A nationwide surge in violent crime has emerged as a growing area of concern inside the White House, where President Joe Biden and his aides have listened with alarm as local authorities warn a brutal summer of killing lies ahead.
Biden plans to address the spike in shootings, armed robberies and vicious assaults on Wednesday afternoon following a meeting with state and local officials, law enforcement representatives and others involved in combating the trend. He hopes to dampen what has already become a cudgel for Republicans eager to run a “law and order” campaign in next year’s midterm elections. The President is poised to announce a comprehensive crime reduction strategy on Wednesday, officials said, in hopes of reducing gun violence and addressing the root causes of the spike. He plans to sign executive actions with a particular focus on tamping down gun crimes, according to officials, while again calling on Congress to take steps to enact new gun control laws. He is also set to press Congress to confirm David Chipman as his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Across the country, the easing of pandemic restrictions paired with the onset of warmer weather has led to a troubling increase in crime, much of it involving guns. After years of decreasing crime statistics, the homicide rate surged in major cities in 2020 and that trend appears poised to continue this year. Last weekend, there were 10 mass shootings across nine states that killed seven people and injured at least 45 others, according to data compiled by CNN and Gunviolencearchive.org.