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updated: 9/29/2012 4:21 PM

Chicago looks to Twitter for answer to gun problem

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Associated Press

The city of Chicago is asking residents with ideas on how to get illegal guns off the streets to share their thoughts -- in 140 characters or fewer on Twitter.

The initiative is part of Chicago Ideas Week, an annual forum for innovators, artists, scientists and others to share ideas and inspire action.

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Those who think they know how to cut off the flow of illegal guns into Chicago are being asked to tweet them with the hashtag (hash)whatifchicago.

The best submitted ideas will be debated at an Oct. 11 panel discussion.

Chicago's social media director, Kevin Hauswirth, says the effort is a great example of "the potential power that social media offers city government."

According to police, 382 people have been killed so far this year, many by guns, as of the middle of September.

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