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Chicago: A travel and tourism destination for those on a suicide mission?

May 29, 2016

Choose Chicago for a holiday or a business trip? Would it mean you risk to be shot? Officials want tourists to know: Chicago is a big city, but it’s a beautiful city, and it really is a safe city. Safety may have a different meaning for some tourism board mandated to promote tourism, encourage business travel or conventions in a murder city like Chicago.

The United States constitution guarantees every law abiding citizen to carry a gun - and Chicago is a classic result on how this could work out. If it was for Republican party presidential nominee Donald Trump - this is all good and carrying a gun should be encouraged. Shooting back and shooting each other may be more exciting.

Perhaps this is a message to American tourists planning to visit the Windy City on the Lake: Bring your gun! If you do, please check with your airline prior to leaving to the airport to learn about regulations on how to transport a gun on a commercial airliner.

This weekend is a good example on how this may work out in a major gateway city to the United States. 2 million people are expected to travel through Illinois this holiday weekend.

Looking at this number, a string of nearly two dozen shootings may not look so bad. Shootings mostly happened on the West Side in Chicago, Illinois and has pushed the number of people shot during this Memorial Day weekend to at least 40, with two more days to go.

As of early Sunday morning, the toll stood at four dead and 36 wounded across the city, including a 15-year-girl shot to death as she rode in a Jeep on Lake Shore Drive near Fullerton Avenue, police said. Lakeshort is a Chicago area frequented by tourists from all over the world. Police had already boosted presence on Lake Shore Drive and stressed that it remained safe for travel: “We want to ensure people that Lake Shore Drive, it’s a beautiful route to drive and it’s a safe route to drive.”

Visitors to Chicago should be careful what areas in the city to avoid. It's a flat out dangerous city, a capital of violence and murder if you end up in the wrong neighborhood.

Nineteen of those shot this weekend were wounded in or within a half-mile of the Harrison District on the West Side, police said. The district, one of the city's most violent, is average-sized but has more officers assigned to it than almost any other in the city. It is frequently the target of both prolonged drug operations and short-term extra patrols over holiday weekends.

Even Chicago police thought this neighborhood had an unacceptable level of shootings Friday and Saturday and pledged to increase patrols.

Should visitors to the windy city trust Chicago tourism websites?

The world is waiting for you in Albany Park says the Chicago tourism website. Chicago's most diverse neighborhood! Enjoy a dazzling array of award-winning restaurants, markets, bakeries and retail shops on Chicago's northwest side. Taste the Thai food at Arun's Thai Restaurant Wolfgang Puck calls "probably the best in the country," buy seafood revered by Charlie Trotter and Chef Jean Joho at The Fish Guy Market, savor the authentic thin crust pizza tossed by hand in front of your eyes at Marie's Pizza, and enjoy year-round musical and theatrical performances at Northeastern Illinois University, North Park University and the Albany Park Theater Project! There is truly something for everyone here!

Albany Park was part of the shooting scene this memorial day weekend.

There are still two days to go this Memorial Weekend, but so far this is violence recorded in Chicago

• A 17-year-old boy walked into Roseland Community Hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg Sunday morning. Police said he was hit around 5:15 a.m. in the 300 block of West 108th Street. Details were not immediately available.

• A 27-year-old man walked into Stroger Hospital around 4:45 a.m. after being shot in the 5000 block of West West End Avenue. He was hit in the right leg and was reported stable.

• A 26-year-old woman walked into Loretto Hospital around 4:40 a.m. after getting shot in the back in the 3900 block of West Wilcox Avenue, police said. Police expected her to be transferred to Stroger Hospital.

• A 23-year-old man was shot in the 9700 block of South Vincennes Avenue about 3:45 a.m. after getting into an argument, police said. He was in a car and started arguing with someone in another car, and that person shot him. He drove to St. Bernard Hospital to be treated for a leg wound, police said.

• A 27-year-old man was shot in the 900 block of North Cambridge Avenue on the Near North Side about 2 a.m., police said. He was listed in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. It wasn't clear what led to the shooting. Police taped off a parking lot between low-rise yellow-brick buildings and used empty small plastic cups to mark the location of shell casings.

• Two men, 21 and 22, were shot in the 700 block of North Kedzie Avenue about 1:05 a.m. Both walked into Norwegian American Hospital for treatment, and the younger man was transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital.

• Two women, whose ages weren't available, told police they were shot on the Dan Ryan Expressway, possibly between 35th and 39th streets about 12:35 a.m., police said. Officers described the pair as "uncooperative," and Illinois State Police didn't have any information about the shooting as of about 6 a.m.

• A 37-year-old man was shot in the 4700 block of West Erie Street about 12:20 a.m. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition with wounds across his body, police said. The man ran toward Cicero after getting shot and waited in front a house while a neighbor applied towels to his wounds. Paramedics picked him up there.

• Two men, 28 and 29, were shot in the 700 block of South Independence Boulevard about 11:55 p.m. Both were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and their conditions were stabilized.

• A boy, 17, walked into Mount Sinai Hospital for a gunshot wound to his leg around 10:15 p.m. The boy told police he was shot in the 1500 block of South Ridgeway Avenue. Someone dropped him off at the hospital.

• Three people were wounded in the West Englewood neighborhood about 10:05 p.m. Two of them, ages 17 and 23, were on a porch when someone shot toward them. A 46-year-old woman in a nearby car was grazed in the neck. The woman was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center and the other two walked into Holy Cross Hospital.

• At 9 p.m. a 23-year-old man was shot on the 5100 block of West Chicago Avenue in the Austin neighborhood, police said. The man was walking on the sidewalk when a light-colored vehicle drove up and someone inside shot him, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where his condition stabilized, police said.

• At 8:40 p.m. two men were shot in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The victims were stopped at a light in the 1500 block of West 47th Street when another vehicle pulled up behind, then pulled up next to them and fired shots, according to Officer Hector Alfaro, a Chicago police spokesman. A 32-year-old man was shot in the right leg and transported to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized. A 22-year-old man was shot in the right leg and transported to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.

• Around 8 p.m., a 26-year-old woman was found shot in the driver's seat of a car on the 3900 block of West Lexington Street in the Lawndale neighborhood, police said. The woman was shot in the lower neck and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition. She was driving when someone on the street fired shots. She crashed just east of Pulaski Road.

• At 7:44 p.m. a 19-year-old man was shot on the 8300 block of South Dante Avenue in the Marynook neighborhood on the Southeast Side, police said. The man was shot in the buttocks, and his condition was stabilized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said.

• Someone shot and seriously wounded a 24-year-old man in the leg at 4:20 p.m. in the 1400 block of West 99th Street in the Longwood Manor neighborhood, police said. A weapon was recovered, but the man was not being cooperative with officers. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition has stabilized, said Chicago Fire Department Cmdr. Walter Schroeder.

• Paramedics responded to the 3900 block of West Erie Street in the East Garfield Park neighborhood about 3:45 p.m. for two 46-year-old men who suffered gunshot wounds to their lower extremities, according to police and fire officials. Both were taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition, fire officials said. Police said they were shot by three robbers. One of the victims was shot in the right leg while the other was shot in the left ankle.

Last year, 12 people were killed and 44 people were wounded over the holiday weekend.

Chicago: A travel and tourism destination for those on a suicide mission?

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