The onslaught of gun crime in Chicago has spurred members of Congress to convene a summit on urban violence and prompted Rep. Monique Davis, a state lawmaker, to demand the National Guard be called in to stem the “mayhem.”
She said Thursday that hospitals are overburdened with 70 gunshot wounds in one day, and ambulances are so busy that victims are being driven in friends’ or family’s cars. David held a press conference this week to ask Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to call in the National Guard “to protect our children so they can go to the park and swim and play and have a childhood,” NBC News reports.
Congressmen Bobby Rush and two other Illinois Democrats announced plans Thursday for an “emergency” summit July 25 at Chicago State University, and while the event will be national in scope, Chicago was chosen because it is “the epicenter of gun violence in the nation,” says Rush’s spokeswoman, Debra Johnson.
Last year, Chicago ranked highest in the nation for the number of murders, and while anti-gang and crime-fighting statistics used by the Chicago Police Department seem to be working (official statistics show murders are down 28 percent and shooting incidents down 24 percent for the first half of the year), a bloody Independence Day weekend left at least nine people dead and dozens wounded, including two young boys shot in city parks, sparking concerns that police progress will slow midway through the summer, NBC reports.