Although they have some of the strongest gun laws in the country, Chicago had multiple shootings over the 4th of July weekend that left at least 9 dead and 60 injured. Chicago is notorious for its gang violence and a high murder rate. It is a well-known fact that most killing in Chicago takes place when the weather gets warmer.
What is surprising is that Chicago government officials are claiming that their murder rate is down. The stats are one thing, but the media headlines scream another. Just this past Easter weekend more than 40 people were shot with 9 being killed.
The city has been actively combating gang and shooting violence in recent years after a bloody year in 2012. In 2012, Chicago was the only city in the nation to record more than 500 homicides believed to be because of a resurgence of gang warfare fuelled by a long, hot summer.
According to the police, Chicago had 172 homicides through June 30 — nine fewer than the same period last year and 82 fewer than during the first six months of 2012. After the city recorded a total of 415 homicides last year, the six-month total puts Chicago within striking distance of recording fewer than 400 homicides for the year for the first time since 1965.
Chicago has been employing various tactics to try and bring the homicide rate down. Police are being dispatched by hundreds in the most dangerous neighborhoods and government officials are said to be working with community leaders.
The strategy appeared to be working, with the number of homicides falling to 415 in 2013 from more than 500 the year before. However, the murder rate in Chicago is still higher than many other U.S. Cities. By comparison, New York City, which is more than triple the size in population recorded less than 350 murders in 2013.