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Rep. Luis Gutiérrez: Chicago Murder Outbreak Linked to Deep-Rooted Issues of Poverty, Unemployment

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In Chicago, five people were killed and at least 42 people were wounded in an outbreak of shootings in the city last weekend. The wounded included a 3-year-old boy. We speak to Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, Democrat from Illinois.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Gutiérrez, before we wrap up, on another issue, this report from CBS News Monday: Five people died, at least 42 people, including a three-year-old boy, were wounded, in shootings across Chicago since Friday afternoon. That is just in a few-day period. Can you talk about this latest rash of shootings in Chicago and what you feel needs to be done?

REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: You know, Amy, it’s—I read the papers. I read about what’s going on in Syria. I read about what’s going on in Iraq. I read about what’s going on in Ukraine. And I read about the violence across the world. But the first thing I read about is the violence in my own city of Chicago. And until we get our arms around the fact that anybody can buy a gun, anybody can get a gun, we’re going to have a lot of difficulty with this issue. It’s a devastating one in our neighborhoods throughout the city of Chicago. But it also demonstrates that, yeah, unemployment is going down, and job growth has been increasing for the last three years, but it is skipping broad parts of our society where there is no progress. And what we need to do is we need to re-examine where it is government is putting its priority and not forget about certain parts, because, you know what? The violence is so contained to certain neighborhoods of the city of Chicago, that many of us in the rest of the city of Chicago feel unaffected by it. But in the end, they are Chicagoans, and we need to take good care of them, and we need to provide them with the kind of economic and social sustenance that they need. But at the same time, we need the tools of law and order to be there. And so, that there’s a community working with government. And we need to get the guns off the streets, first and foremost, so that we can stop the weapons of violence. But there’s a lot more. This is a deep-rooted problem of poverty that exists in our community, because you see where it happens. You see where it happens. It’s in the poorest, most devastated neighborhoods economically and socially of the city of Chicago.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Luis Gutiérrez, we want to thank you for being with us. Democratic congressmember from Illinois—

REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Thank you, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: —chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, a report by the ACLU on the militarization of police departments around the country, “The War Comes Home.” Stay with us.

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