Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot always has an excuse handy when it comes to her repeated failures to address crime in her city. Shootings are up? Blame Indiana gun laws. Rampant looting downtown? Blame the Cook County prosecutor. Even though Lightfoot is the highest ranking elected official in the city, none of Chicago’s woes seem to have anything to do with her.. at least as far as Lightfoot herself is concerned. While there’s more than enough blame to go around, including the abysmal performance of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, the mayor Chicago bears a great deal of culpability for what’s happened in her city over the past few months.

On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Second Amendment activist Rhonda Ezell, founder of Chicago Guns Matter, joins me to talk about the rising crime and increasing chaos in the city, and how residents are responding. Ezell tells me that she believes many residents are choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights for the very first time, and says she’s seen full gun ranges and concealed carry courses at capacity over the past few months (though not in Chicago itself, where there are no gun stores or ranges for the public).

Even local celebrities are getting into the firearms training business, with rapper Twista announcing this week that he’s launching “The Gun Camp” in order to help Chicagoans get their concealed carry license and learn to “want to protect their family the right way.”

Ezell, who’s been fighting for the right to keep and bear arms in Chicago since shortly after the city’s ban on handguns was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2010, says it’s encouraging to see so many residents embrace their Second Amendment rights. Still, she knows that the reason why so many Chicagoans are choosing to purchase a firearm is because they don’t feel safe in their homes, their neighborhoods, and their city.

Ultimately that falls on the shoulders of Lori Lightfoot, no matter how many fingers she wants to point in other directions. She’s the mayor, and while local prosecutor Kim Foxx can and should be criticized for her unwillingness to prosecute many felony cases, Lightfoot can’t escape her own responsibility to ensure that Chicago’s streets become safer places. Lightfoot has failed spectacularly in that regard, and given her refusal to accept that responsibility, Chicago’s continued decline seems like the most likely scenario in the months ahead.