CHICAGO — While many look to Lori Lightfoot amid a rise in Chicago gun violence, the mayor is instead pointing the finger at a problem she says only the feds can fix.
As violent crime continues to rise in cities across America, several mayors say illegal guns are the big problem. CPD Superintendent David Brown on Tuesday said officers had recovered 5,200 illegal guns this year alone.
Now there’s push for a federal strategy.
Lightfoot invited reporters to an event about urban development and climate change, but it was overshadowed by the city’s persistent violence after eight people were shot at a home in Englewood.
“I’m concerned about the fact that there are people who are dead in an act of violence that makes no sense to me,” Lightfoot said.
A surge in Chicago shootings is raising fears of another long and violent summer.
According to Chicago Police, murders are up 5%; shootings up 17 % so far this year.
The situation is not unique to Chicago. According to the Washington Post, gunfire killed more than 81,000 people in America – 54 people per day during the first five months of the year.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors addressed the issue on Tuesday, with Lightfoot calling for a nationwide anti-gun violence push.
“We’ve got to redouble our efforts to call upon the federal government to help us stop the flow of illegal guns into our city,” Lightfoot said. “A lot of this played out on social media that then becomes a shooting – a beef from one person to another, one group to another. It’s a completely different dynamic if there’s no guns.”
Tension remains among the people tasked with keeping Chicago safe. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recently held a webinar pointing to data suggesting Chicago police are arresting the wrong people to curb gun violence.
“I fundamentally disagree with that,” Lightfoot said in response. “We are a city that is awash in illegal guns. Those illegal guns cause deep pain and injury and death.”
As Lightfoot manages the gun violence, she insists the city is safe.
“Meanwhile, I think the city is open, people are enjoying themselves in every neighborhood, not just in the downtown area and our goal and our mission is to make sure that they can do that safely and peacefully and that’s what we’re doing.”