Ok, I have this theory. It’s a theory about the homicide rate in Chicago and how it’s being touted by everyone from the Mayor to the media but the truth is that we’re being sold a bill of goods.
“Chicago homicides drop for 2009” screams the Tribune headline and when I read it my jaw fell and I was like “Wha?” My theory is that it’s not da Mayor’s gun laws, or his new G-man police superintendent, or even the generally hard-working blue shirts out there on the street getting the murder count down. No, it’s the silent work of dozens of EMTs, ER doctors and nurses, and advancements in emergency medicine that is keeping shooting victims alive.
So I did a little poking around. Over at Everyblock I could search the CPD database and found that in November there were 34 homicide reports filed in the city. Yet there were 134 cases of aggravated battery with a handgun in the same period.
So then I looked at November 2008. 37 homicides, 120 aggravated battery with handgun. 2008 has less shooting but more dead.
Now this is not scientific and far from perfect because there are more categories of aggravated battery including a handgun, e.g. domestic, so don’t read too much into this. (also, November 2007: 28 and 115.)
But when you see some talking head touting 2009’s low murder rate ask about the rate of aggravated batteries.
Perhaps someone out there (maybe with knowledge and access of CPD records) would be willing to do a proper study and share the numbers with me so that I may share them with you. Anyone?