Chicago has hit a milestone, racking up more homicides so far in 2020 than all but two states did during the entire 12 months of 2019, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for last year.
Only California (1,679) and Texas (1,379) reported more murders in all of 2019 than Chicago has logged over the past 11 months. With 31 days remaining, the Windy City could maintain that pace. Data for 2020 will not be available until late September 2021, when the FBI traditionally issues its Uniform Crime Report for the previous year.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, murders over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend brought the body count to 718. The newspaper said at least seven people were killed over the weekend.
However, Fox News put the number at nine dead and 37 people shot overall.
As noted by the Sun-Times, “The jump in violence reverses a years-long trend of homicides violence citywide. The Sun-Times counted 503 homicides in all of 2019; 550 in 2018; and 664 in 2017. Chicago logged 781 homicides in all of 2016.”
Chicago isn’t the only city suffering from a rash of homicides. Baltimore is also in the midst of a murder surge. The Baltimore Sun editorial board looked at the data and over the weekend projected the city could close the year with “around 335 murders.” While that is half the number in Chicago, Baltimore is a much smaller city with a much lower population. Only the killers in both communities seem determined to up the score.
In Baltimore, the editorial noted, “The city is embarking on a holistic approach to homicides that has the potential to result in institutional change over the long haul by disrupting the culture of violence. The idea is (to) provide support to the most at-risk men, those over the age of 25 who are responsible for most of the gun violence, and teach them to resolve conflict without a gun and give them a path to a better life by connecting to them to community groups and services including skills training, housing assistance and substance abuse treatment — whatever it is that is keeping them from being productive members of society.”
Skeptics might tell the Sun editorial board, “Good luck with that.”
Philadelphia surpassed 400 murders back on Oct. 26, according to WPVI news. Philadelphia Police Department data shows the city as of Monday, Nov. 30 has racked up 452 murders, which is nearly 100 more than the total for all of 2019, when 356 people were slain. For comparison purposes, this year’s body count in the “City of Brotherly Love” is ahead of a majority of state totals for all of 2019, the FBI data confirms. In the past, the city has been sarcastically nicknamed “Killadelphia.”
Is this a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Is it the result of millions more people having bought firearms this year, including an estimated 5 million who purchased guns for the first time in their lives?
Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that have more than 1 million active concealed carry licenses. Is that a contributing factor? Or, are these killings solely the work of criminal malcontents illegally armed?
Murders are up in Los Angeles as well. The City of Angels has logged more than 300 homicides so far this year, the most in a decade.
New York City topped 400 slayings last month and the number is just about 100 more than last year at this time.
Is the country becoming more dangerous? With efforts to slash police department funding in cities across the landscape, can police agencies still protect the public and prevent crime, or has the time come for all citizens to at least consider being armed? Millions of people have already made that choice, according to data from various sources.