Should Cities be Warzones?
Well state lawmakers in Illinois have generated a press frenzy by calling on Gov. Quinn to deploy the National Guard to the streets of Chicago. Even Gawker weighed in, with a creepy picture of President Obama. At least the Chicago Sun-Times provided some perspective:
Weis' spokesman, Roderick Drew, tried to put the recent homicide spike in context, saying that over the last five years the average number of homicides from January through April was 113 -- the same as Monday's total.
And, Drew said, recent years have marked the lowest homicide totals since the city officially began tracking murders in the 1960s.
While violent crime in Chicago is persistent problem--and an especially troublesome one considering its concentration in the South and West sides--I fail to see how comparing the city to war zones and sending troops with rifles to patrol the streets will do more than stigmatize these neighborhoods even further.