Chicago’s new mayor Lori Lightfoot has a different plan to tackle violence—she will face violence and crime as a public health crisis.
“Previously we had a law enforcement first and only strategy and it wasn’t working,” she said. “We have to treat this epidemic of violence that we’re seeing as a public health crisis.”
Lightfoot says the framing of the problem is important because it will help them dig down into the root causes of the violence. Instead of taking the most aggressive stance on violence, focusing on economic development, filling the opportunity gap, and fixing health care deserts will reduce violence naturally.
The NRA claims Chicago is proof that gun laws don’t work but Lightfoot rejects this argument.
“The fact that you can cross the border, go into Indiana, and purchase military-grade weapons at any number with no background check is a terrible thing, not only for a city, but look at the devastation that gun violence is wreaking every single day in our community,” she said. “
60% of guns used in Chicago crimes come from states with weaker gun laws. So Lightfoot says the only way to get around that problem in a profound way is to have federal laws in place that require background checks and strengthen the penalties for abusing firearms.