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CHICAGO -- Two lawmakers who believe violence has become so rampant in Chicago that the Illinois National Guard must be called in to help made a public plea to Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday to deploy troops.
A recent surge in violent crime, including a night last week that saw seven people killed and 18 wounded -- mostly by gunfire -- prompted the request from Chicago Democratic Reps. John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford. They were joined by Willie Williams, whose son was shot and killed in 2006.
Chicago has had 113 homicide victims so far this year, Fritchey said.
"As we speak, National Guard members are working side-by-side with our troops to fight a war halfway around the world," he said during a news conference in downtown Chicago. "The unfortunate reality is that we have another war that is just as deadly that is taking place right in our backyard."
Fritchey said later that the proposal wasn't a "no confidence" vote toward police.
"I think the police have done a commendable job in fighting this surge in violence, but I also think they could use some well-trained help," he said. "The reality is that (police) department resources are stretched thin."
A message left for Quinn wasn't returned Sunday.
Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said he didn't think the National Guard was the best answer, noting that police focus on civilian law enforcement.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case brought by Chicago residents who want guns for self-defense but are barred by the ordinance from possessing them. Judging by the justices' questioning, a majority appeared to be leaning toward ruling the gun ban -- and Oak Park's similar ordinance -- unconstitutional. That is the right thing to do. From The Detroit News: detnews.com...