The Fourth of July weekend was an especially bloody time in Chicago this year, where 72 people were shot over the course of just four days according to local media.
Of that 72, NBC Chicago reported that 12 men were killed. A 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy were also seriously injured in separate events, as was a 72-year-old woman who was reportedly shot in the ankle.
Many of the shootings appear to have been the result of gang violence and NBC Chicago noted that at least three individuals who took bullets over the weekend are refusing to cooperate with police.
The weekend lived up to Chicago’s unfortunate reputation for gang violence, which has lent itself to the city being nicknamed “Chiraq” by some. The contrast of Chicago and Iraq, while not initially apparent, becomes clearer when comparing the casualty statistics: 4,265 were murdered in Chicago from 2003-2011, according to HBO’s Vice, whereas 4,422 American soldiers died of violence in Iraq over that same period.
Despite Chicago’s reputation as the deadliest city in America, the murder rate is down significantly in the first half of 2013 over the year prior, according to The Week. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said in May that police had confiscated over 2,500 illegal guns so far this year.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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