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There was more gun violence in a major American city this past weekend, with a horrifying number of deaths and injuries. Yet chances are, you didn’t hear a word about it.

Why? Because it was “just another weekend” in Chicago. No, it wasn’t a single deranged shooter. But the vast majority of the victims were not white.


Where’s the outrage?


In this month to date, 34 people have been killed, and 208 wounded in Chicago. For the year, there have been 304 killed and 1,517 wounded.

Sadly, Chicago is not alone in major American cities with disturbing levels of gun violence, particularly in the inner-city communities. But it does seem to be a terrible outlier. Why?


The New York Times took a look at Chicago’s Murder Problem  in 2016, a particularly terrible year when murders for the year hit a high of 808.


At that time, the Times concluded, in a comparison of Chicago and relatively safer New York, “while Chicago has a reputation for strict handgun laws, guns are readily available in nearby jurisdictions such as Indiana” – meaning people who wants guns will figure out a way to get them.

Further, “Chicago is more lenient about illegal handguns than New York, prescribing a one-year minimum for possession versus three and a half years in New York. An attempt to match the New York law in 2013 was rejected by the Illinois legislature out of concern for skyrocketing incarceration rates for young black men.”

“New York also hired a lot more police officers in response to the crime of the 1990s, and, during its stop-and-frisk era of the 2000s, steeply increased gun enforcement. Recent studies, including one that looked at increased police presence in London after a terrorist attack, have suggested more police might mean less crime, said Jens Ludwig, the director of Crime Lab at the University of Chicago, which studies crime in both Chicago and New York.”


If we’re reading this correctly, stricter gun laws didn’t necessarily help, but stricter policing and penalties did. And remember, this is from the New York Times.


It would be simplistic to say that fixing this would fix Chicago’s violence problem. Even 2016’s peak of 808 was below the total homicides for 1974 and 1992 (970 and 943 respectively). Incidentally, those peak years occurred during the administrations of Richard J. Daley and his son, Richard M.

The larger question seems to be how do we as a nation work together to change the culture and circumstance of Chicago’s poor neighborhoods where gun violence has become a way of life/death?

While the nation and media vigorously decry the violence and tragedy of horrific events like those in El Paso and Akron, commensurate attention and outrage should be given to the weekly bloodshed occurring in the country’s third largest city.




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