Should Trump DoJ Federalize Chicago Gun Prosecutions?

Chicago Mayor and former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has taken umbrage at President Trump’s targeting Chicago gun violence and particularly his use of the word “carnage” to describe it. Rahmbo, as he has been dubbed for his combative style, recently took this shot at Trump:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday unloaded on President Donald Trump -- for the tone of his inaugural address, his preoccupation with the size of the crowd who witnessed that speech, and his promise to reverse what he calls “dangerous” anti-policing sentiments sweeping the nation.

“You didn’t get elected to debate the crowd size at your inaugural… You got elected to make sure that people have a job, that the economy continues to grow, people have security as it relates to their kids’ education. It wasn’t about your crowd size. It was about their lives and their jobs,” the mayor said after cutting the ribbon at a domestic violence shelter in Uptown.

Well, Rahmbo, you got elected to protect the citizens of Chicago from the predators in your city. It is you and your anti-cop progressive policies, including the nation’s arguably strictest gun control laws that have failed to ensure people in your city “have security as it relates to their kids”.

One of the major problems in Chicago, and one that Emanuel should be well aware of, is the woeful lack of successful gun crime prosecutions in the city of Chicago. Investor’s Business Daily editorialized in 2013 that one of the reasons for Chicago’s rising gun violence is that it ranked last under President Obama in federal gun crime prosecutions:

A murdered Chicago teen's mother attends the president's speech on gun control, not knowing federal gun-crime prosecutions have in fact dropped on his watch -- with the Windy City bringing up the rear.

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, the mother of murdered 15-year-old Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton, was one of 20 mothers who lost children to criminal violence who were at the White House last Thursday to hear President Obama speak once again on the need for gun control…

But President Obama did not tell this group that Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) shows that the Northern Illinois district ranked 90th out of 90 in prosecutions of federal weapons crimes per capita.

David Burnham, co-director of TRAC, states their analysis says that according to case-by-case U.S. Justice Department information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, there were 52 federal gun prosecutions in Illinois North (Chicago) in 2012, or 5.52 per million in population.

By this measure, compared with the 90 federal judicial districts in the U.S., the prosecution rate in Chicago was the lowest in the country…

The Syracuse study also showed that nationally federal gun crime prosecutions hit a decade low in 2011 under President Obama, down 40% from their peak under President George W. Bush in 2004.

The number of federal weapons prosecutions fell from about 11,000 in 2004 to about 6,000 under the Obama administration in 2011, before ticking up to 7,770 in 2012.

On last Tuesday night's O’Reilly Factor, Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy Research opined that it was both necessary and legal for President Trump to direct the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois to contact the local district attorney and take over the prosecution of local crimes in which a gun was carried or used by the criminal. Such crimes would receive stiffer mandatory sentences under federal gun laws:

BILL O'REILLY (HOST): And in the Impact Segment tonight, the violence in Chicago getting worse, if you can believe it. The first 23 days of this year, 42 homicides in the Windy City, up 24 percent from last year. An unbelievable 228 people have been shot and Chicago in 23 days. While campaigning last July, Donald Trump said this.


The question is, can President Trump override local Illinois and Chicago authorities, and stop the murder? Joining us now from Washington, Horace Cooper, an attorney that specializes in federal law. So, can he go in? And Cook County is where Chicago is located. Everybody says the same thing, gun crimes are not prosecuted aggressively, the sentences are way too low, the gang thing is getting worse, the mayor of Chicago has no clue, the governor of Illinois doesn't want to do anything about it, so can the feds go in and stop this?

HORACE COOPER: Well absolutely the feds can do this. And as you’ve pointed out there has been a wholesale failure on the part of the state and local communities to address this really serious problem. I don’t know another word besides carnage to describe the devastation that’s been taking place.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has said he welcomes federal assistance in gun crime prosecutions:

“The Chicago Police Department is more than willing to work with the federal government to build on our partnerships with DOJ, FBI, DEA and ATF and boost federal prosecution rates for gun crimes in Chicago,” Johnson said.

Yet Emanuel worries more about the safety of illegal aliens rather than the American citizens in his sanctuary city, proclaiming that they would always be safe in Chicago:

"To all those who are, after Tuesday's election, very nervous and filled with anxiety as we've spoken to, you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago and you are supported in Chicago," Emanuel said. "Chicago will always be a sanctuary city."

It is time to make Chicago and other urban areas safe, not for illegal aliens, but safe from the gum and gang violence from which there is no sanctuary under liberal Democrats. Federalize Chicago gun prosecutions, President Trump, and make Chicago safe again by ending the carnage. 

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.              

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