By: José Niño

Chicago’s putrid record as one of America’s most violent major cities is well-known.

The city’s image has further deteriorated with new reports of shootings in Chicago’s downtown area growing by an alarming 220 percent since 2019.

According to a story by The Chicago Sun-Times, the surge in shootings took place in the Central Police District and is measured in “shootings per 1,000 residents.”

AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News noted this district “includes much of the downtown business district.”

In a similar vein, the Near North distinct, which also spans “parts of downtown and Lincoln Park”, witnessed a 120 percent increase in shootings.

Shootings aren’t the only forms of criminal activity on the rise in downtown Chicago. This same area has experienced a 35 percent surge in sexual assaults, while vehicle thefts have grown by 51 percent.

In correspondence with The Chicago Sun-Times, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety John O’Malley said “Not only are we trying to deal with things that are happening downtown…[but also] dealing with and having these same conversations and same meetings with community members all across the city, where some areas violence is a daily, if not hourly, concern.”

According to the website, which generally tracks the number of shootings taking place throughout Chicago, 679 people have been shot and killed so far in Chicago. On top of that, 3,255 have been shot and wounded.

Chicago residents are stuck in a pickle. First off, they live in a thoroughly anti-gun state in Illinois. It’s ranked in a dismal 41st place for gun-friendly jurisdictions according to Guns & Ammo magazine. Similarly, it occupies a dim 42nd place for states that are friendly towards concealed carry.

But it doesn’t stop there. Chicago is notorious for its lax policing and criminal justice policies that make it easier for criminals to operate with virtual impunity.

As a result, there aren’t many options for Chicago residents to turn to for maintaining public order. If things continue this way, Chicago will likely experience a significant urban flight like other major cities are going through at the moment.

Gun owners in red states should be thankful for living in areas that nominally respect the right to bear arms and the rule of law. In these areas, people can at least defend themselves when law enforcement fails to do the job.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.