Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Greg Hinz on sending in National Guard to city's dangerous neighborhoods

Hinz is the political columnist for Crain's Chicago Business in a post published yesterday that discusses a number of news. Of course lately the dominant news here on this blog has been the call by two state Representatives John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford to call on the state Governor and Chicago's Mayor to call for National Guard troops to supplement the city police:
Meanwhile, I have lots of respect for state Rep. John Fritchey, D-Chicago, who I'll credit with good motives for calling over the weekend for the state to send National Guard troops to protect Chicago streets. But it's not a good idea.

Though overall city crime has dropped a lot in the past two decades, the violence level in some neighborhoods remains staggeringly high. But sending a bunch of youngsters with guns from other portions of the state into inner-city neighborhoods is inviting trouble.

Far better to hire more police and deploy them more wisely, if that's what's needed, or to heed Mayor Daley's call to keep guns out of the city.
Well he got one for two conclusions right. Yeah Chicago needs to hire more police officers. But I don't have great faith that we can keep guns out of the city.

I know the feelings people have about guns. All too often over the years we've seen the effect senseless gun violence has on the people it affects, but how is keeping guns out of the city working out. So far it hasn't because those who are determined to have a gun for ill or otherwise have them anyway.

I don't think the issue is with the proliferation of guns in the city. The solution at least on the legal end is harsher penalties for using a gun in the commission of a crime. Of course the penalty for murder is harsh enough which is anywhere up to either death or life in prison. What about those who engage in armed robbery or people who just decide that it's OK to do a drive-by at random.

Instead of punishing the gun let's punish the criminals more!

Besides Fritchey is right. We need to start this discussion on what to do about this violence. The last thing I want is the military strolling up and down city streets. Perhaps we need to discuss decriminalizing drugs and other solutions! We may need to even discuss if banning guns is the solution as well.

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