Monday, September 23, 2013

Don’t send in the troopers or Guard

We may have seen a bit of evidence as to the potential harm we could face from having Gov. Pat Quinn as the only credible candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor in next year’s election cycle.

He has too much time on his hands, and we may wind up getting a lot of potentially hair-brained schemes inflicted upon us as a result!

I’M REFERRING TO the news accounts circulating this weekend that are being interpreted by some as evidence that Quinn is considering sending in the Illinois State Police, and potentially calling out the National Guard, to treat Chicago as a combat zone in trying to address the problem of urban violence.

I’m skeptical such an effort would accomplish anything of significance. It might turn out to be a complete failure! It probably would do little of anything, except allowing Quinn to claim he tried to act to resolve a problem that is ongoing and is beyond any simple solution.

It seems that Quinn, while making an appearance on Saturday in the Little Village neighborhood, talked about ways in which the state police could offer assistance to the Chicago Police Department.

“It has to be done in a coordinated fashion with the local law enforcement, with their full cooperation,” Quinn told reporter-type people.

WHICH IS TRUTHFUL enough. Sending in the state police with Chicago P.D. opposition would likely do little more than create a whole lot of stupid jokes about “Mount-me” hats.

If anything, it might just put more uniformed officers in the crossfire that all-too-often occurs.

I honestly believe it would do nothing but exacerbate the problem by putting more of a uniformed presence in the city. You might very well anger up those idiots with their high-powered weapons even more, and make them want to shoot at even more targets – as though they’d get a trophy if they could claim they “bagged” a cop!

Now I don’t mean to demean the significance of the violent outbursts we have experienced in Chicago in recent times (although it should be noted that we’re not close to setting any kind of records for this, and it really does go in cycles).

FOR ALL THE outcry about the late Thursday shooting incident in the Back of the Yards neighborhood that left 13 wounded, it should be noted that another eight individuals suffered assorted gunshot wounds Saturday night and early Sunday.

Those incidents were actually more typical of the violent weekends we occasionally experience in Chicago – they were seven different shootings scattered all about the South and West sides of Chicago.

A whole lot of senseless incidents that will soon be forgotten.

Which may be the real tragedy of the violence that is afflicting us. Too much of it occurs in select parts of Chicago that many of us would just as soon forget; if we even pay attention to those parts of the city to begin with.

IF WE WERE serious about wanting to resolve the problem, we’d be trying to figure out ways to break the culture that allows for life to be so cheap in those neighborhoods.

Instead, we get talk about sending in the National Guard – as though we could declare those parts of Chicago to be “the enemy!” As though we ought to be isolating those parts of Chicago even more. The real problem is that they have become too isolated from the mainstream of the city.

QUINN: Will his better half prevail?
But ideas like these may be the harm of letting Quinn run unopposed in the primary election cycle. He’s going to have time to play “governor” and come up with ideas and schemes that will make it look as though he is effectively governing on behalf of the people of Illinois.

So while four Republicans fight it out amongst themselves for the right to take on Quinn come November 2014, we’re going to have a governor with the potential for too much free time to come up with schemes. Let’s just hope his better half keeps himself from carrying them out.


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