Chicago—'Chiraq' —Needs to Get Serious on Guns

Emanuel calls for unity after dozens shot this weekend

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 22, 2014 12:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – This weekend saw 45 people, including six kids, shot in Chicago; the weekend before, it was 37. The city has a new nickname, writes Michael Daly for the Daily Beast, and it is not a happy one: "Chiraq." And the war there demands action from President Obama, Daly notes. "Until we do something about guns, don’t expect things to change overnight," police superintendent Garry McCarthy said at a press conference. Those caught with illegal guns—1,500 have been seized this year—face few consequences, McCarthy noted. "We’re drinking from a fire hose, seizing these guns, and people are back out on the street."

"If you don’t go to jail for gun possession, you continue to carry guns," McCarthy said. “You continue to carry guns, and people get shot." (Click for Daly's full piece.) Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling on the city to unite against gun crime, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. "Kids are immune now to the sound of gunfire," he told listeners near a local church. "I am done making these phone calls" to families of victims, he added. "I have no words to say anymore." But "us together are bigger than anybody else driving around in a car waving a gun."

Mayor Emanuel, police superintendent Garry McCarthy, and Cook County state's attorney Anita Alvarez listen as Cleopatra Pendleton, mother of slain teen Hadiya Pendelton, speaks last year in Chicago.
Mayor Emanuel, police superintendent Garry McCarthy, and Cook County state's attorney Anita Alvarez listen as Cleopatra Pendleton, mother of slain teen Hadiya Pendelton, speaks last year in Chicago.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
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