DOJ charges dozens of Chicago bad guys over guns

DOJ charges dozens of Chicago bad guys over guns
AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

When I was in Hospital Corps “A” School, I spent a lot of time in Chicago. After all, there was a train station right outside the gate and our barracks were right near it. We’d often just hop the train, head into the Windy City, and revel in the sights and sounds.

The city has a personality that Atlanta, the other major urban center I’ve spent a lot of time in, just doesn’t have. As such, Chicago has a special place in my heart.

Yet with violent crime like it is, there’s no way I’m interested in a return visit.

However, the Department of Justice has announced it’s made dozens of arrests as part of President Biden’s “strike force” initiative.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday announced that officials have charged and convicted dozens of offenders for gun crimes in Chicago as part of President Biden’s 2021 “strike force” initiative.

The DOJ also said “a significant number” of guns recovered in Chicago are illegally trafficked from outside the Windy City.

“Whether individuals are trafficking guns from Wisconsin into Chicago or sending guns from other states into places like Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha, we are fully committed to working with our federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners to hold firearms traffickers and straw purchasers fully accountable,” Eastern District of Wisconsin U.S. Attorney Richard G. Frohling said in a Tuesday statement.

Biden launched the initiative last summer in an effort to help curb violet crime and gun trafficking in Chicago, which recorded a 25-year high in homicides last year, as well as in other major U.S. cities.

Since then, local and federal officials in Illinois and Wisconsin have arrested several dozen individuals accused or convicted of trafficking firearms into Chicago, according to a press release.

Now, I’m no fan of the leadership in either Chicago or Washington, but this is probably good news for folks in Chicago, at least as far as it goes.

The report goes on to note that shootings and homicides are down 18 percent compared to this same time last year, which hints that this effort is working. However, it should be noted that violent crime is down compared to last year across the board. It’s going to be hard to tell how much of that is because people are just chilling out and how much is because of the arrests.

I’m thinking mostly the former.

Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing the authorities hammer bad guys rather than trying to make life difficult for us law-abiding gun owners. I want to see more of it.

However, I just can’t see “dozens” of arrests being enough to change the tide of the problem in Chicago or most anywhere else with a population of more than a few thousand.

Yes, these are people who are apparently providing guns to bad guys there, but as we’ve seen over the years, Chicago has plenty of guns already. The gun control laws on the books didn’t stop them then and I doubt they’re stopping all of them now.

Still, focusing on the criminals is a positive step. I just wish these folks would just do that for a change.