Dark days in Chicago

The news: In July, a gunman opened fire at the premiere of the newest Batman movie in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people.

Behind the news: During the same week of the Aurora massacre, Chicago saw 69 shooting incidents, with nine people murdered as a result, shows a Chicago Reporter analysis of Chicago Police Department records. The number of incidents, which was 30 percent higher than during the corresponding week in 2011, brought the city’s total shootings for the year—as of July 22—to 1,331.

“What happened in one night in Colorado is a regular weekend occurrence here in Chicago,” said Mark Walsh, the director for the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

More than three-quarters of the 69 shootings occurred on the South and Southwest sides. The 7th Police District on the Southwest Side was the most dangerous with 11 shootings, followed closely by the 6th and 4th districts with nine shootings each.

Meanwhile, there was only one shooting on the North Side, in the 24th District.

During the past two years, the number of reported violent crimes throughout the city has declined, but gun violence is continuing to climb. As of July 22, shooting incidents are up 8 percent this year, compared with the same period last year.

“Guns are not as simple as dealing with violence,” said Dennis Rosenbaum, a professor of criminology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Guns are part of our culture.”

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