We hear the reports out of Chicago every weekend—more innocent people killed on the mean streets, including a number of children. More recently, a rash of random murders—many of children—in several large cities throughout the country have mayors in those areas calling for an end to the violence.
In Atlanta, eight-year-old Secoriea Turner was sitting in a car with her mother and another adult when violent thugs who had taken over a Wendy’s restaurant a few weeks earlier opened fire on the vehicle.
“We're fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up in our streets,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a press conference. “You shot and killed a baby. And it wasn't one shooter, there was (sic) at least two shooters.”
A similar atrocity occurred in Washington, D.C., where 11-year-old Davon McNeal was visiting family when a group of men began shooting, killing him.
"The public's help is dire in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the horrendous killing of 11-year-old Davon McNeal," Mayor Muriel Bower stated in a tweet announcing a $25,000 reward for information.
And, of course, there was Chicago, where 7-year-old Natalia Wallace was playing in her yard when three suspects jumped out of a car and began shooting, hitting her in the head.
“Tonight a 7-year-old in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted. “As a city we must wrap our arms around our youth so they understand there's a future for them that isn't wrapped up in gun violence.”
Unfortunately, these mayors constantly call for an end to the violence, all the while not making any changes because they don’t want to hurt their re-election chances. They know, however, that asking criminals to stop murdering people has never been a successful crime-fighting tactic.
Here are three things these big-city mayors should be doing immediately to help stop the bloodshed.
Stop Coddling Criminals
In the Atlanta incident, so-called “protesters” had become violent and taken over the Wendy’s restaurant weeks earlier and had been occupying it as somewhat of an autonomous zone. In all that time, Mayor Bottoms had never ordered police to step in and clear out the obviously violent individuals. If she had, it’s likely Secoriea Turner might still be alive today, and those who shot her might be sitting in jail for their earlier violent actions.
Revolving-door justice is another cause of widespread urban murder that mayors and city councilors must address. Violent criminals who receive no punishment for their crimes and many times don’t even have to post bail to be released after an arrest aren’t going to stop committing violent crimes, no matter how much a mayor begs them to do so.
Crack Down On Violent Drug Gangs
While Antifa and Black Lives Matter have been responsible for much of the violence in America’s cities over the past few months, most of the random killing, which claims children in the crossfire, is done by violent drug gangs fighting other drug gangs. That’s likely the case in the killing of Davon McNeal, who only wanted to visit his aunt on a holiday weekend.
It might sound old-fashioned, but police should arrest gang members who are known to have committed crimes, prosecutors should prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law and judges should put them in prison for a long time. It’s not racist to want violent felons who don’t blink an eye at murdering another human being off the streets for the safety of all. And mayors who don’t push for prosecution of violent gang members are part of the problem.
Stop Making It Hard For The Law-Abiding To Defend Themselves
Laws like those in Chicago that make it increasingly harder for law-abiding residents of the inner city to protect themselves with a firearm aren’t a solution, they’re a big part of the problem. I’m betting that every shooter involved in the three murders mentioned above wasn’t legally able to own a gun under federal firearms law, but they couldn’t care less.
Ironically, while law-abiding citizens struggle to navigate a confusing, expensive permitting process and purchasing procedure, criminals can get a gun on the street in mere minutes. They don’t mind killing people, why would they worry about breaking gun laws?
Unless and until big-city politicians start worrying more about their law-abiding citizens than about not offending the criminal element in their cities, nothing is ever going to change. And five years from now, we’ll be writing about another 4th of July weekend where several young children were killed by violent criminals who have been ignored by those same inept politicians.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.