February 27, 2013
Recently President Obama visited his hometown of Chicago to address the continuing issue of gun violence that has plagued the city. This visit was heavily followed after the killing of 15-year-old honor student, Hadiya Pendleton, was gunned down near the President’s home days after performing with her high school band at the inauguration in Washington.
Gun violence in Chicago is no new issue, but has surprisingly continued to increase at staggering numbers. The murders in January along have exceeded that of December. According to Huffington Post’s “Chicago Homicides January 2013” article, homicide rates skyrocketed past 40 by Jan. 28.
Just last week an 18-year-old student was killed at Clemente High School, which is not too far from Dominican, at the corner of Division and Western. This is the third Clemente student to be killed in the 2012-2013 academic year. However, Clemente is merely one high school. Other Chicago Public Schools are being plagued by the same violence
Thankfully, there are signs of potential progress. The Chicago Police Department recently announced that they plan to double the number of officers working overtime on their days off. This will hopefully help decrease the number of homicides.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has been pushing for a new state law that would require longer sentences for people who carry guns illegally. This proposal would increase the mandatory minimum sentence from one to three years for those caught with illegal guns.
Not only is crime a huge concern in the city, but also the issue of corruption within politics. Chicago has just learned of another crooked politician. Jesse Jackson Jr. may not be as notorious as our past governors’, but I would not call his spending sprees innocent either. The congressman was recently discovered to have spent $750,000 in campaign dollars on luxury goods, spa treatments and even a trip to Disney World. Both he and his wife could go to prison after pleading guilty to felony counts.
Crime and corruption seem to be a mainstay in this city, but I suppose nothing will change if these people are not held accountable for their actions. The proposed gun legislation should be passed so that those caught with weapons can serve more time, giving an incentive to reduce gun usage. Murders need to be solved, not forgotten about because they are so common. Taxpayers should fight to the corruption in the city by responding with their votes. Put people in office who are trustworthy and respectable, and take out those who are misusing their power and privilege.