650 people were murdered in Chicago alone in the year 2017. At a homicide rate of 24 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, that makes it the US’ 10th most deadly city. Cleveland, Ohio, has nearly 34 homicides over the same number of people, and the people of St. Louis, Missouri, are almost three times as likely to be killed as those in Chicago.
There is no singular cause nor any singular solution for the high murder rates in American cities. A factor which contributes, however, is the fact that firearms are readily accessible and the country fosters a gun culture in accordance to the second amendment of the US constitution.
In an international comparison, the US’ homicide problem becomes even more clear. Venezuela’s Caracas, considered widely to be the world’s most dangerous capital, last reported a murder rate of 122 per 100,000 in 2012. Lima, Peru, a city which is known for having hitmen for hire for as little as a few hundred dollars, sees just 7.7 homicides per 100,000 people living there. That is comparable to Honolulu’s murder rate of 7.2; the city is only the 43rd most dangerous in the United States.
Berlin, Germany’s capital, has crime problems of its own. At the crossroads between northern and southern, eastern and western Europe, drug trade is a major topic. Clans also have substantial influence. Yet, the number here is 2.6 – the same as in Austin, Texas, 57th most dangerous city of the US.
It will require urgent and systematic changes to address the prevalence of the ultimate form of violent crime in the United States of America. Hopes and prayers will not suffice.
CBS News. “Murder Map: Deadliest U.S. Cities.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 26 July 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/murder-map-deadliest-u-s-cities/62/?ftag=ACQ-07-10acb2b&vndid=6114776881633&fbclid=IwAR1pnhdIQWDazDNUwt7gqPOkKLqrsBjozBIZmpNjakbBg39NCjvOyj8NZ_Y.
Chalabi, Mona. “Where Are World’s Deadliest Major Cities?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 30 Nov. 2012, https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/nov/30/new-york-crime-free-day-deadliest-cities-worldwide.
“Global Study on Homicide | Statistics and Data.” United Nations, United Nations, https://dataunodc.un.org/GSH_app.