Mayor Lightfoot said officials at the White House reached out to her Tuesday to offer support.
Chicago has always been known as a violent city, but never more so than in recent years. In 2020, the number of shootings and homicides in Chicago rose dramatically, and the year ended with more bloodshed than in all but one year in more than two decades.
After three years of dropping homicide totals, 2020 ended with 769 homicides which was 274 more than the previous year and the most since 2016 which had 784 homicides. The latest shooting victim figures followed the same pattern, as the year ending with 4,033 shooting victims compared with 2,598 the year before.
In 2021, the violence in Chicago has continued. More than 1,600 people have been shot in Chicago so far in 2021 which represents a 19% increase from the same time period last year, according to city data. More than 260 people have died from gunshot wounds. Compared to two years ago, the number of shootings is up 56%, according to police data.
But since the beginning of the year, what has got residents and leaders in the city especially worried has been the number of mass that have been happening. Since January 1, there have been 24 mass shootings that have occurred in or around Chicago resulting in numerous casualties and injuries.
This came to a head this week, as the fourth mass shooting occurred over the course of the previous ten days. It was also the second to occur on June 15. The four mass shootings took the lives of 4 people and injured another 26.
"Gun violence continues to have a deep and painful history in our city. Unfortunately, Chicago is not unique. We are part of a club of cities for which no one wants to belong, cities with mass shootings,” Lightfoot stated.
According to The Gun Violence Archive, there were 225 mass shootings in the US in 2021 as of May 28. More than 17,000 people in the US have died so far in 2021 from gun-related violence. If the trend continues, the U.S. will have more shootings in 2021 than any recent year on record.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot commented on what has become a large local problem related to getting guns off the streets. "What we will likely learn as the details become clearer is that illegal guns continue to plague us," Lightfoot stated.
In a recent effort to curb illegal guns coming into Chicago from other places, the city filed a lawsuit against a northwest Indiana gun shop. The lawsuit claimed the owners of the store have sold hundreds and possibly thousands of guns to arms traffickers and straw purchasers who've transported the weapons to Chicago and sold them to convicted felons and drug traffickers. Chicago Police seize an illegal weapon about once every hour, most connected to gangs on the South and West sides.
"Cities individually cannot tackle this problem. We just cannot,” Lightfoot stated. “In Chicago, we've done absolutely everything possible and we need help from the federal government. When guns are so porous that they can come across our borders as we see every single day in Chicago, we know that we have to have a multi-jurisdictional, national solution to this horrible plague of gun violence."
The Chicago Mayor said that government officials at the White House had reached out to her Tuesday morning in order to offer support. She responded by pleading for help, pointing out that gun violence is a national problem.
"What we’re seeing here in Chicago is not unique to Chicago. We’re seeing this surge in gun violence all across the country. The reality is, this is a national problem, and it needs a national solution,” Lightfoot said.