The Truth About Chicago

When he is not obsessing about his own glory, Donald Trump has been observed to briefly notice issues other than himself. One of these is violence in Chicago.

The city of Chicago is much beloved by conservatives as an example of why big inner city areas run by Democratic mayors are bad. Chicago’s fabled gun violence not only proves (to wingnuts) that gun control causes more shootings, black-on-black homicides provide them with cover (in their minds) for their raging racism. And, you know, that Democratic mayor doesn’t know how to get people under control.

Blah blah blah.

But never fear; El Comandante Trump thinks this is easily fixable.

President Trump again decried the levels of bloodshed in Chicago during a televised interview this week, saying that the problem could be easily solved without elaborating on what he meant. Trump, in his first major television interview since moving into the White House, said that police and city officials were “not doing the job” and suggested the problem was that they were “being overly political correct.”

Gun violence is the result of too much politeness?

Trump thrust himself back into the discussion of Chicago’s violence — which has spiked recently, as homicides last year reached a two-decade high — with a tweet Tuesday night threatening to “send in the Feds” if city officials were unable to stem the killings.

Leading to this and similar tweets:

Trump’s restraint is admirable. I figured he’d have sent troops into Brooklyn already, just because they don’t like his hair.

Chicago does have a problem with violent crime. Chicago had more homicides in 2016  than did New York City and Los Angeles combined, which is a seriously bad accomplishment.

However, that doesn’t make Chicago the most dangerous city in the U.S. The most dangerous city in the U.S. is St. Louis. According to FBI data for 2014, St. Louis has a homicide rate of just about 50 murdered people per 100,000 people annually. Chicago’s murder rate is considerably lower; 15 homicide victims per 100,000 people annually. Chicago has more homicides than St. Louis because its population is a great deal larger. But this means that you are in much more danger of being murdered in St. Louis than you are in Chicago.

(The 2015 data show Baltimore overtaking St. Louis in murders, I understand, but I haven’t found more recent data in an easily digestible form.)

Other cities in which your odds of being murdered are higher than Chicago’s include Washington, DC (16/100,000), Miami, Florida (19/100,000) and Mike Pence’s Indianapolis, Indiana (15.8/100,000).

Los Angeles has a homicide rate of 6.7 per 100,000 people. And New York City’s homicide rate is about 4 per 100,000 people, among the lowest in the nation for an urban area. Note that both NYC and LA have Democratic mayors and among the nation’s stricter gun control laws, especially NYC.

It would take a closer analysis than I have time to even guess why some cities are so much more violent than others, but one suspects political correctness is not a major factor.

5 thoughts on “The Truth About Chicago

  1. t-RUMP’s gonna “send in the Feds…”


    I suspect that the night before, while trolling the cable news channels for news about himself, he ran into a rerun of “The Untouchables.”

    Maybe somebody needs to tell him that Eliot Ness has been dead for 60 years.

  2. Certainly not “political correctness” among the police.

    According to The Guardian and other sources, that city’s police are the most brutal and lawless in the nation.

    Hollywood thinks so, too.

    See Chicago PD.

  3. Trump should follow the lead of Duterte.. Tell the police in Chicago like he told the CIA that he’s got their back for extrajudicial killings.That will bring the violence down. He can give them so much backing that they’ll plead with him to stop giving them so much backing.
    I’m really disappointed with Trump. He promised that Law and Order was going to happen on day one, believe me, and here it is on day six and Law and Order still hasn’t shown up. What gives?

  4. ” But this means that you are in much more danger of being murdered in St. Louis than you are in Chicago”. Math is TOO HARD for the bad-hair bigot.

  5. Gun control doesn’t work in Chicago and other urban areas and communities because gun laws championed by conservatives undermine it. And that is by design. For example, they say “keep guns out of the hands of criminals” and yet they don’t want background checks. And no matter how many gun control laws a city might have, there are practically no restrictions on anyone buying a gun from gun shops just outside city limits, nearby states or worse, gun shows that sell guns to practically anyone. And every effort mounted by community leaders, city council members and the CPD to put in place some restrictions on these gun shops and shows is met with vicious and vociferous, racially tinged opposition from the right, led by the NRA. They don’t want to solve violence; they just want to sell guns.

    But its more than guns in urban areas that drive the violence. At bottom is the drug trade, which has replaced industry and manufacturing as the only accessible economic engine for people in poor areas of the city. The pearl clutching over the waning economic interests of white working class Americans is interesting to say the least, when working class people of color in urban areas reached the point where the white working class is today, decades ago. For the white working class, they were the proverbial canaries in the coal mine.

    There is the “conservative” view that anything that happens in communities of color that would be cause for concern for leadership in the communities of “Real Americans” is “their own fault” and thus does not deserve the concern let alone the attention of institutions that might otherwise address these issues.

    Then there’s the police department that is essentially undermanned and has been led for decades by many with the same “philosophy” of Trump, that you can ignore laws and just head crack your way to lower crime stats. Where we are today is proof that what Trump is implying won’t work. Unless he’s willing to, for once, seriously address the underlying issues, but based on his cabinet appointments (DeVos!) and GOP aversion to having a reality-based, common sense approach to addressing issues, i.e. governing, that’s not going to happen, nothing will change.

    During the campaign Trump essentially bragged (are his words ever anything else?) that the violence would cease “immediately” upon his Excellency’s ascension to the throne. Emmanuel and the City Council should take him up on it, invite him in, and then watch him expose himself again on yet another subject of which he is but an ignorant buffoon who knows nothing.

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