Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said if President Trump wants to help bring down the crime rate in Chicago, the administration needs to address people being able to “get access to weapons as easily as cell phones.”
Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity shorting after taking office that Chicago “is worse than some of the countries you read about in the Middle East where there’s wars going on, and there is no reason for it.”
The president also tweeted: “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!”
Durbin told MSNBC this morning that he’s “proud to represent the city of Chicago,” but “what we have there with the gun violence and death is absolutely unacceptable.”
“For the president to say ‘I am going to send in the feds’ is one thing. We need more than that. We need resources to strengthen and train our police force. We need to work in the neighborhoods to deal with this violence,” he said.
“Do you know why these children are being shot? Because kids who are 13- and 14-year olds have access to semiautomatic weapons and are spraying these bullets in crime scenes that are killing so many innocent people. Yes, it is a terrible situation but it calls for all the resources that we can muster from the federal, state and local basis.”
Durbin said the violence is “sadly” concentrated in certain parts of the city. “And you can almost pinpoint half of the gun violence deaths to two or three specific sections in the city. They are just areas of devastation economically and otherwise,” he said.
“And the young black men, in most cases, that are involved in these crimes are in dysfunctional family situations,” the senator added. “And they get access to weapons as easily as cell phones. They have no training and no expertise in shooting them. They fire wildly at other gang members and kill innocent children and others, grandmothers, in the process.”
“It is an outrageous situation. We need to focus the resources at every level to give the police the training and the authority and the resources they need to deal with this, to bring the courts into the picture to make sure that those guilty of gun crimes are held accountable and to work these neighborhoods, house by house, block by the block, to bring peace to this city.”