By Joe Ragonese
2016 went out with a bang in Chicago; literally, with the last week of the year accounting for 27 shooting incidents where 12 deaths occurred. The year ended with 762 homicides, the highest number since 1997, another time when Democrats were in the White House for eight years. That is only part of the story, 2016 saw a surge in shootings in Chicago’s most crime ridden neighborhoods, rising to 3,550 individual shooting events, claiming 4,331 victims.
These rising numbers were in spite of the fact that Chicago police officers confiscated 8,300 illegal guns, a 20% increase over the year before, and made 10% more gun arrests than in 2015. During that same period, attacks on police officers were almost twice the number of 2015. Every day the city’s police go onto the streets and do their best to protect all of its citizens; no matter the color of their skin, their political affiliation, religion, gender or sexuality.
To think that police officers are laying down on the job is a simplistic view of the overall problem facing the city. The men and women wearing the blue and white checkered hatbands may be less proactive in their duties than in the past, due to the lack of support from the higher ups, as well as a matter of departmental policy; but they are honorable people who take their duties seriously. Don’t think for even one minute that they are not doing their best to make Chicago great, in spite of those in power who are clueless to their needs, and give them no backup.
Chicago Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson, blamed last year’s dramatic increase in gun violence on, “Criminals emboldened by the current anti-police climate nationwide.” And then 2017 arrived, with only 20 more days of the failed government of Barack Obama left, and the murder rate climbed even higher. There were 42 murders with 268 shooting victims in the first 22 days of January. That was six more murders and 80 more shooting victims than the same time period the year before. Compare those numbers to January, 2015, when there were 17 murders during the entire month of January with 76 shooting victims, and one gets an idea of how out of control the problem is. And the month isn’t over yet.
President Trump tweeted that if Chicago can’t get the problem in hand, that he would send in federal assets to assist. The next day, both of Chicago’s major daily newspapers said they didn’t want Trump’s help and that he should butt out. That was in fact the headline on one front page. That alone tells you all you need to know about how liberal the city of Chicago is, and why we are at the point we are now.
Please, Mr. President, send the feds in. Those of us who love Chicago want our streets back. The problem is that all of the violence is relegated to two or three neighborhoods where the gangs rule the streets. The rest of Chicago isn’t affected by the mayhem. Those gangs are emboldened by the Ferguson effect, that lie that brought about the George Soros funded terrorist organization, Black Lives Matter. That, in connection with the most liberal court system in the nation, makes those gang members feel invincible.
Johnson went on to delineate what needed to be done to control the murderous events in Chicago. His number one item was directed at state legislators, whom he asked to enact laws that target repeat violent gun offenders. I’m not sure what statutes he is reading, but there are already enough laws on the books. The problem is that Cook County judges are all Democrats and they are the most liberal in the nation. They bend over backwards to set black offenders free. There is a blatant double standard in the Cook County Courts where white offenders are held accountable for every minor infraction that blacks, immigrants and other minorities walk free or are only given minimum sentences.
A white offender with a gun goes to prison. A black offender gets a warning. It is truly that simple. This is not a new phenomenon; it has been going on for a very long time. The difference is that we had a black President for eight years who hated the police and let that disrespect for law and order be known to those gang members (and everyone else.) Prosecutions declined against criminals, as Obama released more gang members than anyone in history.
Who do you think all of those prisoners were that Obama commuted those sentences for? They were gang members who sold drugs; the main source of income for the gangs of Chicago. The MSM, in their never ending coverup of Obama’s atrocities, tried to sell the idea that he was only releasing non-violent offenders who were incarcerated for too long of a period of time for simply selling drugs. In most of those cases they were hardened drug dealers who went back to their gangs and started off right where they were before going to jail. He let those violent gang members out to return to the streets of Chicago feeling emboldened at having beaten the system. And then the murder rate went out of control.
The murder rate in Chicago was not as out of control until only 2016, when Obama began surreptitiously releasing drug dealers back into the communities. Remember that the murder rate is up in all large cities, and that heroin has caused more deaths last year than all the gun violence across America combined. Fighting the drug war is as important today as it was during Ronald Reagan’s Presidency.
The mayhem in Chicago is a direct result of the battles for control of the best drug sales spots. In the 1990’s, the same high murder rates were caused by the same combination of factors, because then the black gangs were trying to take over control of the drug sales from the Colombian drug lords. It was another dope smoking President who had little respect for law and order that led to the high crime rates then; Clinton. Today it was a dope smoking, cocaine using President who openly hates the police that has led to the outrageous murder rates in Chicago and across the nation.
President Trump has, in only eight days in office, kept every promise that he made while campaigning for the job. One of those was that he was going to be the law and order President. This writer thinks that he will keep that promise. It will have to start by showing everyone, including those out of control drug dealers and gang members, that there are consequences for their actions. Right now there are none in Cook County. There are federal gun laws on the books today that if he sent a combined ATF / DEA task force into Chicago, with a U.S. Attorney in Chicago that will prosecute those laws, those gang members would begin scaling back the mayhem. It would be because for the first time in many years (at least eight) they will suffer the consequences of their actions.
This is a proven tactic, that was utilized in Baltimore, Maryland, several years ago and cut down on gun violence there. The Chicago Police Department is willing and capable to enforce the laws; they only need a court system that will back them up, with a city government that will protect their backs.
Going after violent gang members is a dangerous proposition. The police are going to have to get physical in enforcing the laws and those gang members are going to resist. Many are armed. It is going to lead to violent confrontations. Those officers must know that the department, and the city has their backs. When that happens, in connection with tougher sentencing in the courts; will the murder rate in Chicago decline; and not until then.