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Chicago "Under the Gun"

The Canadians have done a fine CBC-TV news segment on guns in Chicago that should be shown in the US everywhere. You cannot watch "Under the Gun" from last night's CBC News, The National, without realizing that President Obama's ideas about tougher gun laws are as misplaced for gang-ridden cities like Chicago as they are for preventing violence by dangerously mentally ill persons. (On the CBC Website for Feb. 13, scroll down to the 11 minute "Under the Gun" segment.) Indeed, Chicago, governed by Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former Chief of Staff, may be the most gang-ridden city in America. And, as the CBC's Paul Hunter found, people on Chicago's South Side, not far from President Obama's home, call their area "Chiraq"--a conflaction of Chicago and Iraq. All the interviewed neighborhood residents, including those most ardently involved in trying to stop the violence, are candidly and completely unimpressed with the President's nostrums.

Chicago, of course, already has in place all the laws that the President advocates, and then some. Yet, as the CBC program points out, the murder numbers in Chicago are about 10 times those of Toronto, whose population is roughly the same.

Unfortunately, the local Chicagoans interviewed have no detailed ideas of how to stop the gang fighting. "Jobs, jobs, jobs!" is perhaps the most succinct proposal. There must be something to that suggestion. I just checked the unemployment numbers from the Department of Labor and nationally young black people of both sexes 16-19 have an unemployment rate of 37.8 percent--five and a half times that of the overall unemployment rate now and almost twice the rate for white youth. Black unemployment rates for young people thus are at Great Depression levels, and if you could focus just on young black males, and then, further, young black males in Chicago, the numbers would be staggering.

You can email brucechapman@discovery.org

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