Chicago crime up, some violent crime down

Chicago crime up, some violent crime down
AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

The city of Chicago has been something of a benchmark for violent cities. What we’ve seen in recent years hasn’t really changed much of that, either.

While lawmakers from the Windy City try to complain about how everyone else should have their rights curtailed because of what happens there, though, something interesting is happening in Chicago. While crime is up, it’s not all crime that’s increased.

Chicago has seen a 36 percent increase in overall crime since last year, though shootings and murders fell slightly.

The city, which has a history of high gun violence, saw other crimes like burglaries, thefts and car jackings rise over the past year.

Shooting incidents declined by 11 percent and murders were down 6 percent from this time last year, when Chicago recorded the most homicides in 25 years.

Of course, carjackings are pretty damn violent and those are up.

Still, for a city that is known for shooting and murders, those being down from this time last year is interesting.

It seems that’s a trend throughout the nation, too.

Overall crime complaints in New York City rose by nearly 45 percent thus far this year, city data showed.

However, murders in the city dropped by roughly 5 percent, with shooting incidents up by about 17 percent.

Across the country in Los Angeles, homicides were down about 13 percent this year compared to last, and shootings declined by around 8 percent.

But robberies and car jackings were up, and the city recorded a nearly 12 percent jump in violent crime overall, Los Angeles Police Department data indicated.

Of course, almost all of these cities are gun-controlled communities, which some will latch onto as evidence gun control works.

They miss that not only did Chicago see skyrocketing homicide rates last year, but so did Los Angeles. New York’s struggles with violent crime last year have also been well-documented.

But let’s also not let them try to classify carjackings as anything but a violent crime.

This isn’t Gone in 60 Seconds here. These are armed robberies where what they want is your car. People have been killed in carjackings, so let’s not pretend they’re not violent as hell.

That said, a lot of other violent crimes do seem to be down. What gives?

Frankly, I don’t know for certain. I suspect that much of what was driving violent crime last year has vanished. Property crime makes sense during inflation–“if you can’t buy it, steal it,” might be some’s mantra–but the other stressors that may have driven violent crime appear to be gone.

That includes anti-police sentiment.

Either way, though, it’s only three months into the year. None of this may matter in a few more months. Or, conversely, it may keep going at this rate.

Interestingly, though, it should be noted that no significant gun control legislation has been passed, which means these decreases aren’t the result of legislation. So much for the argument that only gun control could address Chicago’s violent crime, which we’ve heard repeatedly.

The truth is, gun control is never the answer.