Just this week, a gang shooting targeted six in Chicago, including a 12-year-old girl. In a cruel twist, the shootings occurred at a vigil for the victim of yet another shooting—part of what seems to be a never-ending cycle of gun violence in the Windy City.
President Trump said on Wednesday that if Chicago doesn’t control the “carnage” brought on by gang violence, he would “send in the feds.” While some conservatives cheer the idea of Trump bringing a federal response to the ongoing and out-of-control violence in Chicago, it would set an incredibly dangerous precedent in the expansive use of federal power.
Chicago is a premier example of a city run by political corruption and draconian gun laws. The problem is not too many guns; statistics show over and over that criminals can get guns anytime they so desire regardless of the laws. The “carnage” in Chicago — already over 40 murders so far in January — proves that states with constitutional carry have lower homicide rates, but in Chicago, the only people who have weapons are the criminals.
The left seems never to get it through their thick heads: Firearms are not the problem. The violence riddle in Chicago is cultural: government dependency, corruption, gangs, a fundamental disregard for life and morality—rubrics that are evidently not taught to children.
When the President says he will “send in the feds” to curb the violence in Chicago, it speaks to a basic misunderstanding of both the problem and the Constitutional limits of government. The first question that Americans should ask is: What is Trump’s definition of sending in the Feds? Is he referring to an expansion of the FBI field office there? Dispatching the National Guard? Federalizing the local police force?
The idea that the U.S. government can come in and stamp out the problems in Chicago seems a bit naïve. National Guard troops in Chicago would not change the culture there, and would not make fatherless black males with gangs for role models stop shooting each other in the streets. Bringing in more FBI agents would not fix the fact that according to the Guttmacher Institute, last year in Cook County alone there were 22,892 abortions – more than half of all abortions performed in the state. In fact, it is arguable that government, bureaucracy, and politicians are the root of the problem. Federal troops won’t fix the problem in Chicago. It will take a massive shift in culture and the mindset of its citizens and leaders.
President Trump should think long and hard before calling upon the federal government to go into Chicago and start throwing its weight around. Not only will it cause more violence, but it will also advance the idea that the Feds have every right to come into any state, push local and county authorities aside, and simply take over.
Sending Federal law enforcement is not a situation conducive to liberty – or the Constitution that Trump promised to uphold and defend just one week ago in his oath of office.