WBEZ | shootings http://www.wbez.org/tags/shootings Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Innocence lost http://www.wbez.org/blog/videos/2012-12/innocence-lost-104419 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Newtown AP Mary Altaffer children.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If you have been listening to the last hour on this radio station or have been tied to the news in any other way, you know why I feel sick and, with an eight year old daughter named Fiona, why I feel scared.</p><p>And so I retreat for a moment to an innocent time and I am a child and my world is free of death and terror. My friend`s father, Mr. Paraskevas, works at the Sheraton as a doorman and that allows us&mdash;a pack of kids from old town&mdash;the chance to use the hotel`s swimming pool.</p><p>This remains among my greatest memories&hellip;so innocent, taking the bus downtown, trunks and towels tucked under our arms; riding the elevators up to the pool room, embellished by a fountain and a massive dugout canoe; swimming and diving until we were too tired to swim anymore; spending our returned-bottles money on raisin toast and cokes at the coffee shop.</p><p>The 42-story hotel, now the Intercontinental, was built in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club. It once housed a miniature golf course, gymnasium, bowling alley, shooting range and boxing arena, but by the time it was taken over by Sheraton in 1947, the pool was all that remained of the athletic amenities. But it is a sight to see, as are other corners of the hotel. Perhaps that was what a man named Nicholas Wieme was exploring Wednesday night after he and a pal had dinner downstairs.</p><p>As most of you know, this trip ended tragically. Wieme slipped and fell into the building&rsquo;s smokestack and the heroic efforts of firefighters could not save his life and in the wake of his death we all learned that this young man was from a small town in Minnesota and that he was an aspiring comedian and actor&hellip;and that he was 23.</p><p>And then&hellip;I know I cannot escape death.</p><p>In Connecticut this morning, 26 people, 20 of them children, dead and we may never know why.</p><p>But we must be reminded of this, from John Donne:</p><p><em>No man is an island,<br />entire of itself.<br />Each is a piece of the continent,<br />a part of the main.<br />Each man&#39;s (child&rsquo;s) death diminishes me,<br />for i am involved in mankind.<br />Therefore, send not to know<br />for whom the bell tolls,<br />it tolls for thee. </em></p></p> Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/videos/2012-12/innocence-lost-104419 Long Hot Summer: Chicago's gun economy http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-chicagos-gun-economy-101298 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/handgun%20flickr%20barjack.jpg" title="(flickr/Keary O)" /></div><p>James Holmes was charged with 24 counts of murder on Monday morning after allegedly killing a dozen people and wounding 58 others in a Colorado movie theater on July 20. Just days after the shooting&mdash;and in light of the tragic event&mdash;the Chicago City Council revisited the city&rsquo;s controversial gun ordinance.</p><p>The controversial law recently came under fire when U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan struck down the section used to deny a man a gun permit because of a prior misdemeanor conviction. The judge argued that the ordinance violated the citizen&rsquo;s right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. Last week, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/chicago-gun-ordinance-ema_n_1624318.html" target="_blank">as promised</a>, Mayor Rahm Emanuel responded to the ruling. With City Council&rsquo;s support, the mayor rewrote the ordinance to permanently bar anyone who has been convicted of a felony violent crime and impose a five-year ban on anyone convicted of a misdemeanor violent crime.</p><p>This is not the first time a tragic event sparked a call for new gun control laws. But, UCLA law professor <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/20/why-don-t-mass-shootings-lead-to-gun-control.html" target="_blank">Adam Winkler says</a>, over the past twenty years, it&rsquo;s become increasingly clear that mass shootings, no matter how tragic, don&rsquo;t lead to reforms of gun laws. This is largely because gun control is a political hot button&mdash;as the National Rifle Association increases its political significance, gun control advocacy groups struggle to stay afloat. The other obstacle facing gun control, the <a href="http://www.law.ucla.edu/faculty/all-faculty-profiles/professors/Pages/adam-winkler.aspx" target="_blank"><em>Gun Fight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms</em> <em>in America</em></a> author says, is that it&rsquo;s difficult to find effective laws to prevent shootings&mdash;but that wasn&rsquo;t always the case.</p><p>The National Firearms Act, the first major federal gun control law, was prompted by one of Chicago&rsquo;s most famous residents: Al Capone. The blood from the St. Valentine&rsquo;s Day massacre was splattered across front pages around the country in the winter of 1929. In response, President Franklin Roosevelt himself led a political movement which resulted in the passing of the NFA in 1934, thereby restricting access to machine guns and other firearms favored by gangsters. &nbsp;</p><p>Yet, nearly 80 years later, Chicago remains plagued by gangsters strapped with firearms. What&rsquo;s even more puzzling is that the city and the state of Illinois have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Illinois is the only state without a concealed carry law on the books. But Winkler says when it comes to constitutional law, it&rsquo;s not good to be an outlier.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.atf.gov/" target="_blank">Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives</a> estimates there are more than 280 million firearms in the U.S. And if the number of shootings in Chicago is any indication, a good number of those guns are in the Windy City.</p><p>To better understand the economics and legal infrastructure around guns in Chicago, <em>Afternoon Shift</em> spoke with Winkler, University of Chicago <a href="http://crimelab.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Crime Lab</a> director <a href="http://harrisschool.uchicago.edu/directory/faculty/jens_ludwig" target="_blank">Jens Ludwig</a> and Special Agent Thomas Ahern. Ahern serves as the public information officer for the Chicago Field Office of the ATF.</p></p> Mon, 30 Jul 2012 13:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-chicagos-gun-economy-101298 Arrest made in UIC hospital parking garage shooting http://www.wbez.org/story/arrest-made-uic-hospital-parking-garage-shooting-94363 <p><p>CHICAGO — A housekeeping employee suspected in the fatal shooting of a woman inside a Chicago hospital parking garage, which prompted an hours-long lockdown, was arrested during a Friday traffic stop, police said.</p><p>The woman was shot late Thursday in a University of Illinois at Chicago hospital garage and later died, authorities said. Her name hadn't been released pending notification of her family.</p><p>University police characterized the killing as an "apparent domestic-related shooting" in a campus alert posted early Friday on the school's website and said officers were seeking a man who was a housekeeper at the hospital.</p><p>Officers pulled the 47-year-old suspect over for a routine traffic stop at 6:30 a.m. Friday, and the officer recognized the man from a description in the alert, university police spokesman Mark Rosati said. The suspect fled the car and was arrested a few blocks away, he said.</p><p>A weapon was recovered but officers didn't immediately know if it was used in the shooting.</p><p>Rosati said the suspect had worked at the hospital for 15 years, but he declined to discuss his relationship to the woman who was killed.</p><p>The hospital was locked down for hours while police searched for the gunman but resumed normal operations around 5 a.m. Friday. Rosati said authorities don't believe the gunman was ever inside the hospital after the shooting.</p><p>The garage is near the hospital but not attached to it, Rosati said. He wasn't sure whether the hospital has metal detectors but said the university has security cameras posted indoors and outdoors across its 250-acre campus.</p></p> Fri, 25 Nov 2011 17:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/arrest-made-uic-hospital-parking-garage-shooting-94363 Three killed, 20 injured in separate Chicago shootings http://www.wbez.org/story/three-killed-20-injured-separate-chicago-shootings-92974 <p><p>Chicago police say three people have been killed and another 20 have been injured in separate shootings over 13 hours overnight.</p><p>Police say the shootings happened late Friday and early Saturday.</p><p>A 29-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting across from a North Side high school about 1:20 a.m. Saturday. He was shot in the chest and back. No suspects are in custody.</p><p>Another man was shot on the southwest side at 4 a.m. And two women were shot in the head on the West Side. Police say one woman was found unresponsive at the scene. The other woman's condition wasn't known.</p><p>The injured victims included at least 10 teenagers, including a 15-year-old accidentally shot by a man who was showing him a gun.</p></p> Sat, 08 Oct 2011 23:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/three-killed-20-injured-separate-chicago-shootings-92974 Police-involved shootings rising, McCarthy calls for residents' help http://www.wbez.org/story/police-involved-shootings-rising-mccarthy-calls-residents-help-89682 <p><p>Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is calling on residents to help bring down the number of police-involved shootings. McCarthy spoke to reporters Tuesday, after officers shot and wounded two residents Monday in unrelated incidents.</p><p>"I think that it's a much bigger picture that we need to be working on, and that's what I'm here to pitch today -- somebody help us, somebody help us figure out why it is that officers are getting assaulted at the rate that they are and why it is that we're in these armed confrontation situations," McCarthy said. "And I think, as a community, we're going to be able to solve this."</p><p>According to McCarthy, there have been more than 40 police-involved shootings so far this year, compared to 25 last year. When asked by reporters if Chicago cops might be "trigger-happy," McCarthy dismissed the idea. He said a weapon had been recovered in all but one of the shootings so far this year.</p><p>McCarthy gave his own suggestions as to what might help curb the rising number of shootings. First, he said residents should adhere to police commands, rather than running away from officers or attempting to assault them. He also suggested earlier curfews for city children, referencing a victim of one of the shootings on Monday.</p><p>"When we've got 13-year-old kids on the street late at night, whether it's a BB gun, a real gun or a replica firearm, that's a recipe for disaster," McCarthy said.</p><p>The city council is scheduled to vote Thursday on an ordinance to enact an earlier <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-alderman-propose-changes-city-curfew-88858">curfew</a>.</p></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 22:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/police-involved-shootings-rising-mccarthy-calls-residents-help-89682 Winning a referendum is no silver bullet http://www.wbez.org/story/200-cut-rate-liquors/winning-referendum-no-silver-bullet <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-13/REFERENDUM_Rea_Woods.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The idea behind a referendum is to give voters a direct voice in making their community better. These ballot questions can cover anything from stem-cell research to the fate of an empty lot. They may be binding or just advisory. Last month, referenda were on ballots in nine Chicago precincts. But it&rsquo;s not clear the voters will get what they had in mind &mdash; even if they were on the winning side. We&rsquo;ll hear now from WBEZ reporters in three parts of the city. We start with Chip Mitchell at our West Side bureau.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Kurt Gippert lives near a building here in Humboldt Park that seemed like a magnet.<br /><br />GIPPERT: Gang banging, loitering, drug sales, some prostitution, tons of urinating.<br /><br />MITCHELL: It was a liquor store.<br /><br />GIPPERT: In 2010, we had at least nine people shot in front of that store.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Under city pressure, the store closed last fall. Gippert and his neighbors wanted it gone for good, so they turned to a 77-year-old Illinois law that lets voters ban selling alcohol in their precinct.<br /><br />GIPPERT: It&rsquo;s the only power we had &mdash; the only surefire, effective thing that was going to last longer than six months or a year.<br /><br />MITCHELL: They petitioned to put the referendum on last month&rsquo;s ballot. And voters passed it about 4-to-1. Starting next week, the precinct will be dry. There&rsquo;s just one problem.<br /><br />SOUND: Car alarm.<br /><br />MITCHELL (on the scene): The place with the gang bangers in front wasn&rsquo;t the precinct&rsquo;s only store selling alcohol. I&rsquo;m outside a CVS a few blocks west. The clerks inside tell me booze accounts for about half their sales. But there&rsquo;s also a stream of customers who rely on this CVS for everything from prescription drugs to shampoo and milk. Without its liquor sales here, some of these folks worry CVS might close this store.<br /><br />CUSTOMER 1: Some of my family members get their prescriptions filled here. And it&rsquo;s really convenient that they can walk here instead of worrying about getting a ride or catching the bus.<br /><br />MITCHELL (on the scene): Do they have cars?<br /><br />CUSTOMER 1: No.<br /><br />CUSTOMER 2: I got three kids, so we need milk. If you get something for them from the corner store, it&rsquo;ll probably be old.<br /><br />CUSTOMER 3: Everybody around here, I guess, is poor. So they need to get to a place that most of them can walk to. Bus fare is high. Cab fare is high. So, yeah, it would hurt them.<br /><br />MITCHELL: CVS isn&rsquo;t answering whether it&rsquo;ll keep the store open once it quits selling alcohol. Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) supported the referendum. But he admits there&rsquo;s collateral damage.<br /><br />MALDONADO: We don&rsquo;t have a lot of retail in the area. And we have never heard complaints about CVS. However, if they depend on liquor to remain viable, then they should not be open.<br /><br />MITCHELL: I ask Maldonado about other precincts in his ward.<br /><br />MITCHELL (on the scene): Businesses that are selling alcohol and doing so responsibly, without a lot of problems out in front, do they have anything to worry about?<br /><br />MALDONADO: No, they don&rsquo;t have to worry as long as they are conscious about their own responsibility [to be] a good business neighbor.<br /><br />MITCHELL: And as long as residents don&rsquo;t vote the precinct dry. Reporting from Chicago&rsquo;s West Side, I&rsquo;m Chip Mitchell.<br /><br />MOORE: And I&rsquo;m Natalie Moore at our Side South bureau. The situation was different in a 3rd Ward precinct along East 47th Street. Voters didn&rsquo;t take aim at all liquor. They had specific targets: Night Train, Wild Irish Rose, Thunderbird &mdash; cheap, fortified wines that some residents say attracted low-end elements to the neighborhood. The referendum was nonbinding, nothing more than an opinion poll. Still, the majority voted to ban fortified wines at two stores. No more malt liquor either. But one of the stores took 22-ounce malt liquor off the shelves in July.<br /><br />MICHELIS: Took a hit on sales, between $20,000-$25,000 a month, but I gained it from the wines I put in the store.<br /><br />MOORE: Steve Michelis owns a store called 200 Cut Rate Liquors. Michelis says voters got what they wanted. He says the loitering and begging in front of his place stopped last year. Still, he didn&rsquo;t mind last month&rsquo;s referendum.<br /><br />MICHELIS: I don&rsquo;t care. I don&rsquo;t have anything to hide.<br /><br />MOORE: Maybe another reason Michelis didn&rsquo;t mind so much was because he was already getting other pressure &mdash; from Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd).<br /><br />DOWELL: You have people who stand outside, they drink it, they throw the can down, they beg for money or they go back in and get some money from somewhere and go back and buy another can.<br /><br />MOORE: Residents targeted Aristo Food and Liquor on the ballot, too. While residents gathered signatures for the nonbinding referendum, Dowell had her own approach. She&rsquo;s been working on getting the owners to sign agreements to stop selling the cheap liquor. She&rsquo;ll then attach them to their liquor licenses with the city. That would make them binding. The owner of Aristo says he plans to comply with Dowell. But the alderman says she&rsquo;s still waiting to hear back from him. Reporting from the city&rsquo;s South Side, I&rsquo;m Natalie Moore.<br /><br />YOUSEF: And I&rsquo;m Odette Yousef. Here on the North Side, one alderman and some voters are not on the same page. And, the issue isn&rsquo;t liquor. It&rsquo;s land use.<br /><br />GLAZIER: There&rsquo;s going to be three large driveways next to each other.<br /><br />YOUSEF: This is Josh Glazier.<br /><br />GLAZIER: Two for trucks coming in and out of the project, and one for several hundred cars that are going to remain inside the building.<br /><br />YOUSEF: Glazier lives behind this unused hospital garage in Lincoln Park. He&rsquo;s not happy about a developer&rsquo;s plan to turn it into a grocery store.<br /><br />GLAZIER: The community really objects to the grocer and the trucks.<br /><br />YOUSEF: Glazier says Ald. Vi Daley (43rd) has heard him out. He and others recall her saying she&rsquo;d stay neutral until the community reached a consensus on the project. But in spite of overwhelming opposition at public meetings. . .<br /><br />GLAZIER: We&rsquo;ve been hearing for quite some time that the alderman had this secret list, with the names of all the project&rsquo;s supporters and opponents. And increasingly she&rsquo;s been telling us the count was very close. And we didn&rsquo;t feel like a secret list should be the basis for any decision on the project.<br /><br />YOUSEF: So Glazier and fellow opponents gathered signatures to put the issue on their precinct&rsquo;s February ballot.<br /><br />YOUSEF (on the scene): So you knew going into this that this would not be a binding result?<br /><br />GLAZIER: Of course it was not going to be a binding result, but it was going to create some transparency.<br /><br />YOUSEF: And that&rsquo;s what Glazier says he got. Most voters opposed the project at the polls. So he was stunned to hear Ald. Daley&rsquo;s official position just days later. In a statement, she wrote, &ldquo;I will not delay this project any longer and I will vote to approve this project at City Council.&rdquo; Daley said only a narrow majority of voters opposed the development. She said she heard from many ward residents who do want it. They live outside the precinct that voted on it. I asked Prof. Christopher Berry of the University of Chicago if that was a legitimate reason to discount the referendum results:<br /><br />BERRY: Well, it&rsquo;s a legitimate tack to take, but the only way we would really know the answer is to have some sort of scientific public opinion poll that was done, that included everyone in the affected geography.<br /><br />YOUSEF: Berry says referenda are anything but scientific. They&rsquo;re often put together by self-selected groups on one side of an issue. And, usually, only a small fraction of voters come out to decide it. Berry says with referenda, the real story often isn&rsquo;t about how the vote came down. It&rsquo;s that an issue came down to a vote at all.<br /><br />BERRY: When you see a referendum, which means citizens have to be directly making this policy, it suggests some sort of failure or breakdown in the process between the citizens and their representatives.<br /><br />YOUSEF: Berry says those breakdowns are rare because politicians usually want to get reelected. But, in Lincoln Park, that&rsquo;s not the case. Ald. Daley retires in May. On Chicago&rsquo;s North Side, I&rsquo;m Odette Yousef, WBEZ.</p></p> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/200-cut-rate-liquors/winning-referendum-no-silver-bullet Gang mediators take on domestic violence http://www.wbez.org/story/advocate/gang-mediators-take-domestic-violence <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Kerr_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A Chicago-based group called CeaseFire works in the city&rsquo;s toughest neighborhoods. It trains former gang members to mediate conflicts that could turn violent. Those conflicts might be over turf or money, a pecking order or a personality clash. Now CeaseFire is addressing another source of gang tension: wives and girlfriends. But some advocates for battered women worry that mixing gang intervention with domestic-violence work could backfire.</p><p>MITCHELL (at the scene): I&rsquo;m at the offices of a Humboldt Park group called the Alliance of Local Service Organizations. It runs a CeaseFire chapter and they&rsquo;re letting me listen in to a debriefing about a shooting this month.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Could there be retaliation to this incident?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: There could have been, very likely, but since we talked them down and...<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Because somebody went around on a graffiti rampage, right?<br />MITCHELL (at the scene): I&rsquo;ve agreed not to identify the CeaseFire workers or anyone involved in the conflict.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: The victim was in a relationship?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: He&rsquo;s in a relationship. He was having another relationship outside the relationship....<br /><br />MITCHELL (in the bureau): Here&rsquo;s the gist of the story&mdash;all of it alleged. A gang member got a teenager pregnant and started slapping her around. This didn&rsquo;t sit well with her family. And, the thing is, her family&rsquo;s in a different gang. So someone in that mob tracked down the man and shot him.<br /><br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Did the victim die?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: No.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Did the victim know the perp?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: Yes.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Violence involving gangs and girlfriends is nothing new in Chicago. But it&rsquo;s only lately that CeaseFire&rsquo;s Humboldt Park chapter responds this way:<br /><br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: OK, so a domestic-violence advocate has been notified and is working with the related parties around safety planning. We don&rsquo;t know if that has taken place, right?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: No.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Because we gave her the card but...<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: It&rsquo;s on her if she wants to go get the help. We can&rsquo;t force her to do anything.<br />KERR: And there are other services that we&rsquo;ve connected with as well so...<br /><br />MITCHELL: This last guy is Norman Kerr. He&rsquo;s a social worker who oversees the CeaseFire chapter. Kerr speaks with me after the meeting.<br /><br />KERR: A year ago, we didn&rsquo;t really concern ourselves with needs of the victim in a domestic-violence case. If there was a young lady who was victimized by her boyfriend, that really wasn&rsquo;t something that we addressed.<br /><br />MITCHELL: So Kerr and some former gang members he supervises got some training from the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women&rsquo;s Network. And the CeaseFire chapter has developed an approach to what it calls &ldquo;intimate-partner violence.&rdquo;<br /><br />KERR: If we know someone is victimized, we want to make sure that they&rsquo;re getting the help that they need. And, at the same time, we&rsquo;re sitting here talking about how we can educate the young guys that they shouldn&rsquo;t be perpetrating domestic violence.<br /><br />SHAW: That&rsquo;s a dream come true.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Barbara Shaw heads a state agency called the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.<br /><br />SHAW: Men sometimes feel that they have a right to hit their girlfriends or hit their wives&mdash;that they&rsquo;re supposed to maintain control. And having other men, particularly men who have a macho image themselves, telling them that this is not OK and not manly increases the validity and strength of the message.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Shaw says gang interventionists with roots in the neighborhood have much more access to perpetrators than victim advocates do. That&rsquo;s actually the idea behind expanding the program. Starting next month, the Humboldt Park chapter will train CeaseFire street workers citywide about intimate-partner violence.&nbsp; But some battered-women&rsquo;s advocates warn that CeaseFire could be putting those workers in greater danger.<br /><br />ABARCA: The offender may try to send other people after him or may teach him a lesson for getting into his business.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Rosa Abarca heads the domestic-violence program at Mujeres Latinas en Acción. That&rsquo;s a women&rsquo;s center in Chicago&rsquo;s Pilsen neighborhood. Abarca says a perp. might mistake what a CeaseFire worker&rsquo;s up to.<br /><br />ABARCA: He may feel like this is a boyfriend that&rsquo;s trying to help her out. And that can escalate the abuse for her because he&rsquo;s probably thinking that, &quot;She&rsquo;s being unfaithful. I need to control her more.&quot;<br /><br />MITCHELL: And Abarca points out some victims may not be ready for help.<br /><br />AMBI: Debriefing.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Back in Humboldt Park, the CeaseFire workers are still talking about the shooting.<br /><br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Let me ask you this: What happens if she does end up getting slapped again tomorrow?<br /><br />MITCHELL: I ask the group&rsquo;s leader, Norman Kerr, whether Abarca has got a point.&nbsp; Maybe a CeaseFire worker could make a domestic dispute worse. Maybe he could spark more violence.<br /><br />KERR: We&rsquo;re not trying to work directly with female victims. We&rsquo;re making referrals. We&rsquo;re making sure that the female victims in those situations are getting some services.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Kerr wants his crew to be careful. But since so many gang disputes involve girlfriends and wives, he says, CeaseFire has no choice but to get involved.</p><p><em>Music Button: Calibro 35, &quot;Appuntamento Al Contessa&quot;, from the CD Rare, (Nublu) </em></p></p> Mon, 24 Jan 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/advocate/gang-mediators-take-domestic-violence Illinois' congressional delegation reacts to weekend shootings http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona/illinois-congressional-delegation-reacts-weekend-shootings <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Mark Kirk.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some members of Illinois' delegation to Congress are calling for a toned-down political rhetoric after the mass shootings in Arizona over the weekend.<br /><br />Local congressmen are expressing sadness and outrage at the weekend shooting in Arizona that left at least six people dead and wounded 14 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.<br /><br />First-term Republican Congressman Robert Dold of Illinois said the &quot;deplorable actions of one&quot; won't affect the ability of U.S. representatives to do their jobs.</p><p><br />Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican, says many members of Congress are on edge because of the shooting.<br /><br />&quot;We certainly will work with the police force of each town that we're in,&quot; Kirk said. &quot;Alert them to the meeting, prepare them in advance just in case there's any temptation by a local wacko to do a copycat kind of thing.&quot;<br /><br />Kirk said he hopes partisan rhetoric in national politics is toned down.<br /><br />Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston, said she agrees. Schakowsky added it's time to look at the different gun laws around the country.<br /><br />&quot;I think that the easy accessibility to all kinds of people who shouldn't have guns is something that we need to discuss,&quot; she said.<br /><br />Still, both Schakowsky and Kirk said they won't change their visibility to constituents.</p><p><br />Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. said there are troubled and desperate people watching television and listening to the radio and reacting to heated political rhetoric. &quot;And they're becoming very and increasingly anxious to do something about 'taking their government back,'&quot; Jackson said. &quot;This is our government. This government belongs to all of us. Some of this rhetoric, I believe, is contributing to an anxiety in this country that's unnecessary.&quot;<br /><br />The Senate's number-two Democrat, Illinois' Dick Durbin, told CNN that toxic rhetoric can lead unstable individuals to believe violence is an acceptable response.</p><p>Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush said he's &quot;very concerned&quot; about his own safety and the safety of other representatives following the attack.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />The Chicago Democrat told The Associated Press the climate for political leaders is bad, particularly for those who've supported President Barack Obama.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Giffords has described herself as a former Republican and current moderate centrist Democrat.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Rush said he's told those around him to be more vigilant, but said he doesn't plan to scale back on any public appearances.</p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this story.</em><br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Sun, 09 Jan 2011 19:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona/illinois-congressional-delegation-reacts-weekend-shootings