The anti-gun crowd skewered Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark Jr. when he suggested that residents in his area should arm themselves to take personal protection into their own hands in light of ongoing law enforcement cutbacks. A little more than an hour south in notoriously violent Chicago, residents are dealing with a different message from law enforcement.
It has been noted that Chicago is a veritable gun-control utopia. The city is intolerant of gun stores, armed private citizens in public, assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and shooting ranges. Draconian gun-control provisions even make it a hassle to keep a firearm in a residence for home protection. Daily headlines also proffer that not only does Chicago epitomize gun control at its finest, but it is also a criminal cesspool.
When he was interviewed about the controversial public service announcement that urged residents in his area to learn how to properly use a firearm for self-defense, Clark said he was simply looking for creative ways to help residents cope with lagging first responder response times.
“People are responsible to play a role in their own safety, with the help of law enforcement,” Clarke said. “I’m here to do my part, but we have fewer and fewer resources. We’re not omnipresent, and we have to stop giving people that impression.”
“After sitting down and thinking about this, I’m thinking ‘Hey, I’ve got an untapped reserve over here, and it’s the public,”‘ Clarke said.
The lack of resources available to Chicago-area law enforcement is similar. Police officials in the city announced this week that officers will no longer respond on scene to reports of criminal property damage, vehicle thefts, burglaries or other crimes in which the suspect may no longer be at or near the scene. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says the move will free up about 44 officers per patrol shift to prevent shootings on the streets.
“I don’t mean to be flippant here, because I’ve been the victim of a burglary at least three or four times,” he told CBS Chicago. “I’d rather have the officer on street, where he can prevent the shooting.”
Unless the suspect is on the scene or the victim of a crime feels his life is in immediate danger from criminals, the caller will be directed to give officers details over the phone or at district law enforcement stations.
“You’re upset; you’re violated. It’s happened to me. So, you’ve got to weigh it, and I’m making tough decisions,” McCarthy said. “I’m making a tough decision, but I’d rather have that officer on the street, doing something to prevent the next shooting than — honestly — making somebody feel better, because they’re responding rather than talking to them over the phone.”
In Chicago, where 91.5 percent of shooters escaped charges in 2011, a “no snitch” code emboldens the criminal underground. The city’s criminals now know that cops are spread so thinly that they will no longer respond in person to certain criminal complaints from the largely unarmed law-abiding populace, no doubt a further confidence-booster for the ill-intentioned.
McCarthy claims the Chicago Police Department’s decision is a proactive move that will prevent future shootings. Clarke admits that law enforcement is unable to protect every citizen from criminal activity and urges responsible firearm ownership.
Whose city would you rather call home?