While many Americans were enjoying their Labor Day weekend camping or just taking a break from work, some were gunned down mercilessly.
Reports estimate that at least 30 people were shot, with 4 dying from their injuries. All of them were in Chicago, and it’s part of the ever-burgeoning trend of outrageous gun violence in the Windy City, according to the Daily Caller.
Between Friday and Monday morning, 26 people were injured, and 4 were killed as a result of gun violence in Chicago. These grim numbers are surprisingly low compared to last weekend’s seven fatalities.
The figures are, unfortunately, par for the course in a city that has already seen 438 deaths so far this year, according to ABC News.
The smaller number of killings is likely attributed to the Chicago Police Department’s attempts to step up its presence and crack down on the number of guns available to criminals. According to Kevin Navarro, First Deputy Superintendent for the Chicago Police Department, police seized more than 100 guns on the streets over the weekend. “That’s more than one gun an hour so far,” Navarro said.
Despite the successful seizure of 100 weapons, Navarro was quick to offer assurances that police weren’t halting their efforts. “We still have the rest of the night to go so we know that’s a challenge, we aren’t declaring victory. One shooting, one murder, that’s too much for us,” he added.
Another policing tactic utilized to great effect this weekend was the deployment of additional officers from Strategic Decision Support Centers in a number of districts tactically placed throughout the city. These centers release extra officers to areas of concern during a crisis, thus increasing police presence in the area, providing first responders with much-needed backup.
The figures represent a 30 percent drop in shooting crimes from last year. The four murders indicate a 46 percent dropoff, according to police records. Anthony Guglielmi, Chicago police department’s spokesman, says it’s the lowest number of murders and shootings the city has had on Labor Day weekend since 2014.
Despite the decreased number of shootings this weekend over previous years, the residual effects of the continued gun violence in the Windy City is having an effect on Chicago’s citizens, according to PBS. Brad Stolbach, Clinical Director of Healing Hurt People-Chicago, an organization who treats those who are suffering from trauma, says survivors (and those related to the victims) don’t receive the attention or care they require.
He points out that hundreds of people are affected by each shooting. “Every time a person gets shot, especially a young person, there are literally hundreds of people who are affected by that shooting,” Stolbach said.
Following a shooting incident, many of those involved can suffer symptoms of psychological trauma, such as PTSD, or other related mental illnesses. While there are a number of rehabilitation and treatment facilities throughout the city, they are often underfunded, and lack the personnel to attend to all those in need — resulting in long wait times, with some foregoing treatment altogether.
Outrageous gun violence continues in Chicago. Is gun control the answer to the out-of-control violence?
The growing mental strain that Chicago’s residents continue to face is likely fueling further gun violence, as young teens become desensitized to that violence. Suicides increase among those related to murder victims.
Even though this week was an improvement over last week and the year before, there is still a need to cut down on one of the most crime-riddled cities in America. Thankfully, the Chicago police (and mental health caretakers) are seeing improvements in their efforts, but they’ll need all the help they can get to make their streets safe again.