Friday, August 11, 2023

Chicago gun deaths down the first half of 2023

In 2022, Chicago had 355 gun deaths by the end of July, a little over a 16 percent decrease from the same period in 2021, reported The Trace. This year, the city has had 332 gun deaths, a decrease of 6.5 percent. Cities nationwide have experienced similar trends in the first half of 2023, with the 30 cities that made their data readily available in a new study reporting nearly 10 percent fewer homicides.

Chicago’s data shows that there continues to be a disparity in violence in the city’s South and West Side neighborhoods, which are primarily home to Black and Latino communities. Residents of these neighborhoods, which have borne the brunt of Chicago’s historic disinvestment in communities of color, have been outspoken about needing things like affordable housing, job training, and mental health facilities to help combat the long-term root causes of gun violence. 

Leaders in violence prevention and intervention said that, while the numbers are not where they want them to be, they have seen success in their work by noticing a shift in the narrative about and effort around solving gun violence. They said it has changed from a niche problem addressed piecemeal by siloed organizations to a collective effort that includes government collaboration and investment. Mayor Brandon Johnson has promised to continue funding violence reduction efforts and tackle its root causes. Organizers said the city needs to continue listening to the hardest-hit communities.

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