Approximately half of Chicago’s population will have experienced a shooting incident firsthand before turning 40, due to the alarming surge in crime rates, according to a recent report featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Chicago gun violence: Study finds half of city's residents witness a shooting by age 40 https://t.co/xYRri6LsGJ
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This review is the result of an extensive study that traced the lives of Chicago residents from their childhood and teenage years in the 1990s until they entered middle age. The study’s findings revealed that 56 percent of Black and Hispanic individuals had encountered at least one shooting incident by the time they reached the age of 40.
In comparison, white residents were less likely to be exposed to gun violence, though the percentage remained significant, with approximately 25 percent of white Chicagoans stating they had witnessed a shooting prior to turning 40.
Overall, the study highlighted that half of the participants had encountered gun violence by the age of 40, with the average age of witnessing a shooting being a mere 14 years old.
Shockingly, over seven percent of Black and Hispanic individuals in the study had been victims of gun violence themselves before the age of 40, while the figure stood at three percent among white individuals, with the average age of being shot at 17.
The study also analyzed the locations of gun violence incidents, revealing that rates of shootings within a 250-meter radius of Black participants’ homes were over 12 times higher compared to those near white participants’ homes. Similarly, the rates of shootings near the homes of Hispanic individuals were nearly four times higher compared to those near white individuals’ homes.
Notably, the researchers collected data from participants who had moved out of the city, although the majority of gun violence incidents were concentrated within Chicago.
The researchers emphasized that living under the constant threat of gun violence likely imposes a “cumulative physiological toll” on Chicago’s residents and individuals residing in other crime-ridden cities across the United States.
The study, originally conducted by a University of Cambridge criminologist in collaboration with researchers from Harvard and Oxford universities, uncovered profoundly startling and concerning findings.
Dr. Charles Lanfear, the lead researcher from the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, expressed deep worry about the remarkably high levels of exposure to gun violence and the potential long-term consequences on the well-being of individuals, including physical and mental health.
These findings paint a grim reality for Chicago’s newly elected socialist mayor, Brandon Johnson, who now faces the urgent task of tackling one of the nation’s highest homicide rates, averaging approximately 28.6 deaths per 100,000 people.
Addressing the pervasive issue of the surging violence demands immediate attention and the implementation of effective strategies and policies to safeguard the well-being and safety of Chicago’s residents.