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Horowitz: Leftist cities create haven for guns … in the hands of criminals
(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP via Getty Images)

Horowitz: Leftist cities create haven for guns … in the hands of criminals

It's not just conservative counties pushing for Second Amendment "sanctuaries." Leftist-controlled cities have become a haven for guns with de facto open and concealed carry without the requirement of a permit ... so long as the owner has a criminal record, assaults people with the gun, and is of the right ilk.

Crime has skyrocketed in my part of Baltimore County, with carjackings and muggings a daily occurrence within blocks of where I live. I told my wife that I should carry a gun in my holster despite the laws on the books in Maryland because all the criminals holding people up with guns never seem to serve a day in jail, despite their criminal records. Thus, indeed there is a right to carry in the state of Maryland.

"Yes, but not for people like you, honey," my wife said. "You'll get in big trouble if you're caught defending yourself with a gun."

With skyrocketing homicide rates throughout the country, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked on Monday if there was a crime problem in America.

"Well, I would say certainly there is a guns problem, and that's something the President would say," Psaki replied.

It's funny because I have a lot of guns and I never harm people with them. Nor do any of my friends. America's revolution of right-to-carry laws (and loosening of gun laws in general) began in the '90s, coinciding perfectly with the miraculous decline in violent crime. Yet, in recent years, crime has skyrocketed, especially in the places with the strictest gun laws. What gives?

Indeed, we don't have a gun problem, we have a violent criminal problem because criminals are no longer kept behind bars, particularly those who commit violence with guns. Exhibit A is the city of Chicago.

One would think with the way Democrats talk about guns, they would lock someone up for life if they were caught assaulting someone with a gun. Yet, just in January of this year, CWB Chicago, a local news outlet that focuses on crime, chronicled five cases of gun felons committing murder while out on bail for serious felony charges.

In the last case, Demetris Johnson, who had a criminal record dating back to 2011 when he was arrested but not convicted for murder, had numerous gun felony charges when he eventually was arrested for murder on Jan. 27 of this year. On his last gun charge, despite his criminal record and being charged Class X armed habitual criminal, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon with a previous gun conviction, and failure to register as a gun offender, Johnson was released on just $3,000 bail.

After failing to show up for his next court date, the original judge ordered him held without bail, but another judge allowed him to be released on electronic monitoring after posting just $20,000 bond. Not surprisingly he failed to show up to his next court date on Oct. 6, 2020, but was released again by Judge Joan O'Brien on electronic monitoring! He was arrested for murder less than four months later.

That, in a nutshell, is why Chicago is the way it is today. Leftist judges and politicians hate incarceration more than they disdain guns, including guns that are actually discharged against innocent people. Hence, we have a major criminal problem, not a gun problem.

The de-incarceration movement is trying to convince the public that "supervised release" and ankle bracelets are as good as jail, but as we have seen over and over again, they never deter a committed career violent criminal. An understaffed Chicago police force must now monitor 94 accused murderers, 261 people convicted of two or more felonies, 534 people charged as felons in possession of a weapon, and 569 individuals who have been accused of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon all on ankle monitors.

Just four years ago, there were only 31 homicide suspects out pre-trial on ankle monitors, according to a new report from the Chicago Tribune. The number of people out on the streets either felony weapon possession is up more than five-fold over the past four years.

What this all means is that at the same time Chicago politicians rail against law-abiding gun owners, they are releasing the people responsible for all the gun violence even after catching them! And what happens when they violate the terms of the pre-trial release or post-conviction parole — even when caught on the GPS tracking?

There is a stigma against reincarcerating anyone just like there was a stigma against releasing criminals last generation. And as we've learned the hard way, these are not "non-violent, low-level" criminals.

CWB Chicago got a hold of an email correspondence with city officials revealing that they not only conspired to reduce the jail population at all costs, but to refrain from criticizing each other when one judge would release a criminal who inevitably reoffended.

The "criminal justice reform" movement was never about fixing the criminal justice system. It was always about de-incarceration of the most violent criminals, which now includes murderers and gun felons. After all, possessing a gun is only considered a high-level crime when it's done by a law-abiding citizen for self-defense.

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