*(AND IT’S ONLY FRIDAY IN CHICAGO)* News July 4th weekend begins: 3 dead, 5 wounded

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The Fourth of July will be a crowded celebration: Concerts, home games, lakefront fireworks, block parties. It is also traditionally one of the most violent weekends in the city. Follow Tribune reporters as they capture scenes of the holiday.

This Picture and Video Explain Exactly Why Doomsday Preppers Are Getting Ready For An Imminent Collapse

by Mac Slavo | SHTFplan.com | July 2, 2015

For years the mainstream media and their following of myrmidons have made a joke out of those who have taken time, effort and money to prepare their homes, assets and families for “Doomsday” scenarios that may include anything from financial collapse to natural disasters.

For those who laugh at “preppers” it boils down to the belief that this time is different from the countless historical examples showing just how bad things can get. World wars, monetary hyperinflations, depressions, tyrannical governments, pandemics, Tsunamis, you name it; according to the experts, these things can never happen, especially not here in America. Plus, in the off chance that something does go wrong, we can always depend on our government to bail us out.

But what if, for the sake of argument, something does go wrong? And what if – just humor us here – the government doesn’t have the ability to help? What happens then?

The answer is simple and can be summed up in the following picture and video taken within the last 24 hours in Greece, where their financial and economic systems have collapsed to such an extent that people are now hoarding food, gas and even money (if they can get their hands on it).

Do you want to know why your prepper relatives, friends or neighbors are so adamant about being ready for disaster? It’s because they don’t want to end up like the hundreds of pensioners shown below. As Zero Hedge notes, the situation was heartbreaking:

1,000 Greek bank branches chanced a stampede in order to open their doors to the country’s retirees on Wednesday.

The scene was somewhat chaotic as pensioners formed long lines and the country’s elderly attempted to squeeze through the doors in order to access pension payments.

As Bloomberg reports, payouts were rationed and disbursals were limited according to last name.

And for those who would still argue that the American government, through multi-billion dollar FEMA and DHS initiatives, is ready for such a crisis, we direct your attention to these images taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Within 72 hours people were starving, had no clean water, no gas and were standing in hours-long food lines in the hopes of getting an MRE (Meals-Ready-To-Eat) from the National Guard. Some were even dumpster diving looking for scraps:

And this all happened in modern-day America, just a few years ago.

So, if you happen to be one of those people laughing at the preppers, think about how funny it will be when you’re having to dig through the trash for your next meal, because that is how bad it can get.

According to analyst Greg Mannarino, the debt collapse could be so severe thatmillions of people may die from starvation as credit lines lock up and the normal flow of commodity commerce ceases.

That may sound impossible, but consider what happens when the food stamp Electronic Benefits Transfer system goes down for just 12 hours. You guessed it – complete pandemonium. When the system failed across 16 states in 2013 one person dependent on these benefits summed it up with this one statement:

“How Am I Going to Feed My Family?”

The simple answer in a real crisis where our currency crashes or a cyber attack takes down payment systems?

Your family will starve.

In his book The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic CollapseFernando “Ferfal” Aguirre puts a first-hand perspective on the plausibility of these types of events coming to pass:

During good times people can afford to be spoiled, lazy, and let others handle issues that they should solve themselves. Crime rates are low and “those things” just don’t happen where you live. It doesn’t happen to people like you, or those around you.

The survivor of the Argentine collapse and hyperinflation of the early 2000’s explains that drastic changes can come out of nowhere and so quickly that they seemingly happen overnight:

But one day that changes and it does happen. The guy next door, a friend or a family member gets hit and you see how vulnerable you are.

I’m not talking about crime alone. I’m talking about serious problems or disasters of all sorts. It can range from floods to hurricane, social disorder or a family member getting sick and requiring medical attention. You didn’t have the foresight to prepare for it financially and with proper medical and insurance.

…And you may live like that for years without worrying about a thing, simply because the system is working better than usual. 

But once you realize that our society is based on rather complex and fragile structures that can fail, or when you see how life just enjoys throwing you a hardball every now and then, then you see the wisdom in preparing.

Those who would target preppers with jokes or humiliating one-liners often suggest that the preparedness community is doing nothing more than creating fear. But nothing could be further from the truth, as Tess Pennington explains in her widely popular best seller The Prepper’s Blueprint:

I don’t want to promote distress, or for that matter, teach others to live in it. Rather than staying in the presence of trepidation, I chose to take another daring step and search for a way to prepare that promotes the freedom and gratification we are all searching for. My goal was to be 100% self-reliant during a short or extended disaster.

Once I adopted this mind-set my attitude shifted from living in fear to living with courage to face whatever may come. 

Tess and Ferfal, like many preppers out there, realize that the system within which we live is fragile and that even a minor disturbance could lead to widespread implications.

In Greece today there were thousands of retirees lining up at banks. Most assumed that now that they are retired the government would always be there to help them. Others assume the government will always find a way to feed them and provide them with health care.

As we now know, the reality is starkly different.

Those who ridicule the preparedness movement may be laughing and snickering today. But you can be certain that when it hits the fan and America goes the way of Greece, they’ll be the first ones knocking on the door looking for help.

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*(SUNDAY’S GENTLE GIANTS IN CHICAGO)* 6 shot, 1 fatally, in separate incidents on North, South sides – Chicago Tribune

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By Chicago Tribune staff

One man was dead and six other people were wounded after separate Sunday shootings, police said.

Monday morning, the man was identified by the Cook County medical examiner’s office as Martell L. Smith, of the 300 block of West 104th Street in Chicago.

As of Sunday night, no one was in custody for the shooting.

The latest shooting happened about 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the West Pullman neighborhood. A 19-year-old man was walking in the 12200 block of South Wallace Street when someone inside a dark-colored vehicle fired shots.

The teen was hit in his side and later walked into Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park where he was listed in fair condition, police said.

Standard

About 9:20 p.m. Sunday, another 19-year-old man was shot in the 9200 block of South Dauphin Avenue in the Burnside neighborhood.

The 19-year-old man was traveling in a vehicle on the block when someone inside a passing red-colored SUV began shooting, hitting the teen in the left leg, said Officer Janel Sedevic, a Chicago Police Department spokeswoman. The teen was driven to Advocate Trinity Hospital where he was listed in fair condition. Police said the shooting was possibly gang-related.

In other shootings:

• At 9:05 p.m. Sunday, a 40-year-old man was shot on the 5200 block of West Quincy Street in South Austin on the West Side, police said. The man was shot in the leg during a “possible drive-by” and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition, said Officer Ron Gaines, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

• Just before 8 p.m. Sunday, a 37-year-old man was wounded in a drive-by in Bronzeville on the South Side. The man was walking on the sidewalk in the 3600 block of South Rhodes Avenue when someone in a vehicle opened fire, hitting the man in the side. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where his condition stabilized.

• Earlier, at 5:45 p.m. Sunday in the Uptown neighborhood, a 19-year-old woman was on the 1000 block of West Wilson Avenue when she was shot in the right elbow, police said. She was taken in good condition to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, police said.

• At 1:25 p.m. Sunday, a 48-year-old man was shot in the leg on the 6900 block of North Ashland Boulevard in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the Far North Side, Sweeney said. The man was taken to Presence St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was in good condition, Sweeney said.

*(BLACK LIVES MATTER? NOT IN CHICAGO.)* ON A TUESDAY NIGHT 1 dead, 6 wounded in city shootings

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By Peter Nickeas and Alexandra Chachkevitch

Chicago Tribune

contact the reporters

1 dead, 6 shot in city shootings since Wednesday afternoon

A man was killed and at least six people were wounded in shootings since Wednesday afternoon across Chicago.

A 21-year-old man was shot to death around 12:05 a.m. in the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side, police said.

The man was sitting in the back seat of a car in the 1400 block of South Lawndale Avenue when a male walked up and fired shots, said  Officer Hector Alfaro, a Chicago police spokesman.

The man was shot in the head and taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital. He was later pronounced dead, Alfaro said.  

Map: Where shootings occur in Chicago

At the scene, police officers blocked off the intersection of Lawndale Avenue and Douglas Boulevard with yellow tape.

Officers used flashlights to examine a gray car parked on east side of Lawndale.

A group of nearby residents clustered on the north side of the scene. Some neighbors said they heard three gunshots.

“We hear gunshots all the time,” said Sheila Moore, who has lived in the neighborhood for about six years.

Moore said she has a 15-year-old son and tries to keep him away from the streets and neighborhood gangs.

“We don’t go outside much,” she said as she stood next to the shooting scene. “We just do what we do.”

Moore was suddenly interrupted by screams a block away.

Another group of about 10 nearby residents, who stood on the corner of Douglas and Millard, started yelling and running west, toward Moore and the crime scene.

“They are still shooting,” some residents shouted as they ran toward police officers at the scene. “They are still shooting.”

Living around gun violence

Three or four police officers at the crime scene hurried over to the corner where some residents indicated they heard what sounded like gunshots. A police squad car followed the officers. 

Residents standing near the shooting scene headed back inside their homes. 

Most recently, a 17-year-old male teenager was shot around 1:10 a.m. while he was driving in the Roseland neighborhood on the Far South Side, police said. 

The teen was driving eastbound in the 200 block of West 111th Place when someone fired shots from a parked tan SUV, police said. 

Around 10:35 p.m., a 20-year-old man was wounded in a shooting in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side, Alfaro said. The teen was grazed in the back of his head, and was able to drive himself to Roseland Community Hospital where his condition stabilized, police said.  

The man was on a sidewalk in the 4600 block of West Washington Boulevard when he heard gunshots and realized he’d been wounded, Alfaro said. 

He was hit in the right buttock and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where his condition stabilized, Alfaro said. 

A man was shot at 5 p.m. in the 3700 block of West 59th Street in the West Elsdon neighborhood, according to police. The 20-year-old was hit in the leg and taken in fair condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The shooting may have been a drive-by, police said.

A 23-year-old man was shot in the Hermosa neighborhood on the Northwest Side about 4:35 p.m., police said. He was hit in the right ankle and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition. He was shot in the 1600 block of North Kildare Avenue.

Someone shot a 22-year-old man in the face and knee about 4:35 p.m. in the South Shore neighborhood. The shooting happened in the 7400 block of South Kingston Avenue, police said. The man was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition.

A man was also shot in the West Pullman neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, according to police. The shooting happened about 4 p.m. in the 900 block of West 116th Place. The 24-year-old was shot in the left hand and left leg and taken to Christ Medical Center in stable condition. 

*(AND NOW FOR THE GENTLE GIANTS IN CHICAGO)* 3 charged in shooting that killed 15-year-old on West Side

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    Kimon “MonMon” Wheeler, 15, a boy who was killed during an attempted robbery in the city’s Lawndale neighborhood. (Family photo)

By Deanese Williams-Harris
Chicago Tribune
contact the reporter Crime Shootings

Three boys were charged Sunday morning in a Wednesday shooting that killed Kimon Wheeler, 15, in the city’s Lawndale neighborhood.

The three boys were charged as adults with first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery and discharge of a firearm causing bodily harm, according to a release from Chicago Police Department Office of News Affairs. Police did not name the boys because of their ages.

The three boys are 14, 15 and 16, according to police sources.

The three were scheduled to appear Sunday afternoon at a bail hearing.

About 10 p.m. Wednesday, three young teens approached Kimon “MonMon” Wheeler in the 4100 block of West Cullerton Street, where they attempted to rob him. When Kimon, of the 2100 block of West Jackson Boulevard, tried to flee, he was shot in the back, police said.

He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition but was pronounced dead at 11:38 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Relatives said earlier that Kimon was hanging out with his cousins that night, and witnesses said a group of young people had been having a Roman candle fight on the block before gunfire rang out.

Relatives also said Kimon, who was set to attend Proviso East High School in Maywood this fall, liked mathematics and dancing.