Shooting at funeral home in Chicago

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Image credit to pxhere.com. Image modified from original.

The exact number has not been confirmed but at least nine (9) people were shot dead near Rhodes Funeral Home at 79th Street and Carpenter Street in Chicago on Tuesday. The exact number is still unknown since the victims were either fled or transported by car to the hospitals. An earlier report stated that at least 16 people were shot at the said funeral home.

A Police’s spokesperson stated that the shooting incident took place at 79th Street and Carpenter Street on the Southern part of the city. Eleven (11) people were transported by the Fire Department while nine (9) people were taken to hospitals by car. Larry Langford, the spokesperson of Chicago Fire Department said that the police transported nine (9) people from the scene who were in critical conditions. The residents and eye-witnesses said that they heard gunshots outside the funeral home before seeing the victims outside the street. “All we saw was just bodies lying everywhere. Shot up everywhere, all over. Legs, stomach, back, all over the place. We thought it was a war out here,” a local resident said.

The incident appears just a day after a multiple shooting occurred that killed at least 12 people over this weekend. More than 20 people were shot on Monday, and 63 people were shot two days ago of which 12 died.

The number of killings and homicides are increasing with time in Chicago. Have you ever wondered why Chicago has higher number of crimes than the other states in the US?

One thing we cannot deny is that crime is an inherently random phenomenon and due to this particular nature, crime is an extremely difficult subject to study.

This up-rise in crime, however, is remarkably new in Chicago. As late as 2015, the total number of crimes is 468 murders which is 50% lower than 1992. This is consistent with the overall murder rate in the US, especially in the inner cities. However, starting in 2016, there has been a significant spike in violence yet still lower than the 1990’s figure. What could have been the up-rise in Chicago shootings?

Here are three (3) significant reasons.

  1. Chicago does not have a strict gun law.

Chicago used to ban handguns within the city limit but the ruling of Supreme court in 2008 called this ban unconstitutional and was reaffirmed by a 2010 ruling. Chicago also had a gun registry program since 1962 but the law was not validated from 2013 when the state came up with a new law allowing concealed carry of weapons. The firearms account a huge percentage homicides in Chicago and this percentage has been growing for the last 10 years. Criminals can obtain guns from various resources like burglaries and straw purchases.

There are also some crucial factors that promoted free flow of guns into Chicago. Illinois has a strict gun law but the surrounding states are more lenient. Neither Wisconsin nor Indiana require a legal license or valid permit to purchase a weapon. Both the said states do not have a waiting period to obtain the firearms. A study published in The Chicago University revealed that 60 percent (60%) of new guns used in Chicago gang-related crimes, and 31.6 percent (31.6%) used in non-gang-related crimes between 2009 and 2013 were bought in other states. Indiana played the vital role of major supplier. It provided nearly one-third of gang related guns, and one-fifth of non-gang related guns.

2. Opiod Overdose

Another valid reason is Opioids. Opioid overdose is now one of the leading causes of midlife mortality among non-Hispanic rural whites.

3. Gang Related Violence

Most killings in Chicago are from the poor neighborhood areas in the South and easy side of the city. These killings have been the results of gang related issues, common among black people. Five neighborhoods — Austin, Englewood, New City, West Englewood and West Garfield Park — accounted for nearly half of the increase from 2015 to 2020.

The other significant difference is that the average age of those arrested for a homicide or shooting is 26, and the percentage with a gang affiliation has come down to 67 percent (67%) from 73 percent (73%). The crack cocaine epidemic mostly saw homicides in the 18–25 age group. Most of the violence stemmed from altercations in public places with a gun ready at hand.

These above factors have been playing a very crucial role in the rising number of murders in Chicago. The pressure is in the authorities who need to handle it in a stricter and smarter way.





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