One of President Donald Trump’s first tweets after taking office was a warning to the city of Chicago, which has been trying (and badly failing) to solve its epidemic of gang violence for years now. Only a few days after the inauguration, Trump told the world that if Chicago couldn’t get its homicide numbers down, he would “send in the Feds” to do it for them.
Well, it’s been six months since that fateful day, and Chicago is no closer to making its streets any safer. Now Trump is following through on his promise.
“Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help,” he said Friday on Twitter. “1714 shootings in Chicago this year!”
As awful as that figure is, it’s actually a slight improvement over 2016 at this time, when 1,790 people had been shot at this point in the year. Of course, that’s nothing for the city’s Democrat leadership to be proud of. Nothing more than the natural variance of statistics, actually. The overall trend is still horrendous, and it’s beyond obvious that Chicago’s city leaders have no idea what to do about the virtual war taking place on their streets.
In a press conference later on Friday, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that liberals could not blame the homicide rates on gun laws, especially considering that Chicago has some of the strictest gun control restrictions in the country.
“I think that the problem there is that it’s a crime problem,” she said. “I think crime is probably driven by morality more than anything else.”
That’s likely true, but there’s not much the Trump administration can do to solve a crisis of morality on Chicago’s South Side. What they can do is what they are doing: Sending ATF agents into the city to work at decreasing the spread of illegal firearms throughout the city.
“This new strike force will significantly help our police officers stem the flow of illegal guns and create a culture of accountability for the small subset of individuals and gangs who disproportionally drive violence in our city,” said Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, of course, is pretending that it was their idea all along to bring in federal assistance.
“Six months ago, we made it clear that we would welcome additional federal support, and six months later we appreciate the 20 new ATF agents that are now arriving,” said spokesman Adam Collins. “But the progress CPD has made this year has happened without any of the new resources from the federal government we requested.”
The progress you’ve made is entirely fictional, so don’t even start.