From the Final Call Newspaper

Community outraged and mourning after police kill 7 year old girl

By Andrea Muhammad | Last updated: May 25, 2010 - 3:37:10 PM

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A painful loss, a call to stop the killing

Aiyana Stanley Jone
DETROIT ( - Facing one of its darkest days, the Stanley-Jones family along with the city gathered to say a final goodbye to seven-year-old year Aiyana Stanley-Jones who was shot and killed while sleeping on a sofa in the living room of her family's home.

Several hundred mourners lined up outside of Second Ebenezer Baptist Church May 22 to pay their respects to a little girl whose death has sparked international outrage and concern over a rash of violence gripping the community and police tactics used in bringing suspects to justice.

According to police department spokesmen, Aiyana was shot in the “head/neck area” by Officer Joseph Weekley, a member of the police Special Response Team (SRT).

Accompanied by a film crew from cable television network A&E's “The First 48,” Off. Weekley and other members of the SRT were attempting to apprehend murder suspect Chauncey Owens, 34, for the May 14 slaying of 17-year-old Je'Rean Blake. Off. Weekely also stars in another A&E series called Detroit SWAT. An investigation is currently underway by the Michigan State Police into the shooting, while the Detroit Police Department is conducting its own internal investigation.

During his daily syndicated radio talk show, the Rev. Al Sharpton, of the National Action Network announced that he would be attending Aiyana's funeral and had been asked by the family to deliver the eulogy.

Grandmothers and family of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones, who died in police raid. Photos: Andrea Muhammad
In a community already torn over the tragedy, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox took to tweeting about Rev. Sharpton's decision to perform the eulogy. According to Mike_Cox (at he wrote, “Al Sharpton giving eulogy @ the funeral of Aiyana Jones, the young girl accidentally shot by Detroit police. Disgusted but not surprised.”

During a phone interview with Fox2 Detroit, Atty. General Cox went on to say, “The bottom line for me is an outsider coming in and exploiting a seven-year-old girl's death.”

The attorney general's comments prompted a response from Rev. Horace Sheffield, president of the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network, “He's in a desperate race for governor. He thinks he has to pander to folks who are anti-Black, anti-Detroit.”

Rev. Sheffield said Atty. Gen. Cox should not allow his political aspirations to override his duty as attorney general. “If he is going to be in charge of the investigation, he needs to shut up or step down,” said Rev. Sheffield.

Despite the media frenzy, finger pointing, legal and political posturing, a brief yet poignant pause was made to honor the memory of a child whose life was cut short too early.

A somber mood overtook family and well wishers as they filled the sanctuary approaching the modest white casket draped in pink, Aiyana's favorite color.

Many bowed in reverence as others shook their head in disbelief at the sight of the beautiful little girl dressed in pink and white whose father fondly remembered as “my first Black Disney princess.”

Among those paying their respects were Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), representatives of the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, civil rights activist Rev. Al Sampson of Chicago and attorney Jeffrey Fieger, who is representing the family in Aiyana's death.

During his remarks, family attorney Fieger, acknowledged, “We live with a fear of violence every day in this community. It is a fear compounded by the sense of betrayal by the very people we should be able to trust to protect us.”

Vowing justice in Aiyana's death he said, “When one dies unjustly, they cannot rest in peace until justice is done. And so this goodbye today does not have the finality of peace until justice is done. By her death Aiyana has paid for a justice that will save the lives of our children.”

In a riveting 26-minute eulogy, Rev. Sharpton called for a holistic approach to violence and problems striking the city at its core. Rev. Sharpton underscored the importance Jesus placed on youth saying, “Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of God.”

From there, the civil rights leader, prefaced any admonishments with a dismissal of his critics, “I would be doing Aiyana a disservice if we just vented and not dealt with the real problem.”

He went on to talk about how violence helped feed into cycles of victimhood, sorrow and reckless police tactics deemed necessary to counter the violence.

“Maybe this child's death will wake some of us up,” he said.

While the circumstances into Aiyana's death are still under investigation, Rev. Sharpton posed a pivotal question that was met with a rousing applause from the audience, “Do they (police) throw these flash grenades in everybody's neighborhood? Would you have gone in (the affluent suburb of) Bloomfield Hills and did what you did?”

Taking the attorney general to task for being “disgusted” about the eulogy, Rev. Sharpton countered defiantly, “I'm disgusted that I have to do the eulogy.” He said he was further “disgusted” at seeing the community and police more like foes rather than partners.

His sentiment of disgust was not left solely at the door of law enforcement.

Rev. Sharpton levied disgust at the Black community for tolerance of unacceptable behavior saying, “I'm disgusted that some of you Black men are making babies that you won't raise.”

He spoke against the neglect of politicians and business leaders saying, “I'm disgusted that we can come to Detroit and bail out the auto business but we can't bail out the Aiyanas.”

As Rev. Sharpton spoke, the tone of what, at first, was a funeral became a call for a potential defining moment for a city struggling to find its way.

“We've got no choice but to turn this city around. We can do it if we all come together in Aiyana's name and say this child is the breaking point,” he said.

Bringing the audience to its feet, Rev. Sharpton concluded with urging the community to take into action, the words of Michael Jackson in the song, “Man in the Mirror.” “All of us need to do our part so we won't ever have to have this happen again,” he said.

Rev. Sharpton reminded Detroit of its ability to transform tragedy and hardship by invoking the legacies of greatness shown by Nobel Drew Ali, of the Moorish American movement, and the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the Nation of Islam, which started in Detroit.

Aisha Dawson felt the eulogy was “awesome and it gave hope to the community. I really like it.”

Determined that her life not be in vain, Rachel Connelly was armed with a sense of legacy to carry on in her niece's name. “Aiyana was a beautiful person from conception to death. I believe that her mission was completed (and) her purpose fulfilled,” Ms. Connelly told The Final Call. She plans to establish an organization for young girls called Aiyana's Angels.

As Detroit's “little princess” was taken to her final resting place, for one last goodbye, preparations were underway for the funeral of the original victim in this tragedy.

A family and community paid their respects for the life of the Southeastern High School senior who would've graduated in June. His service was held after Aiyana's funeral. Je'Rean Blake's funeral was held within the “The First 48” hours of Aiyana Stanley-Jones funeral who, ironically, was killed within the “The First 48” hours of his killing. Police said they were seeking the teenager's killer when they raided a home and killed the seven-year-old.

Related news:

Activists move forward in the fight against police brutality (FCN, 03-31-2010)

Detroit Imam slain by FBI agents suffered 21 gunshot wounds (FCN, 02-05-2010)

Plainclothes surveilance proves deadly for Black officers and civilians (FCN, 08-14-2009)

The high cost of police brutality (FCN, 02-25-2009)

Fatal shooting of unarmed man sparks outrage (FCN, 01-17-2009)


An America For Whites Only?

By Charlene Muhammad -National Correspondent- | Last updated: May 11, 2010 - 10:32:45 AM

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What is behind the anti-immigration push and who are the next targets?

Protesters called upon President Barack Obama to stop the spread of harsh immigration laws. Activists say Texas and California could be next for anti-immigrant legislation. Photos: Hakeem Khaaliq
( - The fall out over passage of an anti-immigration law in Arizona continued across the United States this week with people wondering is America being reduced to a nation “for Whites only?”

Anti-racism activist and author Tim Wise says a sense of “White racial anxiety,” has in his view, “taken over large segments of White America.”

According to Mr. Wise, the sense of entitlement that Whites have always enjoyed is being challenged by demographic data showing the growth of Black and Brown populations projected to become equal with the White population by 2050, as well as a change in the political landscape, demonstrated by the first Black president of the United States.

“This idea that White folks give voice to every now and then that they're losing their country, sometimes they mean with Black folks and the Black president and sometimes they're referring to Latinos and Brown folks. It seems that though, when White folks say that they're referring to some nostalgic sentiments of the past that they want to resurrect,” said Mr. Wise.

“They can't fathom a country wherein they are not the norm, the prototype of what an American is. The way they've grown up for years is when they hear the word American, they see their (own) face and people of color have never been able to have that reaction, that when they talk about American, they're talking about me, but White folks have, so when all of a sudden you've got to share that title, that symbol with Black and Brown people that have different names and faith traditions than yours, that shakes them up because they have that sense of entitlement.”

SB 1070, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, mandates that law enforcement stops anyone they reasonably suspect to be an undocumented immigrant and obtain their documentation. Anyone without it can be arrested, incarcerated, fined, and/or deported.

According to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, the bill signifies that she is for enforcing the law and against racial profiling but immigrant advocates strongly disagree.

“This law is a very racist law and it's persecuting people of color and very much affecting people of dark complexion. If you do not look Anglo you could be questioned and asked for your documents, but in our cases, even though we are of Afro descent, we have accents but they could ask for documentation from all of us,” and many people are now afraid to even go out of their homes in Arizona, said Eunice Escobar, a board member of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America and member of the Association of Afro Columbians in Displacement.

“The most important consideration is why is this law passing now? I think there's really a very strong interest behind it in an attack of America's new generation of Latino people who are coming into this country and making decisions. Most of these Latinos are dark people and they are looking for a change,” said Ms. Escobar, who is of Afro and Latino descent.

Tim Wise
‘(T)he folks who were behind this in Arizona are members of a loosely affiliated set of groups that have a history of White supremacy, White nationalism.’
—Tim Wise,
author and anti-racism activist

Part of the fear in America that drives such legislation is the unity of Blacks and Latinos, she said. For instance, the first Black President Barack Obama received a lot of support from Latinos and that makes Whites in America very afraid.

Another example she gave is how Latinos have come out into the streets in record numbers to proclaim their rights. “They thought they were done with this, with the Civil Rights Movement and they didn't think that minorities would come up again and ask for their rights. They're afraid of the new possibilities from these new coalitions and new alliances,” she said.

Javier Rodriguez, Director of the March 25 Coalition, said that obviously the legislation is a ploy by extreme right wing conservatives within the Republican Party to racially profile immigrants and the Latino population, starting within Arizona.

He concurred that the law is blatantly racist and discriminatory and said that it is unveiling the ultimate aim of the Republican Party's upcoming national electoral campaign. People must remember that immigration reform is the big prize that they must keep their eyes on, he said.

“The legalization of the 12 million people and their families is the most effective solution to the Arizona bill,” Mr. Rodriguez told The Final Call. He charged that the right wing plan is to create conditions for the undocumented that are so miserable and uncomfortable, people will self deport and to some degree, that occurred in the 1930s and 1950s with Operation Wetback, the United States' repatriation project that targeted primarily Mexicans.

Under Operation Wetback, the U.S. Border Patrol found more than one million undocumented immigrants when they raided Mexican American barrios in Southeastern states in 1954. They sought identification from “Mexican-looking” citizens they stopped on the streets and ultimately, many immigrants were deported and many others fled the U.S.

Now history is repeating itself and without swift, strategic action, opponents of the bill argued, its negative profiling implications could permeate America's entire infrastructure, including the Prison Industrial Complex, and its health care and education systems, for starters.

Dr. Wilmer Leon, a Political Science lecturer at Howard University in Washington, D.C., has joined the growing chorus of political analysts to question what other implications loom if SB 1070 is found to be constitutional.

“What will happen in Chicago as that city struggles to get a handle on the recent explosion of murder and mayhem and the alarming levels of violence among its schoolchildren? Will the state of Illinois be allowed to “stop and frisk” and detain individuals simply because law enforcement believes a particular individual fits a certain profile?” he asked in his latest commentary, “Now State Reaction to Illegal Immigration Should Matter to African Americans.”

Not just Arizona

Already, other states are signaling that they could follow Arizona's suit.

Michael Correll, a counter-protestor, holds up his Texas drivers license as a demonstration of citizenship to illegal immigrants during the mega march in Dallas, Tx., May 1. Photo: AP/Wide World Photos
“There were eight the last time I heard, who are thinking about copy cat legislation,” said Mr. Wise. “One of the things that makes that likely is that the folks who were behind this in Arizona are members of a loosely affiliated set of groups that have a history of White supremacy, White nationalism, like FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), (Sen.) Russell Pearce (R-AZ), the main sponsor in Arizona. Those folks have a connection to a larger network of national groups and individuals. No doubt, Arizona was just a test case,” he added.

On May 5, nearly 100 members of various Hispanic organizations protested outside the Major League Baseball (MLB) game featuring the Houston Astros versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is part of an on-going movement to oppose the recent immigration bill passed in Arizona and to send the message, “Not in our backyard,” to Texas lawmakers.

“The SB1070 is legalized racial profiling and we are 100 percent opposed to it,” Michael Espinoza told The Final Call. He is the lead organizer for Houston's SEIU Justice for Janitors group.

Mr. Espinoza was among those outside Minute Maid Park holding up signs that read “No Human Being Is Illegal,” “Boycott Arizona,” with a slash through the words “SB1070.” He says the local coalition is in agreement with boycotting Arizona-based companies and is demanding that MLB officials reconsider hosting the 2011 All-Star game in Arizona.

A Department of Homeland Security report released earlier this year shows that Texas was second only to California in the number of unauthorized immigrants in 2009, with 1.7 million and 2.6 million respectively. Currently, an estimated one million plus undocumented immigrants live in Texas, which is costing the state $4.5 billion annually.

Amidst the debate of the Arizona immigration bill, Republican lawmaker Debbie Riddle of Tomball, Texas is planning to introduce a tough immigration bill for Texas that will parallel the controversial new laws in Arizona. Rep. Riddle is pushing to present the law in the January 2011 legislative session.

“If our federal government did their job, then Arizona wouldn't have to take this action, and neither would Texas,” said Rep. Riddle.

Texas Governor Rick Perry agrees in protecting citizens, but has reservations about bringing similar immigration policy to the Lone Star State.

“Recently, there has been much debate over immigration policy in Washington and what has been implemented in Arizona. I fully recognize and support a state's right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas,” said Gov. Perry in a written statement.

“We're not going to stop protesting. We're going to keep fighting to make sure that which Rep. Riddle is proposing will not get passed even if it means escalating our tactics,” said Mr. Espinosa.

Some opponents of the bill from within Arizona itself include Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. According to reports, Chief John Harris of Sahuarita said he opposed the bill before Gov. Brewer even signed it, partly on the basis of manpower and budget issues that would only worsen under the law, and because traditionally, immigration has been a federal issue.

According to Mr. Rodriguez, the most blatant part that is absent from a lot of discussions and debates about the bill is that the sweeping racial profiling powers extend beyond just law enforcement. “The enforcement of identifying and arresting potential (undocumented) immigrants is to be done by any kind of municipal, county, or state institution in the health field, employment department, any department that suspects that anybody is an illegal immigrant, they are obligated by the law to inform ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement),” the activist said.

That would undermine the society by setting up a vast network of informants but ultimately, just like with apartheid in South Africa and fascism in Chile, that might deny people their freedom for a few years, even a decade, but eventually, freedom will be obtained, Mr. Rodriguez said.

A result of America's own foreign policy

Because America disrupts, or supports countries that work against, the well being of poor people, many people flee their own land for financial benefit in the U.S., Ms. Escobar said. Their only option is to come to the U.S. for a better living and America must change her foreign policy and the way she does business with other countries.

In Columbia, she said, gold mining corporations are exploding the gold mines for the wealth, but the mines are located where Afro Columbians live. Ultimately, people are being displaced, which is what happened to Mexican farmers under the Central and North American Trade Agreement. “They made it impossible for farmers in Mexico to continue farming and when 1.2 million of them could not work anymore, their only option was to come to the U.S.A.,” Ms. Escobar said.

(Jesse Muhammad contributed to this report, from Houston.)

Related news:

Newsmax: Military Coup Would Take Care Of "Obama Problem" (09-29-2009)

Desperate and Insecure, Whites see country slipping away (FCN, 09-15-2009)

FCN Editorial: A prophetic warning and White anger in America (FCN, 09-15-2009)

Blaming White anxiety on Obama: Proxy protests and racial rage (FCN, 09-04-2009)

Final victory over race hatred elusive (FCN, 07-03-2009)

Obama candidacy exposes race hatred in America (FCN, 11-10-2008)


Urban violence brings renewed calls for National Guard deployment

By Ashahed M. Muhammad -Asst. Editor- | Last updated: May 4, 2010 - 3:18:31 PM

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The New York Army National Guard's Battery B, 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery Regiment. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army Photo Courtesy, U.S. Army
‘Gang activity and its resulting violence has taken a toll on my community for far too long. We need action now.’
—Rep. Lashawn Ford
Illinois House of Representatives

CHICAGO ( - The idea of coordinated military action to counteract gang related violent crime is not a new idea, however, it appears to be gaining traction among some lawmakers as the number of those killed in many cities across America continues to rise.

“Gang activity and its resulting violence has taken a toll on my community for far too long,” stated Illinois State Representative Lashawn Ford, a Democrat. “The Military Code of Illinois specifically states that it is the duty of the governor to deploy such force as he deems necessary in order to suppress individuals acting together and committing violence in violation of our laws. Enough is enough. We've already lost too many lives. We need action now.”

At a joint press conference on April 25, Rep. Ford and fellow Illinois House of Representatives Democrat John Fritchey called upon Governor Pat Quinn to bring in National Guard troops to bolster the presence of law enforcement in areas of the city that have been the hardest hit by crime.

Rep. Lashawn Ford, Illinois House of Representatives
“As we speak, National Guard members are working side-by-side with our troops to fight a war halfway around the world,” said Rep. Fritchey. “The unfortunate reality is that we have another war that is just as deadly taking place right in our backyard.”

The sense of urgency in Rep. Ford's words is surely caused by the pressure of his constituents. Rep. Ford's 8th District encompasses parts of Chicago's West Side, specifically, a notoriously violent neighborhood called Austin. By contrast, Rep. Fritchey's 11th District encompasses parts of the city's more affluent North Side.

The statistics are alarming. Approximately 80 percent of the murder victims have been Black, and, according to Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis, most violent crime occurs in just 9 percent of Chicago's blocks. However, Supt. Weis, who served six years in the military, is on record as being against bringing in the National Guard.

Rep. Ford told The Final Call his call for the National Guard should not be looked upon as a slight or a criticism of Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis, nor is it a call for heavily armed military personnel menacingly walking the streets, however, it is clear that Supt. Weis and the Chicago Police need help.

“If you say that you need the National Guard, you can very well possibly need some federal dollars to get some help with the police, but if you are telling everyone that you don't need any help, then you eliminate your chances for possibly lobbying for federal dollars,” said Rep. Ford. “If you say that you can't solve the 9 percent, then one thing that you can do if you have more bodies, then you will be able to deter crime in those areas because you have more presence,” he added.

Just one year ago, Supt. Weis and law enforcement officials took credit for the fact that homicides had dropped 20 percent in Chicago for the first four months of 2009 compared with the same four-month period in 2008. By the end of April 2009 there were 108 homicides, 26 fewer than for the same period in 2008. Supt. Weis credited the work of his officers, and the establishment of several specialized crime units directly targeting street organizations and crime hot spots.

In the summer of 2009, Supt. Weis ordered all plainclothes officers to wear their full uniform when on duty. This included many gang enforcement and tactical officers. The department also held a highly publicized series of roll calls in order to show the community that Chicago police would be more visible. He also redeployed many administrative officers to street patrols. The department has ordered more powerful weapons, expanded the use of Taser guns, and Chicago's “blue-light” cameras appear to be almost everywhere.

Recently, he announced the establishment of a rapid-response technology initiative which will make a block-by-block computer crime data analysis available to patrol officers.

In 2010, 113 people have been killed in Chicago, the exact number of those killed during combat in Afghanistan. In the most recent embarrassment, an April 2 press conference being held by Supt. Weis at the location of an earlier shooting was abruptly ended when gunfire from another shooting erupted in the vicinity. Recently, a 20-month-old girl was killed by a bullet intended for her father.

Shortly after the death of Derrion Albert in September 2009, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called for the National Guard to be brought into the city. Many community activists criticized him and decried the notion, however, now, some seven months later, many are asking, why not a coordinated military effort in violent areas, especially if nothing else has worked?

Pat Hill, a justice studies professor at Northeastern Illinois University and the executive director of the African-American Police League, believes those calling for the National Guard are “cowards.”

“Specifically, those who are 50 and older know better because we have experienced and witnessed the National Guard being used domestically,” said Prof. Hill, also a retired Chicago police officer. “If we recall after the assassination of Dr. King, in New Jersey the National Guard killed 60 people. I don't understand how the elders could go for this. If you think the police will shoot you … the National Guard will kill you and that's really all there is to it! Those who are calling for the National Guard are cowards. I think they don't want to deal with it. They know that the National Guard will kill our kids,” she said.

Long-time Austin resident Dorothy Jones, 71, disagrees. She told The Final Call she is in favor of the call to bring in the National Guard. She has lived in the West Side neighborhood for over 30 years and has watched it transform from a place where young children could play outside, to a place where most residents are afraid to leave their homes. She has four grandchildren and said she worries about their safety constantly.

“They can't play, they can't go outside and ride their bikes, you have to wonder and worry and pray that they will be safe!” said Ms. Jones “They can't do things that we did as children. They are held hostage.”

Street Gangs: The New Insurgents?

In a report titled “Street Gangs: The New Urban Insurgency” written by Dr. Max G. Manwaring, a Professor of Military Strategy in the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) of the U.S. Army War College, he drew a parallel between “contemporary criminal street gangs” and the insurgencies that are seen in Iraq and Afghanistan “in terms of the instability it wreaks upon government and the concomitant challenge to state sovereignty.”

Prof. Manwaring points out that that in many cases the ultimate objective of many gangs and/or organized “non-state actors” have as their ultimate objective, destabilizing or deposing the current governmental authorities in order to create a condition of lawlessness that would allow them to control the areas in question. This would enable them to either establish or continue their illicit commercial enterprises such as narcotic sales and intimidation of business owners unhindered by a coordinated governmental response. Control of this “nonstate battle space”—as termed by Prof. Manwaring—such as an urban environment allows for the establishment of psychological dominance and rule by fear of the residents of the area.

In describing the importance of understanding the “half-criminal and half-political nature of the gang phenomenon,” Prof. Manwaring writes that many leaders underestimate the potential consequences of failing to act against these “nontraditional political actors.”

“At best, many leaders consider these nontraditional political actors to be low-level law enforcement problems, and, as a result, many argue that they do not require sustained national security policy attention.Yet, more than half of the countries in the world are struggling to maintain their political, economic, and territorial integrity in the face of diverse direct and indirect nonstate―including criminal gang―challenges.”

He continues, “The violent, intimidating, and corrupting activities of illegal internal and transnational nonstate actors―such as urban gangs―can abridge sovereign state powers and negate national and regional security.”

New York Army National Guard soldiers assigned to Joint Task Force Empire Shield, a state Army and Air National Guard security force operating in New York City, don protective masks as smoke fills a subway car simulator during emergency training conducted at the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Photo Courtesy, U.S. Army
Calls for the National Guard to be deployed are not just limited to Chicago. In fact, several members of Congress wrote a joint letter to Pres. Barack Obama on April 28 calling on him “to take action to address this growing national security threat on our southern border.”

They are asking for National Guard troops to be deployed with the “very clear guidance of proper rules of engagement and should be armed and allowed to defend themselves if fired upon or attacked.”

Critics see this as a dangerous, not only for ordinary citizens but also for law enforcement officials. National Guard troops are routinely deployed in cases such as natural disasters, however, for them to be deployed in the case of actual law enforcement and patrols other than during a national emergency, such as an urban rebellion, would be unprecedented.

For the time being, Gov. Quinn has rejected the idea of sending in the National Guard to supplement the Chicago police. In a recent press conference, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said the problem is the amount of guns on the street and in the hands of criminals.

This is a position shared by Michael Walsh of the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (ICPGV). He believes calls for the National Guard are a sign of growing frustration with violent crime levels, but not the solution.

“Its just the frustration that something needs to be done. We can't go through another week and every time you turn around there's another report of senseless gun violence. At the same time, before we get to bringing in the National Guard and having a military presence on our streets, there are other things that we can be focusing on to get those guns off the street.”

The ICPGV is active in pressuring state and federal courts to tighten restrictions on gun ownership and strengthening penalties for illegal gun sales and ownership. In addition, anti-gun activists are calling on Congress to reinstate the federal ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, which expired in 2004.

“My neighbor across the street got shot in the stomach last August by a 14-year-old kid,” said Mr. Walsh. “There are just too many guns in the wrong hands.”

Related links:

Street Gangs: The New Urban Insurgency (Dr. Max G. Manwaring, U.S. Army War College)