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Bloodiest September In Years Leaves City Searching For Answers

By Kate Shepherd in News on Sep 30, 2015 8:11PM

After 14 people were shot in just 15 hours late Monday and early Tuesday and the deadliest September since 2002, Chicagoans are renewing their calls for ways to stop the violence.

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) is calling for more cops to patrol parks after two gunman opened fire on a group of 30 people in a park early Tuesday morning, leaving three dead, a spokesman confirmed to Chicagoist. In the Central, Wentworth and Deering districts, which all have problems in the parks, police only have one car a night, on average, able to keep the parks clear, according to Dowell.

She's brought the topic up with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy before but plans to press him for a solution during upcoming city budget hearings. Specialized police teams have helped curb loose cigarette sales public drunkenness in her ward, she said.

Facing down the years-long trend of nearly multiple shootings and killings a day in Chicago, Tribune columnist Dawn Turner wrote an impassioned plea to the city, asking Chicagoans to admit whether they have the will and sense of urgency to actually stop the shootings. How many Chicagoans actually care, she asked, if shootings are not happening in their neighborhood?

"The frustration that I feel - that perhaps many of us feel - regarding Chicago's shootings, is not so much over how we can stop it, but whether we can stop it," she wrote. "The violence has begun to feel viral, like there's no real cure. That type of thinking, too, is part of the devastation. It calls into question whether there's a real sense of urgency, a real will to fix it."

Since McCarthy took office, he has been blaming a lot of the shootings on Illinois' gun laws a stance which he repeated again on Tuesday.

"Because the sanctions from the gangs for losing the gun is greater than the sanction for being caught by the police and getting put through the criminal justice system, criminals are not held accountable," he said at a press conference Tuesday, according to DNAInfo.

A shooting that left an 11-month old boy wounded and his mother and grandmother dead in Back of The Yards Monday evening infuriated Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who like McCarthy invoked gun laws.

"Wherever you live, you should be able to get out of your car and go to your home," he said, according to the Tribune.

"You can say this happened in the neighborhood of the Back of the Yards, but everybody (who) woke up this morning, or heard it last night, felt a pain of anguish, and it's time that our criminal justice system and the laws as it relates to access to guns and the penalties for using 'em reflect the values of the people of the city of Chicago," he said.