(Above) A table of guns confiscated by Chicago police on display as Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown addresses gun violence in the city during a news conference at CPD headquarters on June 29. AP photo by Ashlee Rezin Garcia. (Click on images to view larger versions.)
Nothing reduces real estate values like a shootout in your front yard.
15-Jul-21 The streets of Chicago are under siege.
Every night the 10:00 p.m. TV news lists the previous nights shootings and murders on the streets of Chicago.
Over the July 4 holiday weekend, more than 100 people were shot, including 11 children. 17 people died. And it will likely happen again this weekend.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown blames the court system for not dealing harshly with gun felons. Meanwhile, Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx blames the cops and refuses to prosecute. Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrings her hands, curses or calls everyone names, then begs President Joe Biden for federal help to control illegal guns.
This writer thinks it is time to take a stand to begin to solve the runaway violence plaguing Chicago. Time to put our broad shoulders back to work making our streets safe again.
Fact: The killers are mostly gang members and drug dealers fighting over gang turf for illegal drug sales, mostly on the South Side and West Side of the city.
Fact: There may be more than 100,000 gang members, many of which are involved in these gun and murder crimes. The Chicago Police Department knows their names, addresses, family members, and associates because they have long criminal records. So how hard would it be to start with a comprehensive gun-search crackdown with this list?
(Left) Chicago rapper Lil Reese is loaded by Chicago Fire Department personnel into an ambulance on Grand Avenue following a shooting in a nearby parking garage on May 15. Photo by Steven Dahlman.
Here are some suggestions on how to fight The War on Guns and get illegal weapons and deadly killers off the streets of Chicago...
Establish Marshall Law. Lets be honest, many Chicago streets are combat zones. Its time for Governor J.B. Pritzker and President Biden to order the National Guard to set up roadblocks in Chicagos problem neighborhoods to do searches and seizures for illegal guns, and arrest gang members on outstanding warrants and parole violations.
Chicago police try to stem the tide, but Cook County courts free many of the shooters as quickly as theyre brought in.
The federal government can set up quasi-military occupation camps in gang neighborhoods so troops can go on night combat patrols to ferret out the gang-bangers who are out shooting in the neighborhoods. This really is anti-terrorist work.
Some of these gang members are so bold they may take up the challenge and shoot it out with federal troops. Big mistake for them, especially if the feds bring in armored personnel carriers and heavy weapons. Some may die. Arrest and prosecute gang bangers to the fullest measure of the law. Its the feds, so few would be freed the same day.
House-to-house weapons searches in known offenders homes. Remember, this is a war on illegal guns and those who possess them. Its really a military operation like fighting terrorists. If illegal weapons are found in hot neighborhoods they need to be confiscated. Illegal gun owners need to be prosecuted to the fullest measure of the law.
Drugs and cash also likely will be found in these properties, increasing the criminal penalties. The real estate also should be confiscated. Surely drones can be used to track what buildings shooters are entering and exiting.
Target gun trafficking. Launch a federal crackdown on suburban gun shops and those in nearby states that are selling thousands of weapons to gangs. Is this a federal crime? Is it illegal to sell weapons inter-state to gangs? If not, lets go to Washington, D.C., and pass new legislation. Hello, Senator Dick Durbin and Congressmen from Illinois.
Yes, we know, many of the illegal gun merchants are working out of cars. Is there a way to covertly place GPS tracking devices on their vehicles to follow them on their sales routes?
(Right) Chicago police vehicles near intersection of State Street and Grand Avenue on night of May 2. Photo by Steven Dahlman
Demand neighborhood intelligence co-operation. We always see many of the same people complaining in the news about shootings and the killing of innocent children who happen to be in the path of those gang bullets. Since they suffer the most, now its the neighborhood groups turn to really help identify the shooters. They likely know who their worst gang-member-offender neighbors are.
The city should offer Gang-Banger Identification rewards for anonymous tips. Why not Finger a Gang-Banger for a $1,000 cash reward, or more, and save lives?
Much tougher weapons penalties. If a person has been arrested on weapons charges multiple times, he or she is a habitual offender and a three-time loser and should be incarcerated without parole. Many of these people are murderers and killers of innocent people and do not deserve to walk the streets of Chicago. The police know who they are. Hello, Timothy Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, are you listening?
Offer an olive branch. Lets suppose there are a few gang members who have a heart and see the writing on the wall and want to get out of the killing lifestyle.
We need to find a job for every gang member who turns in his gun. The pay should be higher than the $15 minimum wage. Many are seasoned drug sales experts. They could be hired to market and sell marijuana at legal pot shops across the city or even electronics at Best Buy.
For those gang members who aspire for higher employment, offer free GED courses, college scholarships, or military service with guaranteed government school training to become engineers, journalists, and professionals. (On second thought, skip journalists. Theyre now making less than minimum wage.)
Now that the United States military has left Afghanistan, Uncle Sam needs those seasoned troops to protect America. This is a higher calling. Pay these professionals to take an oath of allegiance to America and promise to work for the government for at least ten years. Pay these veterans $100,000 a year and give them a full military pension. They will all retire millionaires.
If these out-of-the-box suggestions sound harsh, they need to be. Its a war. Gung ho!