Lightfoot tries to distract city residents. She recently offered up a bright idea to reverse the trend on a conference call, suggesting the city throw a party.
The Chicago Sun Times excoriated the mayor for her proposal, calling it, “surprisingly naïve.” “No amount of marketing — no feel-good weekend or folksy pitch to come on home — will turn those numbers around. Chicago will first have to make substantially more progress in fixing the problems… That means reducing crime, and improving schools and policing,” they wrote.
Residents aren’t surprised and aren’t laughing at the mayor’s laughable idea. She went all in with the defund the police movement in 2020 and eliminated 600 law enforcement positions while crime surged through the coronavirus pandemic.
As police retirements climb and the city faces dire budget restraints this year, the mayor is again getting pressure from the defund movement to further reduce law enforcement. All the while, Mayor Lightfoot embraces strict gun control that limits Chicagoans’ ability to protect themselves. If past performance predicts future behavior, it’s not looking good for Chicagoans who want safety.
Doing What They Can
Chicago is suffering as law enforcement is attacked and criminals are let off the hook. They’ve seen prosecutors – not just Foxx – let criminals walk out the front door. Illegal firearm straw purchasers in the Chicago area have been shown leniency. Those firearms have then been used to commit dozens of other crimes in Chicago neighborhoods and the perpetrators see no jail time.
Meanwhile those who want to take ownership of their Second Amendment rights and personal safety are doing all they can. The Illinois State Police announced 554,195 background checks were processed in 2020 compared to just 385,770 in 2019.
With Chicago Mayor Lightfoot, Attorney Foxx and others charged with keeping residents safe all pointing fingers at each other in a crossfire blame game, Chicago residents remain focused on one key point: safety. They’re taking responsibility, even when elected officials won’t.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.