Chicago’s gun violence and the damage done

You’ll never see a more detailed and intimate visual report on Chicago’s gun violence problem than in the Tribune’s “Under the Gun” series. The video above (which contains graphic images and explicit language) is a taste of what the Tribune’s photographers built for a city they deeply care about.

“… please watch. Our city’s future is at risk,” the report’s intro concludes.

  • The Tribune piece is exceptional, and as a guy who loves Chicago, it’s a sad look at the city. I don’t think there are any easy answers in Chicago. Some of this is the continued aftermath of the segregation and large areas of high-rise public housing that helped create these gangs in the first place.

    But I’m also reminded that usually the factors that people think are the causes of violence and gang problems tend not to be the issue. For instance, the common wisdom about why crime took a dip nationally in the 1990s is that it’s a reflection of an increase in police activity, along with harsher sentencing for repeat offenders. But there is an alternate theory that has sprung up, which seems to be supported by a lot of the data. And that theory says that a big percentage of the dip in crime was due to Rose Vs. Wade.

    There is a lot of statistical info that suggests that wider access to abortions led to fewer unwanted kids, which led to fewer kids ending up committing crimes. It’s a theory that seems a bit insane on the face of it, but when you look at the data, it makes perfect sense.

    I suspect that Chicago’s crime problem won’t be eased without similar out-of-the-box thinking, though I have no idea how to even begin to solve the problem.