Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot made an impassioned plea for state and federal assistance following the city’s second mass shooting in less than a week, according to ABC News, begging the Biden administration and the Illinois governor’s office for help in quelling the city’s out-of-control gun violence.
Lightfoot focused her request for solutions on the “illegal gun” problem, suggesting that Chicago, which has some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, is suffering because of more lenient gun laws elsewhere and the lack of a uniform federal response to the illicit gun trade.
“We must acknowledge this for what it is—a tragedy that has ripped apart families and inflicted intense trauma on several individuals,” Lightfoot said Tuesday referring to the second mass shooting, which occurred at a home that has a number of previous “disturbance” complaints. “It tells us that we still have much work to do.”
She then theorized that the shooting was not the result of issues with Chicago police but with illegal guns.
“What we will likely learn as the details become clearer is that illegal guns continue to plague us,” Lightfoot said. “Gun violence continues to have a deep and painful history in our city. Unfortunately, Chicago is not unique. We are part of a club of cities for which no one wants to belong, cities with mass shootings.”
She then turned her attention to the federal government.
“This is a national problem,” Lightfoot began.
“Cities individually cannot tackle this problem. We just cannot. In Chicago, we’ve done absolutely everything possible and we need help from the federal government,” Lightfoot said. “When guns are so porous that they can come across our borders as we see every single day in Chicago, we know that we have to have a multi-jurisdictional, national solution to this horrible plague of gun violence.”
A Crain’s Chicago Business study did cite guns as one factor in Chicago’s increasing rate of violence, but other factors appear to be at work as well. Last year, Chicago’s Police Chief David Brown decried a “lack of consequences” for Chicago’s gun offenders, essentially rendering Chicago’s gun control measures impotent.
“Electronic monitoring and low bond amounts given to offenders endanger our residents and flies in the face of the hard work our police officers put in on a daily basis to take them off the streets,” Brown said at a press conference in June of 2020, following a particularly bloody Father’s Day weekend. At one point, the Chicago Police Department tried to address the issue of gun offenders being given low or no bonds and then returned to the streets by creating a database of gun offenders, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. That effort, though, appears to have fallen by the wayside.
Chicago’s gun violence issues are also not new; Lightfoot rebuffed then-President Donald Trump when he offered to send in federal officials to bolster Chicago’s law enforcement efforts following a shocking mass shooting last summer, per the New York Post, telling reporters that she believed Trump’s “troops” would “terrorize” the city.
“Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents,” Lightfoot noted.
“There are some things the federal government is uniquely qualified to handle. We would welcome that,” she told MSNBC at the time. “What we do not welcome, and what we will not tolerate, and we will fight against is the deployment of unnamed federal special secret agents onto our streets to detain people without cause and effectively take away their civil rights and their civil liberties without due process.”
Lightfoot said Tuesday that she has been in contact with the White House, according to ABC News.
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