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Chicago and gangsters are connected in the minds of all schoolboys and Europeans, yet from Chicago comes a distinctly cheery beam to lighten the gloomy pall of crime that hangs over America, the land of the free. The Windy City's crime commission has confidently denied the possibility of a revival of gang wars, declaring that "there is nothing left to fight about." If this statement is true, and not merely an empty vaunting of civic pride, then Chicago has undeniably justified the hopes of the prophets who freed the country from prohibition shackles.
The bootlegging that used to net such rich spoils is practically extinct, and perpetual surveillance of the underworld has resulted in exceedingly slim pickings from the labor and gambling rackets, which were expected to be gangsters' gold-mines after Repeal. Consequently there is no motive left for murder and violence other than private vengeance, and even this form of amusement has grown unpopular among Chicago's mobdom owing to the tireless efforts of police authorities.
Last April Mayor Kelly began a campaign against all forms of underworld skullduggery; his determination and that of his subordinates has brought results. This drive has concentrated on illicit gambling dens, alky-cookers' work-shops, and blemishes on the face of society. Swift and inexorable action on the part of the law has taught Chicago criminals the wisdom of following Mr. Kipling's advice, and changing their spots. Faced with the loss of revenue from the bootlegging industry and vigorous destruction of other sources of income, the criminal, it seems, can be suppressed if not completely wiped out. Chicago hitherto has been the black sheep of crime in the eyes of all but Chicagoans; now she has set an example that all cities will eventually have to follow.
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