Inner-City Gun Crisis: A Closer Look at Rising Violence in NYC, Philadelphia, and Chicago

Photo: YeniSafak.com

Photo: YeniSafak.com

NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s Violence Interruptors and social workers appear to have gone on a yacht-donning sabbatical with Chirlane McCray’s “lost” $850 million, as gun clapping and bullet flying has run amuck throughout New York City streets these last 7 days. 

Fifty New Yorkers were shot this past week, and thirty-one of those occurred over the weekend alone, according to the NY PBA. This brings the increase of shootings to 257% from the same week last year. And shootings throughout the 5 boroughs are up by 76% so far this year.

According to NYPD stats, approximately 410 people have been injured in 372 shootings the past 3 months. This time last year clocked 210 shootings.

And it’s only one month into Spring.

The continued rise in NYC gun violence is just an ominous extension of the trend that began last year and skyrocketed throughout the summer months.

The NYPD says January 1-July 26 of 2020 saw 907 victims from 745 shootings, an increase of 81% compared to the same period in 2019. The month of August 2020 was riddled with around 250 shootings, vs 91 in August of 2019. There were a total of over 1,000 shootings in NYC as of August 30, 2020. The same period in 2019 totaled 537.

Needless to say, this coming summer is projected to make last summer look like light work in DeBlasio’s gun controlled and “safest big city.”

Even worse is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s violent 2020 compared to their explosive start to 2021

“In 2020, Philadelphia lost 447 people to gun violence – the most gun related homicides in 30 years,” says the Philadelphia city website. With 159 people killed and 546 shootings since the start of the year, “2021 is on track to be the worst year on record. We must expand our solutions to match the scale of the problem.”

“I don’t have the answer,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said Friday regarding reducing gun violence. “I don’t think any of us have the answers yet. We need to figure this out.”

Chicago, Illinois–kin to NYC with tight gun control regulations–continues to spiral with dozens of weekly shootings. It closed the year 2020 with 769 homicides, the city’s second-highest total in the last two decades. There were 4,033 shooting victims in 2020, compared with 2,598 in 2019. So far this year, 993 Chicagoans have been shot, according to Chicago crime stats –well over 200 victims more than at this point last year. A total of 192 people have been killed in the first four months of 2021–180 of those by gun violence. 

7-year-old Jaslyn Adams was shot multiple times and killed in a McDonald’s drive thru in Chicago on April 18th, leaving her father badly injured. 6 days later, 18-year-old Marion Lewis was apprehended and charged with her murder and other offenses. At least 27 others were shot in separate incidents that same weekend, and 57 were shot just last week, according to data. But to most, these weekly occurrences are the norm, and local gangs are often to blame. 

Residents are exhausted and frustrated. During a nationwide movement to defund the police, people who have to deal with the relentless violence in their communities are asking for increased–not decreased–police presence.

“Is there anything we can do to secure additional patrols in our neighborhoods near the ‘hot zones’?” Chicago resident Jezieel Cortes asked during a community meeting last year. “Given that police know of where these certain individuals congregate, couldn’t we have those areas more covered [by] officers in staggered rotations?”

Here’s an unfortunate mass shooting occurrence, which usually causes a media headline ruckus: 15 people were shot–2 killed–during a party inside of a Chicago warehouse on March 15th.

It barely put a dent in news reports locally, let alone nationwide. 

Last year, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed the uptick in gun violence–in an already existing gun violence epidemic– on the Covid shutdown. DeBlasio did the same.

No word from Lightfoot or DeBlasio yet on if re-opening in these cities are responsible for the continued sharp rise in shootings and homicides.

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