Target: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
Goal: Refrain from deploying the National Guard to patrol the city’s streets.
The governor of Illinois may “deploy the national guard among an epidemic of violent crime.” The Guard would be deployed in addition to the Illinois state police; both the Guard and the State Police would assist city law enforcement. This is a recipe for disaster.
Chicago has seen record levels of gun violence and homicides in recent months; this is largely due to the availability of guns, the proliferation of gang activity, and a lack of social and educational services endemic to Chicago’s poorer areas. Bringing in more law enforcement will not result in a lessening of violence; indeed, it will only increase levels of fear and repression on city streets. Rather than turning Chicago into a police state, Governor Quinn should consider repealing his new gun legislation, which now permits citizens to carry concealed weapons. It seems insane to pass such legislation while simultaneously relying on the National Guard to control and patrol the streets. This is one step away from martial law. Condemn State Rep. Monique Davis’ request to deploy the National Guard on the streets of Chicago.
Dear Governor Pat Quinn,
We know you’ve been inundated with requests to stem the flow of violence from Chicago’s city streets. This is no easy task. However, we urge you to refrain from deploying the National Guard in your fight against gun violence and homicide. State Rep. Monique Davis’ request to do just this will only bring more conflict to an already distraught and fragmented city. In a democracy, no branch of the military should control or patrol any territory, whether rural or urban. Chicago may be fraught with violence at the moment, but by deploying the National Guard, you only escalate this tension. Alternative measures can and should be taken to decrease violent crime in Chicago.
Perhaps new gun legislation permitting concealed carrying must be repealed. Perhaps spending might be increased on social services, peer counseling, and gang prevention programs. Perhaps the city needs more industry, and more jobs need to be available to youth so gang culture does not seem so enticing. Perhaps more psychological services are needed on a block-by-block basis. What Chicago doesn’t need are more boots on the ground. Please deny Rep. Davis’ request to deploy the National Guard in Chicago. Don’t endorse or condone martial law. Our democracy depends upon it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: The National Guard via Flickr.com