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Chicago Tribune: Why is there so much shooting in Chicago?

August 10, 2018

Gun violence in Chicago is random the way destructive wind gusts are random. You can brace yourself but still not anticipate the location or severity of a blast. But why Chicago? Back in the early 1990s, the homicide rate in Chicago was as ugly as it was in New York and Los Angeles. Then began a steady national decline, Chicago included — until the abrupt recent upswing in violence. In 2015, there were 485 homicides in Chicago. A year later, the number of victims skyrocketed to 764.

The pace of gun violence is far worse than in the nation’s two biggest cities. There can’t be a rational explanation because Chicago’s plague of urban warfare isn’t logical; it’s horrifically cruel and self-destructive. The dynamics at play are complex. Gang life is a substitute for hope in isolated neighborhoods.

Every shooting invites a retaliatory attack. In a city of 2.7 million people, a relatively small number of criminals — perhaps 5,000 to 10,000 thugs and drug dealers — are driving a large share of the violence.

— Chicago Tribune

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