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Streets of Chicago are under siege, time for action

The streets of Chicago are under siege.

A column covering real estate may be an odd place to find crime fighting advice, but nothing reduces real estate values quite like a shoot-out in your front yard.

Every night the 10 p.m. TV news lists the previous night’s shootings and murders on the streets of Chicago.

Over the July 4 holiday weekend over 100 people were shot, including 11 children… 17 people died. And it will likely happen again this weekend.

Chicago Police Comr. David O. Brown blames the court system for not dealing harshly with the gun felons.

President Biden meeting with Mayor Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle at O'Hare Airport (image courtesy of WGN News)

Meanwhile, Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx blames the cops and refuses to prosecute. Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrings her hands, curses or calls everyone names, and then begs President Joe Biden for federal help to control illegal guns.

This writer thinks it is time to take a stand to begin to solve the runaway violence plaguing Chicago. Time to put our broad shoulders back to work making our streets safe again.

Fact: The killers are mostly gang members and drug dealers fighting over gang turf for illegal drug sales, mostly on the South Side and West Side of the city.

Fact: There may be more than 100,000 gang members, many of which are involved in these gun and murder crimes. The Chicago Police Dept. knows their names, addresses, family members and associates because they have long criminal records. So how hard would it be to start with a comprehensive gun-search crack down with this list?

Here are some suggestions on how to fight “The War on Guns” and how to get illegal weapons and deadly killers off the streets of Chicago:

  • Establish Marshall Law. Let’s be honest, many Chicago streets are combat zones. It’s time for Gov. J.B. Pritzker and President Biden to order the National Guard to set up road blocks in Chicago’s problem neighborhoods to do searches and seizures for illegal guns, and arrest gang members on outstanding warrants and parole violations.

Chicago Police Commissioner, David O. Brown (image courtesy of WGN News)

Chicago police try to stem the tide, but Cook County Courts free many of the shooters as quickly as they’re brought in.

The federal government can set up quasi military occupation camps in gang neighborhoods so troops can go on night combat patrols to ferret out the gang bangers who are out shooting in the neighborhoods. This really is anti-terrorist work.

Some of these gang members are so bold they may take up the challenge and shoot it out with federal troops. Big mistake for them, especially if the feds bring in armored personnel carriers and heavy weapons. Some may die. Arrest and prosecute gang bangers to the fullest measure of the law. It’s the feds, so few would be freed the same day.

  • House-to-house weapons searches in known offenders’ homes. Remember, this is a war on illegal guns and those who possess them. It’s really a military operation like fighting terrorists. If illegal weapons are found in “hot” neighborhoods they need to be confiscated. Illegal gun owners need to be prosecuted to the fullest measure of the law.

Drugs and cash also likely will be found in these properties, increasing the criminal penalties. The real estate also should be confiscated. Surely drones can be used to track what buildings shooters are entering and exiting.

  • Target gun trafficking. Launch a federal crackdown on suburban gun shops and those in nearby states which are selling thousands of weapons to gangs. Is this a federal crime? Is it illegal to sell weapons inter-state to gangs? If not, let’s go to Washington, D.C. and pass new legislation. Hello, Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Congressmen from Illinois.

Yes, we know, many of the illegal gun merchants are working out of cars. Is there a way to covertly place GPS tracking devices on their vehicles to follow them on their sales routes?

  • Demand neighborhood intelligence co-operation. We always see many of the same people complaining in the news about shootings and killing of innocent children who happen to be in the path of those gang bullets. Since they suffer the most, now it’s the neighborhood groups’ turn to really help identify the shooters. They likely know who their worst gang-member offender neighbors are.

The city should offer “Gang-Banger Identification” rewards for anonymous tips. Why not “Finger a Gang-Banger” for $1,000 cash reward, or more, and save lives?

  • Much tougher weapons penalties. If a person has been arrested on weapons charges multiple times, he or she is a habitual offender and a three-time loser, and should be incarcerated without parole. Many of these people are murderers and killers of innocent people and do not deserve to walk the streets of Chicago. The police know who they are. Hello, Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court, are you listening?

  • Offer an olive branch. Let’s suppose there are a few gang members who have a heart and see the writing on the wall, and want to get out of the killing lifestyle.

We need to find a job for every gang member who turns in his gun. The pay should be higher than the $15 minimum wage. Many are seasoned drug sales experts. They could be hired to market and sell marijuana at legal pot shops across the city—or even electronics at Best Buy.

For those gang members who aspire for higher employment, offer free GED courses, college scholarships, or military service with guaranteed government school training to become engineers, journalists and professionals. (No, on second thought, skip journalist. They’re now making less than minimum wage.)

Now that the U.S. military has left Afghanistan, Uncle Sam needs those seasoned troops to protect America. This is a higher calling. Pay these professionals to take an oath of allegiance to America, and promise to work for the government for at least 10 years. Pay these veterans $100,000 a year, and give them a full military pension. They will all retire millionaires.

If these out-of-the-box suggestions sound harsh, they need to be. It’s a war. Gung-Ho!

For more housing news, visit Don DeBat is co-author of “Escaping Condo Jail,” the ultimate survival guide for condominium living. Visit


“The book is Escaping Condo Jail by Sara Benson and Don DeBat. I would say that anybody thinking about buying a condo, or even anybody serving on a condo board, or anybody who has any connection to a condo, this is must reading—all 600 and something pages. Thanks a lot for a great book!”


Steve Sanders, “Your Money Matters” WGN TV, December 22, 2014

By Don DeBat

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