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Gangbusters

April 26th, 2010 - 5:20 am

Two Democratic state representatives asked the Governor of Illinois to use the National Guard against Chicago’s criminals. John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford “said they want Quinn, Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis to allow guardsmen to patrol streets and help quell violence”. But Weis disagreed, saying it was unlikely the governor would act against Mayor Daley’s wishes; besides using the National Guard would lead to another Kent State incident.

What he envisions, Fritchey said, is a “heightened presence on the streets,” particularly on the roughly 9 percent of city blocks where most of the city’s violent crimes occur. … So far this year, 113 people have been killed across Chicago, the same number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined in the same period, Fritchey said.

“As we speak, National Guard members are working side-by-side with our troops to fight a war halfway around the world,” Fritchey said. “The unfortunate reality is that we have another war that is just as deadly taking place right in our backyard.”

Earlier this month ABC News described efforts by Chicago residents to persuade officials to let them arm themselves against the crime wave. They are going to the US Supreme Court to force the city to let exercise their Constitutional rights. “Otis McDonald, 76, is afraid for his life in his crime-saturated Chicago neighborhood and he is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his city’s strict ban on handguns in the home.”

“There’s more guns coming into this city than the police can take away from them. So if I’ve got a gun, and if others have guns in their homes to protect themselves, then that’s one thing that police would have to worry about less.”

For nearly 30 years, Chicago has banned possession of handguns and automatic weapons inside city limits, one of the most stringent gun laws in the country.

McDonald’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court comes a year and a half after the Court stunned gun-control advocates in another case, declaring for the first time that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to own a gun in his or her home.

Now according the AP, Illinois lawmakers say its time to call out the National Guard. In a single night last week seven persons died and 18 were wounded by gunfire alone in a city in which guns are banned. Marks Allen of Chicago Now met with Father Michael Pfleger, a Catholic priest who has worked closely with Jeremiah Wright, Joseph Lowery, Jesse Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Cornel West, and Louis Farrakhan to discuss the crime wave. Allen and Pfleger concluded that the gangs had lost all fear of law enforcement and lawlessness had become a way of life.  Both concluded that more had to be done to lift the communities from their economic and social morass.

Father Mike and I agreed on the facts that many young people and others have somehow lost their social consiousness, respect for life, and respect for law enforcement that has been clearly shown in the number of deadly confrontation between heavily armed street offenders and police with those in the street showing absolutely NO FEAR of facing death in their attacks on law enforcement who threaten their battle to survive economically through their various illegal street operations. With that Father Pfleger and I agreed that the presence of The National Guard would only increase the tensions with law enforcement and the streets and would only set the stage for even more potential deadly armed confrontations with our young people and innocent people being killed!

It is almost as if, despite decades of ‘community organizing’ efforts the communities themselves had dissolved under the impact of various political, social and economic influences. Allen, one of the first community organizers to work with Barack Obama, has the answer to the latest outbreak of violence. Green Jobs.

During the recent National Action Network Convention and 12 Month National Action Plan launched by Rev. Al Sharpton, Wallace “Gator” Bradley and I were lobbying Chicago’s Warren Ballentine, Jeff Johnson of B.E.T. and others on the significance of adopting community gardens in urban areas of the country that could deter our youth and others this summer from being drawn into the illegal street economies as their way to be employed and thus help save thousands of lives by the creation of these Green jobs! This week, in addition to Father Mike, I met on this Summer Green Jobs concept with Ronald Holt (father of Blair Holt) and others who are actively involved in crime intervention and prevention work, who all must recognize that the DESPERATE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS facing urban youth and families force good people into bad situations trying to survive, and our remedies to stop the violence has to be more than debating new Chicago Poilce and the potential of The National Guard, without dealing with the economic and social conscious issues!!

In other words, they wanted more money for the community leaders. State Representative Ford on the other hand, had a different approach in mind, one which sounded almost like counterinsurgency. The reason he wanted the National Guard was to use their expertise at winning hearts and minds learned against such groups as al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Chicago.

The two Chicago Democrats noted National Guard members are now working side-by-side with U.S. troops to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while another deadly war is taking place in Chicago neighborhoods. …

“U.S. troops have been winning the hearts and minds (of people) in Iraq,” Ford said. “They’ve stabilized those communities. They made those communities much better. Now those communities are safe. That’s what we want right here in Illinois, for the National Guard to come in and stabilize these communities.”

Maybe it isn’t so different after all. Michael Yon remarked described the combat in the Baghtu Valley and remarked, perhaps not altogether irrelevantly to the situation in Chicago that success in Afghanistan was going to be determined by political factors. “Much of the BfK [Battle for Kandahar] will take place not in Kandahar, or even Afghanistan, but in the mediasphere, and likey will affect U.S. elections this year. The implications are vast. This is a political war on nearly every level.” The same can be said of Chicago.

The Sun Times notes that 80% of the victims are black. “Fritchey and Ford noted that 80 percent of city homicide victims are black. Ford represents constituents in the West side communities of Austin, Lawndale and West Garfield, that have been hard hit by homicides and other crime. Fritchey represents constituents in the lower-crime North side communities of Bucktown, DePaul, Lincoln Park, Roscoe Village and Ravenswood.”

Another sign of how politics intersects with gunfire is the arrival of Jesse Jackson. Jackson may join other community leaders to ask the state government for stricter gun control. ABC Local reports that Jackson and Daley are asking for tougher laws against guns. Jackson acted after some members of his RainbowPUSH coalition were fired on at a basketball game.

Both Mayor Daley and Reverend Jackson echoed concern Saturday over the accessibility of guns and say that there should be a federal ban on all assault weapons. Some community leaders say they might be heading down to Springfield to lobby for more state gun control, although the city of Chicago already has some of the toughest gun control laws. Jackson visited the ABC7 studio Saturday to talk about what the Rainbow PUSH Coalition is doing to help Chicago address the gun violence.

Ask not what you can do for gun violence, ask rather what gun violence can do for you and Green Jobs. The question of when Federal government intervention is warranted or not recently hit the headlines this week when another community leader, the Reverend Al Sharpton, argued that Arizona had no right restrict the influx of illegal aliens into their state. Whereas in Chicago the enlightened argument is to let local government lead, in Arizona the call is for federal action, soon to take the form of Immigration Reform.

New York activists, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, compared Arizona’s new immigration law to apartheid, Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South – and vowed to shut it down with mass protests.

“We will bring Freedom Walkers to Arizona just like Freedom Riders went to the deep south 50 years ago,” Sharpton said yesterday.

Almost no argument is too absurd to make in these circumstances. Law professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame argued that Arizona could justify its efforts to control the borders by citing Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution citing invasion. “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

Were I representing Arizona, I’d argue that the federal government is in default on its “protection against invasion” responsibility, and that this empowers the state to resort to self-help. Not sure how that would play out, but it would make an interesting law review article. And a fun oral argument.

The fact that State Representatives are asking to call out the National Guard in Chicago and sane law professors are invoking invasion to justify what should be routine law enforcement underscores just how bizarre the situation has become. As if to underscore the point, Reynolds noted, not entirely in jest, that Arizona could also invoke language in Article 1, Section 10 for its peremptory action. “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

What can go wrong? What happens next? Will there soon be serious proposals to use unmanned surveillance technology in urban settings? Requests for intelligence support? Anyone who thinks this can’t happen should think again. The real price of fantasy public fixes like Green Jobs or gun control to stop drug gangs in Chicago or describing those who want to stop illegal immigration as Nazis is that, by making common sense impossible, they make the use of overwhelming stupidity inevitable. If the Republic dies it will have committed suicide. RIP, SOS. Rest in Peace, Stuck on Stupid.

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