Chicago’s 14 people killed and another 68 wounded over the July 4 weekend was the city's highest concentration of gun violence this year. The Christian Science Monitor cited familiar suspected causes, including inadequate policing, lax gun laws, and lack of economic opportunity. Most shootings took place in areas plagued by school closings and systemic losses in manufacturing jobs. Most of the fatalities were teenage boys or young adult men. It resembled the same weekend last year, when 11 people were killed and 62 wounded.
While over the long term gun violence in Chicago is declining, the high-profile street violence is a political liability for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who yesterday called the number of shootings and murders “simply unacceptable.” In 2012, his first year in office, homicides in the city spiked past 500, creating both national headlines and pushback from critics citing budget cuts to the police force and school closings as endemic to the growing problem. Despite the headlines, gun violence in Chicago has been declining for years. Most crime experts say sudden spikes in shootings are not indicative of any single problem, but that violence is best understood when examined over a wider time frame