On July 9, USA Today ran a column focused on soaring gun crime in Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and St. Louis. The common denominator in all five cities?—decades of Democrat mayoral leadership.
The Mayor of Baltimore is Stephanie-Rawlings Blake (D), Mayor of Chicago is Rahm Emanuel (D), Mayor of Milwaukee is Tom Barrett (D), Mayor of New Orleans is Mitch Landrieu (D), and Mayor of St. Louis is Francis G. Slay (D). And these mayors are not simply Democrats, but Democrats who succeeded Democrats before them, which in every case succeeded Democrats as well.
And what is happening in these cities now? Gun crime is soaring. And not in the suburbs where one is less apt to find Democrat voters, but in the “poor and predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods”—the very neighborhoods to whom Democrats appeal each election cycle with talk of change, promises of more benefits, and plans to crackdown on crime via gun control.
Yet things do not look as good in reality as they looked on paper. USA Today reports the “number of murders in 2015 jumped by 33% or more in Baltimore, New Orleans and St. Louis,” and in Chicago “the homicide toll climbed 19% and the number of shooting incidents increased by 21% during the first half of the year.”
In Milwaukee, Police Chief Edward Flynn indicates “the sound of gunfire is so commonplace that about 80% of gunshots detected by ShotSpotter sensors aren’t even called into police by residents.”
What is the response to the soaring crime in “poor and predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods” in these cities? Calls for more gun control, of course.
For example, in January, KSDK reported that St. Louis Mayor Slay blamed violence in his city on “lax gun laws in the state [that] make it painfully easy to get a gun, carry a gun and get off on charges when someone is arrested with a gun.” He worked with state representative Stacey Newman (D-Dist. 087) who then pushed expanded background checks and a bill to make it easier for police to confiscate guns.
On March 9, Fox 6 reported that Milwaukee Mayor Barrett used his State of the City to suggest it is too easy to get a concealed permit and to “challenge the state Legislature to do more when it comes to gun control.”
And Mayor Emanuel has repeatedly pushed more gun control as a solution for failed gun control in Chicago. After a 2015 Memorial Day Weekend during which 12 people were shot and killed and 43 more were wounded, Emanuel called for more gun control. CBS Chicago reported that Emanuel made this push at a May 26 luncheon in which he called for “stronger gun laws.”
He said, “It is not just about how many police you have, it is about the quantity of guns that are on the street so we actually have gun laws that back up the men and women we just recognized.”
Speaking of how many “police you have,” Democrat-run Detroit isn’t even fielding a full team anymore. According to CBS Detroit, there are 719,777 residents in Detroit and only “1,590 police officers.” The bright spot in the middle of all this is Detroit Police Chief James Craig’s clear and fervent support for citizens arming themselves for defense of self and property.
The bottom line, for now, is that these Democrat-run cities are violent. And their violence is of a sort that gun control can’t fix because control only affects law-abiding citizens. To respond to this kind of crime with laws that force law-abiding citizens to jump through more hoops to get guns is only to put law-abiding citizens in a place where defending themselves becomes more and more difficult.