President Joe Biden is sending a federal “strike force” to Chicago as well as major liberal strongholds such as New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., to combat violent crime and “illegal gun trafficking.”
The Department of Justice originally announced the strike force teams. They will be coordinating with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and will share information with state and local law authorities over guns and related crime. Biden claims the teams will not infringe on Second Amendment rights.
“To crack down (on) illegal gun trafficking, and the (cartels) applying weapons to cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and the Bay Area. With each strike force, local and federal law enforcement and prosecutors are going to be able to better coordinate the prosecution of illegal gun trafficking across city and state lines,” Biden stated last week.
“This doesn’t affect responsible gun owners or Second Amendment rights. It helps keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them in the first place,” he claimed. “From a child who accidentally picks it up to a burglar or violent criminal trying to steal it and use it. We need to keep building on the gun violence and crime prevention strategy we are laying out today.”
(Video Credit: ABC 7 Eyewitness News)
“My hope and my expectation is that they’re going to be coming relatively soon. I’ve made no secret of the fact that this is a matter of incredible urgency and I think the president’s plan is to make a difference in localities like Chicago this summer,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated to reporters on Wednesday after she met with Biden outside O’Hare Airport.
Lightfoot contends she did not ask Biden to send federal troops to Chicago. But she says something has to be done about the surge in violent crime and soon.
“And no, we don’t need federal troops; we need federal resources of a different kind. And I’ve been very vocal about that; really vocal about both issues since 2019, and I talked at length last summer about the Trump administration’s disastrous policy of sending troops into cities like Portland and Seattle, which was an unmitigated disaster. Troops don’t know how to do local law enforcement. They’re not interchangeable,” the mayor noted to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Lightfoot had a distinctly hostile reaction in the summer of 2020 when former President Trump sent federal law enforcement officers to investigate the massive wave of crime in Chicago to help stop it. She attacked Trump and accused him of not caring about Chicago’s victims of violent crime. Then she told her constituents to call 911 immediately if they witnessed federal authorities doing anything “that doesn’t look right.” Lightfoot also threatened to file suit if federal authorities stepped out of line.
Despite Lightfoot’s proclamation that Chicago does not need federal troops, it appears that is exactly what she is planning on. Semantics appear to be at play here. She revealed that “conversations about what that may look like, really started” not long “after the White House announcement.” She also said there is a focus on Chicago’s “specific needs” in talks that are taking place with the FBI, ATF, DEA, and the Marshals Service.
“I believe that violence is a manifestation of systemic problems, and it’s a public health crisis,” Lightfoot declared. “When you see, in way too many neighborhoods, a lack of jobs, a lack of investment — these are historic, decades-long problems.” Chicago is “surrounded by” suburbs and states “that have very lax gun laws,” she added in an interview with WTTW blaming other states for the crime on Chicago’s streets.
The teams sent to these major cities have the potential to set a precedent for government involvement in police enforcement using federal troops.
There were more than 100 shootings in Chicago alone over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Nineteen people were killed. A Chicago police officer was also shot Wednesday while on duty in an unmarked vehicle on the city’s South Side. This prompted talks between Lightfoot and Biden concerning the skyrocketing violence when he arrived in the Windy City. There have been at least 1,600 shootings in Chicago in 2021. There have also been 364 murders in the city this year.
On Tuesday, Lightfoot proclaimed they were “doing absolutely everything that we can to stem the violence.” But the violence in Chicago has been going on for years even with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation put in place that include a 72-hour waiting period on gun purchases. Criminals have ignored those laws and have committed crimes and killed innocent people with weapons regardless of Chicago’s stance on guns.
Calls for a federal strike force in Chicago were met with derision and distrust on social media:
They should adopt gun laws prevalent in places with less city crime, like, Texas.
— Giovanni B. Ponzetto (@gbponz) July 7, 2021
What song are they dancing to? Wrong answers only. pic.twitter.com/LetzHcxtnQ
— Liekitis (@liekitis) July 8, 2021
I’m not sure who this guy is going to be able to help pic.twitter.com/vvy1Yyxt4i
— Kevin Dalton (@NextLAMayor) July 7, 2021
She’s asking for help now ?
Isn’t that like calling the fire department 3 years after your house burns down.
— William (@MidnightramblaH) July 7, 2021
Didn’t Trump offer her help too? Think of the countless lives that could have been saved if she had admitted that there was a problem then.
— Jim Olson (@Jimolyy) July 7, 2021
All she needs to do is support the police. Teach responsibility amd make the areas open for business. Take the crime off the streets. Maybe build a big prison Create jobs
— Porter Pierce jr (@Porterpiercejr) July 7, 2021
But I thought crime was under control in Chicago? I mean they do have gun control, which means no one has guns, right? pic.twitter.com/0K7fe69LMg
— Andrew Bernard 611 (@611Andrew) July 7, 2021
Woah woah wait a minute, just last week the cause of the violence was “racism” …. Now what?
— Joe (@jContest0) July 8, 2021
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