cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Is the National Guard going into Chicago? The Governor of Illinois says he is ready to issue the order if Mayor Rahm Emanuel tells him he wants the National Guard to help him eradicate crime in his city.
Really? Is Chicago so bad off that the mayor is willing to consider martial law or some unofficial version of martial law? Is the Chicago Police Department incapable of getting the gang bangers under control? How did that city get to this point? Are we talking about properly trained Military Police individuals or are we talking about any Guard unit that might be called up. Will the state pay for those costs or might the President, whose home city is Chicago, find some Federal dollars to help pay for the troops?
Chicago has a major problem. The death toll in 2012 was 509. The toll through yesterday is now 317. I’d wager that the vast, vast majority of these deaths caused by gunshot were gunshots from illegal weapons. Yet, the drumbeat seems to always signal that these kinds of gruesome statistics can only be controlled with tougher gun control laws. Those using illegal weapons are not terribly quick to register those illegal weapons based on some edict issued by a politician.
So what if the Illinois National Guard is called to state active duty? How many troops would be activated for this duty? Will the troops be issued their individual weapons? If so, will they receive ammunition for those individual weapons? What happens if a gunshot from a guard weapon is determined to have killed an innocent? Will the state stand behind the person who fired that shot, if one can be identified, so that he or she will not stand naked before justice? Will martial law be declared? If martial law is declared, will the populace tolerate that condition or will the people rebel against the guard? What happens if and when a member of the Guard is wounded or killed? I agree that the problems of Chicago with the rampant killings and drive by shootings are severe but is the city and the state and the nation ready for this kind of response?.
Milwaukee was host to the National Guard during the riots of 1967. I was a small unit commander during that call-up with my unit on the streets. I know the feeling of standing in the middle of Wisconsin Avenue on a Thursday afternoon without seeing another human being because we had the city locked down tight. I know how spooked the troops can become at night in the city. The size of Milwaukee pales by comparison to the size of Chicago. It boggles my mind to contemplate the number of troops that would have to be activated for such duty.
If this were to happen, and I wonder if that will be the case or if this is just for show, I hope that the troops deployed will be plentiful, well-trained, disciplined and mindful of the awesome responsibility they have been given. The military on the streets of modern American cities is a distasteful image that will do little but diminish our country’s standing worldwide at a time when we are reviled by far too many anyway.