A recent National Rifle Association article on the spike in violent crime across America highlighted an incident that went viral online after Democratic Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin interrupted Heritage Fellow Amy Swearer as she was testifying about the horrific consequences of soft-on-crime left-wing prosecutors in America’s biggest cities.
The piece described an attempt by politicians to blame gun ownership, rather than a weak criminal prosecutorial system, for the rise in crimes across the United States. Swearer, who works in Heritage’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, has worked to contradict that narrative.
In the middle of her testimony, given in December of last year, Durbin cut off Swearer. He was uninterested in hearing her remarks on individual cases in the city of Chicago, where State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s election preceded a major crime wave.
“Ms. Swearer, I read your testimony,” remarked Durbin, “and I believe in all fairness, since we did not invite Cook County State’s Attorney’s office … that you shouldn’t really zero in on any particular individual.”
The NRA reported how, when Swearer attempted to speak again, the senator interrupted once more.
The article mentioned Swearer’s written account of the unusual experience, which was published in The Daily Signal (The Daily Signal is the news and commentary website of The Heritage Foundation). “It seems that Durbin was more interested in using Chicago residents as political pawns than in understanding why Chicago’s criminals feel free to shoot whomever they want without fearing consequences,” she wrote.
The NRA piece connected Durbin’s interruption of Swearer with his long-standing “anti-Second Amendment agenda.” It also investigated city, state, and national trends on violent crime while examining the origins for the spikes.