During the first two weeks of nice temperatures in Chicago this year–which included Easter weekend–the city was beset with some 100 shootings with nearly a dozen dead. This intense violence has earned the Windy City a brand new nickname bestowed by its own citizens: “Chiraq.”
Over Easter weekend, there were 45 separate shooting victims in Chicago, four of which died. The previous weekend saw 35 shootings in only 36 hours that resulted in several more deaths. There were even more shootings and deaths during the intervening days between the weekends, as well. All this violence has turned Chicago into a war zone.
Many of those killed were teens and preteens. In one incident, four girls between 11 and 15 years of age and one teen boy were shot by gang members at a city playground.
On top of the ingrained gang violence, a “rapper” war of sorts is also raging. One rapper, Mario “Big Glo” Hess was gunned down a week ago, hit by ten bullets. Big Glo joined two other rappers who were killed by rivals on the streets of the city.
But the “rapper war” is only a minor part of “Chiraq,” as gangs continue their warfare as they attempt to take over each other’s drug territories.
Meanwhile, not a single American solider died in either Iraq or Afghanistan in March, and only 13 died in the previous two months. On the other hand, 76 Chicagoans have been murdered thus far in 2014.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.