Chicago is quickly becoming a dangerous city. The shootings are increasing at an alarming rate with a reported 37 shootings (courtesy of the Chicago Tribune) so far during Independence Day weekend. And there is still some time left before the week becomes normal again for Chicago. Sadly, part of the new normal is gunshots raining down on the streets of Chicago.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s report, four of the 37 shootings took place on the Fourth of July holiday. The ages of the Chicago shooting victims range from 17-33. All of the Independence Day weekend shootings either took place on the south side or west side of Chicago. None of the shootings in Chicago took place north of Armitage Ave, which is 2000 north, leaving nearly one-fourth of Chicago free of gunfire.
Independence Day weekend in Chicago was filled with a mix of fireworks and firearms. The shootings took place during all hours of the night. Sometimes the shootings were a few hours apart, but oftentimes they were 15-30 minutes apart.
That includes a 15 year-old who was shot in Chicago’s south loop at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Sunday evening, according to Evan Moore of DNA Info.
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) July 2, 2016
The most horrific cases of gunshots from Independence Day weekend did not take place in Chicago, but instead in nearby Hazel Crest. A father and his two children were murdered in Hazel Crest, Illinois.
Dionus Neely, 39, and his daughters Elle Neely, 10, and Endia Neely, 3, were found dead in their home. The murder is one of the most despicable acts to happen in the area in quite some time. The multiple homicide overshadowed the 37 shootings which took place in Chicago.
The only bright side to the total of Independence Day weekend shootings is that it is far less than the shootings in Chicago during Memorial Day weekend. A total of 69 reported shootings took place in Chicago during the last holiday weekend. According to the Chicago Tribune, many of those shootings also took place on the south side and west side of Chicago.
A beefed up police presence could be the reason for the drop in Chicago shootings from Memorial Day weekend and Independence Day weekend. The 37 shootings in Chicago over the weekend is also lower than the 50 shootings that took place two weeks ago. It would be great if the shootings continue going on a downward spiral. Chicago’s south side and west side communities need the break in the shootings.
Shootings on the south side and west side of Chicago dominate the crime headlines. Those areas in Chicago are stricken with poverty, abandoned properties, and limited opportunities for employment. These Chicago communities are also suffering from educational inequalities that generate an overall ineptitude when it comes to the youth competing for funding and the basic necessities. Many of the children on the south side and west side of Chicago have the challenge of not only the educational disadvantages, but economic struggles and the rapid crime growth.
The citizens in Chicago have become unsettled with everything that is going on in their neighborhoods.
Some Chicagoans have rallied against gun violence in an effort to take their neighborhoods back. One of the more recent rallies happened in May. According to WGN-TV, thousands of people took the streets looking to create peace. The message was simple, the people of Chicago want to stop the shootings and killings.
Father Michael Pfleger of the St. Sabrina church, located on the south side of Chicago, echoed those sentiments.
“We’ve got to look at ourselves and decide we are not going to allow shooting and killing to go on in our streets on our blocks while we live there while we walk there.”
The city of Chicago is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to live depending on which side of Chicago one lives on. Independence Day weekend saw 37 shootings happen in Chicago. Amazingly, that is nearly half of the shootings that took place in Chicago on Memorial Day weekend. One can only hope that it is the start of a downward spiral.
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