The city of Chicago is among the most violent in America. In 2016, it witnessed the highest number of homicides in decades. More than 345 people were reportedly killed in the first quarter of the year. That said, Chicago has a disturbing history in regard to homicides, and that is an abnormally high number of murders taking place during the July 4 holiday.
Last year, there were 101 reported shootings over the holiday. In anticipation of an extraordinarily bloody 2017 Fourth of July holiday, a special response unit comprised of 20 A.T.F. agents, Illinois state troopers, and about 20 members of the Chicago Police Department had been set up with the sole purpose of fighting gun crime. But still, more than 760 people lost their lives to gun violence by the end of the year.
Of course, the city and U.S. President Donald Trump have had a back-and-forth for some time now over the way forward, with the mayor’s office calling for stricter gun laws and the president calling upon the police force to be “tougher” when dealing with gun violence cases. According to a statement released by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the high crime rate in Chicago is more of a law enforcement issue than a gun control matter. This is as reported by the New York Times.
But according to, Adam Collins, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office in Chicago, the flow of guns from Wisconsin and Indiana has always been the root cause of the problem. More than 50,000 seized guns in the state have been traced back to neighboring states.
In addition to this, Chicago is grappling with organized crime-related issues. As one of the main drug distribution hubs in the United States, Mexican cartels in the city reportedly work with more than 100,000 street gangs involved in the distribution of narcotics. According to a Politifact report, this has contributed greatly to the crime rate.
The report cites Jack Riley, a former DEA agent in Chicago, who points out The Los Zetas and Sinaloa Cartel as the main drug suppliers. Rivalries between the gangs apparently fuel gun-related crimes, which have reportedly gotten worse. Shootouts at funerals are now apparently rampant, with one cemetery in Chicago currently hiring off-duty police officers to boost security.