The city of Chicago saw a staggering number of homicides last year, with over 760 murders in 2016. President Trump is combating the problem by following in Obama’s footsteps, and ramping up the confiscation of “illegal” guns—and he’s using the federal government for assistance.
The Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force is now made up of both Chicago police and 20 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Because the federal agents bring their technology and weapons with them, the city now has access to a van outfitted with ballistic testing equipment, specifically devoted to targeting “illegal” guns and repeat gun offenders.
During a news conference on June 30, acting U.S. Attorney Joel Levin said prosecutors are working on increasing federal gun prosecutions, and his office has prosecuted “more federal gun cases this year than in all of 2016—and in 2016, his office prosecuted more such cases than it had in a decade.”
All of the guns Chicago police are confiscating are defined as “illegal guns,” and it raises the question—what exactly is it that makes these guns, and their owners, illegal? As with many things that are prohibited in the United States, the guns are illegal because the government says they are illegal.
“If you had some guns in that club the night that this took place, if you had guns on the other side, you wouldn’t have had the tragedy that you had,” Trump said in a CNN interview after last year’s tragic shooting in Orlando, noting that only good guys with guns can stop bad guys with guns. With the thousands of gun confiscations taking place in Illinois, there are undoubtedly good people losing their means of self-defense to Trump’s gun confiscating army.
Trump has even made note that the strict gun laws in Chicago do nothing to stop gun violence as bad guys will always find ways to get guns.
That ranking is largely due to the requirement for all gun owners in the state to obtain a “Firearm Owners Identification Card” or FOID card from state police. Illinois then passed a law in August 2016, making it a felony for anyone to so much as bring a gun into the state for the purpose of selling, delivering or transferring it, without a FOID card.
Based on a Tweet from President Trump on June 30, in which he said, “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help,” one might think that this was his plan all along.
“In Chicago, which has the toughest gun laws in the United States, probably you could say by far, they have more gun violence than any other city. So we have the toughest laws, and you have tremendous gun violence,” Trump said. “I am a very strong supporter of the Second Amendment.”
As The Free Thought Project reported in August 2015, one group of Chicago moms combated the level of violence by taking to the streets, and helping those in need. As a result, violence began declining in one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
The current tactics used by Chicago police, including the mass confiscation of guns, have been ongoing for years, and even though thousands of guns are confiscated each year, the number of homicides continues to climb. While the addition of the federal government’s agents and their equipment will certainly increase the number of gun confiscations, it will also likely increase the death toll, raising the question of when city and state officials will start looking at the root of the problem, and stop increasing the power of the police state.
Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.