gun violence

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Governor Bruce Rauner has blamed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for failure on the city’s violence.

Governor Bruce Rauner says Rahm Emanuel has "failed horribly" on public safety. The comments came after gunfire in the city last weekend injured more than 70 people and killed at least 11.

The Republican said Thursday that Chicago police have not received sufficient personnel, equipment or staffing assistance to be effective.

twitter.com/BruceRauner

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will not dispatch the Illinois National Guard to Chicago to stem gun violence.

 

The Republican on Wednesday said, "the National Guard is not for neighborhood policing."

He dismissed suggestions that he call up the state militia after 74 people were shot in the city last weekend. At least 11 were killed.

Chicago police have ordered 600 additional officers to the affected neighborhoods through the weekend.

Rauner told reporters in Peoria, "the violence in Chicago is heartbreaking, it's got to end."

Flickr User Arvell Dorsey Jr. (CC x 2.0)

Chicago officials announced Tuesday hundreds of additional police officers will be deployed to city neighborhoods where a burst of gun violence over the weekend left at least 11 people dead and around 70 wounded.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said 400 additional officers are already patrolling areas on the West and South Sides where most of the shootings occurred. Another 200 will be added by the coming weekend.

Brandon Towns for Illinois Newsroom

For many families and young adults living in Peoria’s South Side, gun violence is too often a part of life and something they’ve been fighting against — with few resources.

Part of the challenge, according to researchers, is getting the broader community to examine a part of itself and confront the barriers that keep families, predominantly minorities, from moving out of poverty.

Peoria’s South Side neighborhood presents an unusual case because part of the isolation has to do with its geography. It’s located at the bottom of a hill.  

“Never Forget”

Suicide Is A Driver Of Gun Deaths In Rural America

May 16, 2018
U.S. Military File Photo

The national conversation around gun violence generally centers around mass shootings, school shootings and gang activity. These problems need to be addressed, but may overshadow the largest group affected: suicide victims.

The majority of suicides are carried out with guns. And the rate of suicide has been steadily increasing for years.

In rural Illinois, more than 80 percent of gun-related deaths between 2012 and 2016 were suicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationwide, suicide makes up nearly 60 percent of gun-related deaths.

How Schools Can Help Kids Traumatized By Gun Violence

May 15, 2018
Lee V. Gaines / Illinois Newsroom

Last month, about a dozen people gathered in the basement of a church in Champaign, Ill., to learn how traumatic experiences affect the lives of children and young adults, and what they can do to mitigate its effects.

Karen Simms, a mental health counselor and trauma expert, led the presentation, which was part of a free 40-hour training called “Healing Solutions.”

Most of the adults who attended Simm’s training were educators who say they’re worried about their students.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner has a track record of handing the toughest topics to small bipartisan panels of legislators. These “working groups” have been tasked with solving budget and pension problems, plus criminal justice reform. And weeks after the Florida mass shooting, Rauner formed a working group on public safety. Like the others, that group meets in private.

Speaking after today's meeting, State Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) said it's probably meant to prevent politicians from grandstanding.

Chase Cavanaugh / WNIJ

Gun violence was the subject of a large Town Hall gathering at Rockford’s East High School Wednesday.  

The event was organized by students from several local high schools to discuss  gun violence in schools and the Rockford area.  Panelists included members of the Rockford Police Department, city officials, and members of the General Assembly.  Megan Larson is a Senior from Lutheran. She was pleased with the conversation but said this isn’t the end of her group’s activism.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

In response to a nationwide call for tighter gun laws, the Illinois Senate Wednesday passed several  measures. But so far Illinois has no new laws from that effort.

Following the lead of students across the country, a couple dozen senators staged their own brief walkout in memory of the Parkland, Florida shooting victims. Later, they voted on several proposals, including one to increase the wait time when purchasing an assault weapon from one day to three days.

That's the only measure to pass both the House and Senate, and will be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Following the Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead, Democrats in the Illinois House plan to take up a package of gun safety measures this week.

Carolina Hidalgo/St. Louis Public Radio

In 2011, Aaron Murray bought his first gun at a sporting goods store — a .40 caliber Beretta pistol. He and his wife were fixing up a foreclosed home in a tough neighborhood in the northern suburbs of St. Louis, and he wanted to protect himself.

Two years later, a bullet from his own gun during a home invasion would leave him paralyzed from the waist down.

Every year, as many as 600 people in the St. Louis region survive an assault with a firearm. Those close calls are not only emotionally and financially draining, but they leave many victims with a lifelong disability.

Wikipedia

Judges will be encouraged to prescribe longer sentences for repeat gun offenders under a plan signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

  

The idea is to help curb street violence in Chicago. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson attended the bill signing Friday at the Capitol with the Republican governor.  

The law also introduces a diversion program for non-violent first-time offenders and creates a State Police-led violent crime intelligence task force.

"Prison Bars" by Flickr User Michael Coghlan / (CC X 2.0)

A proposal meant to address Chicago’s gun violence is being met with some strong resistance from African-American lawmakers.

 

The bill would lock up repeat gun offenders for longer periods. It’s been pushed by Chicago’s mayor and police superintendent for years, but there’s now increased pressure to pass something.

 

State Rep. Christian Mitchell, D-Chicago, said there are concerns that simply putting people in prison for up to 14 years won’t have beneficial effects.

 

M. Spencer Green/AP

The Illinois Senate approved legislation meant to address record gun violence in Chicago.

It's intended to push judges into imposing longer prison sentences on repeat gun offenders.
It passed on a vote of 35 to 9, but several legislators voted “present” — or didn’t vote at all.

Democrat Jackie Collins of Chicago, says “locking up more people is not the solution to gun violence.”

“What is needed is economic development, police reform, and stopping the flow of illegal guns in communities ravaged by deep concentrations of poverty and hopelessness.”

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Dozens of crosses line sidewalks near the MLK Commons. Each is adorned by a red heart, and the victim’s name and age.

A number on each cross represents a murder in Chicago this year.

Greg Zanis, a carpenter from Aurora, says he plans to build a cross for each victim. He takes them to different locations, like Englewood in Chicago.

For NIU students like Matthew Moore, the collection is eye-opening. He says the community needs to work together to stop the line of crosses from growing longer.

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

Chicago's top law enforcement officer says an Illinois Senate proposal to increase prison sentences for repeat gun offenders would help stanch the city's rampant gun violence.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Thursday told the Criminal Law Committee the legislation would create a ``culture of accountability.'' Chicago recorded 767 homicides last year.

The Chicago Police Department has unveiled new high-tech strategies and equipment for fighting crime as the city deals with increases in homicides and gang violence.

  

The rollout Wednesday came the same day the department announced there were 51 homicides in January and about a week after President Donald Trump tweeted he would "send in the Feds" if the city's violence problems don't improve.

M. Spencer Green/AP

Every year in the U.S., more than 30,000 people die from things related to guns.

That puts guns ahead of HIV, Parkinson's disease, malnutrition, hypertension, intestinal infection, peptic ulcer, anemia, viral hepatitis, biliary tract disease, atherosclerosis and fires. Yet, the funding for research on gun violence lags far behind other leading causes of death, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Mayor.cityofchicago.org

One of the bloodiest years on record in Chicago ended with 762 homicides and more than 3,500 shooting incidents.

Police released crime statistics on Sunday that reveal rampant gun violence.

Not only were nearly 300 more homicides and more than 1,000 more shooting incidents than there were in 2015, but the total number of homicides was the highest since 1997.

The statistics also show that the bulk of the homicides were in five of the city's poorest neighborhoods on the South and West sides, where violent street gangs are most active.

"Kimber Custom II" By Flickr User Madison Scott-Clary

The Chicago Police Department has released a statement in response to Dwyane Wade's call for tougher gun laws, saying officers are waging an "unwavering" fight against criminals but need help.

The statement from department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says making the city safer will depend on strong partnerships with the community.

He says the "fight against violent offenders who torment neighborhoods with gun violence is unwavering."

Guglielmi adds that police "need help to ensure these individuals stay off our streets after repeated arrests for guns."

"Double Barrel Pistol" by Flickr User Bill & Vicki T / (CC BY 2.0)

Hillary Clinton has been joined at a campaign rally by mothers of several young people who were victims of Chicago's gun violence.

Also joining Clinton on Wednesday was the mother of a black suburban Chicago woman who was found dead in her jail cell following a traffic stop in Texas.

The Democratic presidential candidate says the stories of the mothers' tragedies “must move us to action.” She's calling for tougher gun laws and changes to policing policies.

Clinton was introduced by Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland.

Wikipedia

FBI data shows Illinois has recorded 38 gun-related domestic violence homicides since 2006, but the number is likely higher because the data are incomplete.  

Only the Chicago and Rockford police departments report firearm-related domestic violence homicides to the FBI.  The Illinois State Police says the relationship of a homicide victim to the offender is considered supplementary data that is not required to be reported. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford has seen a string of shootings, including seven murders, over the past month. That prompted city officials to demonstrate what they are doing about violent crime.