When he is not obsessing about his own glory, Donald Trump has been observed to briefly notice issues other than himself. One of these is violence in Chicago.
The city of Chicago is much beloved by conservatives as an example of why big inner city areas run by Democratic mayors are bad. Chicago’s fabled gun violence not only proves (to wingnuts) that gun control causes more shootings, black-on-black homicides provide them with cover (in their minds) for their raging racism. And, you know, that Democratic mayor doesn’t know how to get people under control.
Blah blah blah.
But never fear; El Comandante Trump thinks this is easily fixable.
President Trump again decried the levels of bloodshed in Chicago during a televised interview this week, saying that the problem could be easily solved without elaborating on what he meant. Trump, in his first major television interview since moving into the White House, said that police and city officials were “not doing the job” and suggested the problem was that they were “being overly political correct.”
Gun violence is the result of too much politeness?
Trump thrust himself back into the discussion of Chicago’s violence — which has spiked recently, as homicides last year reached a two-decade high — with a tweet Tuesday night threatening to “send in the Feds” if city officials were unable to stem the killings.
Leading to this and similar tweets:
We almost made it a whole week before he started talking about declaring martial law in a major city. https://t.co/AeISid2bAf
â€” Matt Scalici (@MattScalici) January 25, 2017
Trump’s restraint is admirable. I figured he’d have sent troops into Brooklyn already, just because they don’t like his hair.
Chicago does have a problem with violent crime. Chicago had more homicides in 2016 than did New York City and Los Angeles combined, which is a seriously bad accomplishment.
However, that doesn’t make Chicago the most dangerous city in the U.S. The most dangerous city in the U.S. is St. Louis. According to FBI data for 2014, St. Louis has a homicide rate of just about 50 murdered people per 100,000 people annually. Chicago’s murder rate is considerably lower; 15 homicide victims per 100,000 people annually. Chicago has more homicides than St. Louis because its population is a great deal larger. But this means that you are in much more danger of being murdered in St. Louis than you are in Chicago.
(The 2015 data show Baltimore overtaking St. Louis in murders, I understand, but I haven’t found more recent data in an easily digestible form.)
Other cities in which your odds of being murdered are higher than Chicago’s include Washington, DC (16/100,000), Miami, Florida (19/100,000) and Mike Pence’s Indianapolis, Indiana (15.8/100,000).
Los Angeles has a homicide rate of 6.7 per 100,000 people. And New York City’s homicide rate is about 4 per 100,000 people, among the lowest in the nation for an urban area. Note that both NYC and LA have Democratic mayors and among the nation’s stricter gun control laws, especially NYC.
It would take a closer analysis than I have time to even guess why some cities are so much more violent than others, but one suspects political correctness is not a major factor.