Murders of youths in Chicago are “the equivalent of a Newtown every four months,” President Obama said Friday in a visit to his home city t promote his gun-violence proposals, the Chicago Tribune reports. He suggested the solution is not only more gun laws, but also community intervention and economic opportunity in impoverished neighborhoods. Obama said there were 443 firearm murders in Chicago last year, including 65 victims under 18.
Obama’s speech was introduced by his former White House chief of staff, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been struggling to get a grip on the violence that may define his first term in office. Homicides and shootings both were up by double-digit percentages last year. Last month marked the city’s most violent January since 2002. The president’s visit brought a national and international spotlight on Chicago’s gun violence. Emanuel sought to make the case Chicago’s struggles aren’t particular to this city.