Posts Tagged ‘guns’

chicago

Like economic inequality, murder inequality in America is stark and obscene.

According to a new study by the Guardian,

In 2015, Chicago had the highest total number of gun homicides of any city in America. . .

Just 13% of census tracts in Chicago saw multiple gun murders in 2015, and these tracts were responsible for 65% of the city’s gun homicides.

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In that same year, there were more than 13,000 gun homicides throughout the United States. But half of those deaths were in just 127 cities, which contain almost a quarter of the population.

And it gets worse:

Even within those cities, violence is further concentrated in the tiny neighborhood areas that saw two or more gun homicide incidents in a single year.

Four and a half million Americans live in areas of these cities with the highest numbers of gun homicide, which are marked by intense poverty, low levels of education, and racial segregation. Geographically, these neighborhood areas are small: a total of about 1,200 neighborhood census tracts, which, laid side by side, would fit into an area just 42 miles wide by 42 miles long.

The problem they face is devastating. Though these neighborhood areas contain just 1.5% of the country’s population, they saw 26% of America’s total gun homicides.

Economic inequality means a small minority at the top captures the lion’s share of income and wealth. Murder inequality is equally grotesque—for a small minority at the bottom.

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Rev. Michael Pfleger pours mock blood on the ground, to spell out “SOS,” at the corner of West 79th Street and South Racine Avenue, to raise awareness of Chicago’s gun violence 31 August 2016

It may be nice to take a run in New York City’s Riverside Park—where “There are people of all ages, and, yes, all races exercising, strolling hand in hand, playing with their dogs, kicking soccer balls and throwing Frisbees”—but it’s no sign all is well in American cities.

Certainly not in Chicago (or, for that matter, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Ferguson, Flint, Detroit, and many other cities across the United States).

Back in June, as the number of shooting homicides in Chicago continued to rise, I wrote that the mounting gun violence was “The more or less inevitable result of creating and perpetuating an urban economy characterized by high rates of unemployment and poverty, in which racial and ethnic minorities are forced to endure much higher rates of unemployment and poverty and are then segregated into a few neighborhoods.”

while on the surface they’ve been assaulted by gangs and guns, too many Chicagoans have actually been wounded or killed by a City of Unequally Unemployed and Impoverished Segregated Neighborhoods.

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As of yesterday (the end of August), the number of shooting deaths—at least 425—has surpassed the total for all of last year, with four months still to go.