The massive looting that took place recently in Chicago isn’t good for anyone. Not really.
Neither is the increased bloodshed that’s sweeping the city. It was violent enough there as it was, yet now the violence has jumped to new heights since the protests and riots that swept the nation just a couple of months back.
Despite the violence, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wanted to make it clear that she had little interest in getting help from President Trump. It happened anyway, of course, but she was clear that she didn’t really want it.
Now, she’s changed her tune…but only if Trump betrays his base right before the election.
Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot had strong words for the hundreds of rioters and looters that took to the streets of Chicago Sunday night, causing major damage to some of the city’s tourist areas and stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise from high-end shops and boutiques located in the city’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district.
Lightfoot is now asking for President Donald Trump to send additional resources to federal agents assisting the Chicago Police Department in controlling the city’s spike in violence — but only if those resources are targeted towards “federally licensed gun dealers.”
“We are waking up in shock this morning,” Lightfoot said at a joint press conference with the city’s police superintendent, David Brown. “What happened in our city last night and this morning of course is deeply painful for every Chicagoan.”
The looting, Lightfoot said, was “brazen and extensive criminal destruction.”
I agree; it’s definitely criminal.
Lightfoot didn’t stop there, either.
She then took aim at claims the looting was in response to an officer-involved shooting on the city’s South Side, calling the prevailing narrative about the incident false, and lashing out at previous claims, made by individuals like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that property violence in cities like Chicago is motivated by poverty.
“This is not legitimate 1st Amendment-protected speech. These were not poor people engaging in petty theft to feed themselves and their families,” Lightfoot said. “This was straight up-felony, criminal conduct.”
Again, I agree. Looting isn’t protected speech, nor should it be. It directly infringes on the property rights of the owners of the looted stores. That means it can’t be considered a free speech issue.
The looting is a serious problem, a problem that can’t be ignored.
If people in Chicago believe that going around and looting businesses is the proper response to what they perceive as some kind of injustice, they’re going to be in for a bad time. It doesn’t convince anyone. Americans are historically pretty ornery about stuff like that. We dig in our heels and make it a point not to capitulate to the mob.
So far, I’m with Lightfoot.
However, she decided that there is something President Trump can help with.
Lightfoot did note that she would not call in National Guard troops to help secure the city and prevent rioting. She did, however, suggest that President Donald Trump could provide greater assistance to the city by providing more resources to agents of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms bureau assisting Chicago police violence control efforts, but only if those resources are aimed at conducting background checks on federally licensed gun dealers.
“Lightfoot urges Trump to provide adequate resources to ATF and get behind federally licensed gun dealers. ‘Don’t rattle the sabre. Don’t make threats,’” one local Chicago reporter noted on Twitter.
First, federally licensed gun dealers have already undergone background checks. They’re also conducting background checks on prospective gun buyers. They’re following the laws.
But the problem in Chicago is that criminals get guns through illegal means. They steal guns from lawful gun owners. They misrepresent themselves with false identification to try and get a gun from a licensed dealer. They use straw buyers to obtain them. They have a plethora of ways in which they can get a gun, none of which are the fault of licensed dealers.
Lightfoot, however, is wanting Trump to lower the hammer on law-abiding gun dealers right before the election knowing full well that it wouldn’t have any impact on Chicago’s violence problem. She also likely knows that gun rights advocates would view such a move as a betrayal. Trump needs their votes, so such a betrayal could be disastrous for the president.
Luckily, I don’t see it happening. Trump doesn’t like being dictated to, so he’ll either do it his way or not at all.