This article does not mention that strict gun laws prevent law abiding citizens from carrying guns, which reduces violent crime. See John Lott's book, More Guns, Less Crime.
Violent crimes - from homicides and rapes to robberies - have been on the rise in many major U.S. cities, yet experts can't point to a single reason why and the jump isn't enough to suggest there's a trend.
Still, it is stumping law enforcement officials, who are seeking a way to combat the problem.
"It's being reported on at local levels, but in my view, it's not getting the attention at the national level it deserves," FBI Director James Comey said recently. "I don't know what the answer is, but holy cow, do we have a problem."
Americans have grown accustomed to low crime rates since a peak in the 1990s. But law enforcement started seeing a spike last year that has continued unabated. What's unusual, however, is that it's not happening everywhere. Chicago and Los Angeles are seeing homicides on the rise, but other places like Miami and Oakland are not.
Chicago, a city long associated with violent crime that plagues its poorer neighborhoods, saw six people fatally shot over the Memorial Day weekend and 56 wounded, ending a bloody month in a bloody year. May's 66 homicides - 19 more than May 2015 and 25 more than May 2014 - raised the total number for the year past the 240 mark. That's more than 50 percent higher than last year, and puts the city on a pace to easily surpass the 500 homicides it saw in 2012.
Perhaps more significant is the number of people who are being shot; well over 1,200 as of Tuesday, which far surpasses the 800 by this time last year.
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Some say the splintering of gangs has created deadly rivalries, others say the disbanding of specialized police units has helped embolden gangs. Guns are pouring into the city - with police saying they've seized more guns this year (3,500) than any city police department in the United States - but courts also have overturned or gutted the city's once-tough gun laws.
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"Quite frankly, trust has broken down between the community and police," new [Chicago] police superintendent Eddie Johnson said.
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The reasons vary, Stephens said: Chicago and Los Angeles attribute much of it to gang-related violence, while others chalk it up to significant drug problems that lead to violent crime.
Some in law enforcement have speculated that a climate after the 2014 fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, has made officers reticent about taking the steps needed to stop crime, but Stephens says that tough scrutiny on policing has always been part of the job, even if it's "more visible, more strident" now.
And even with violent crime outpacing past years, it's a far cry from the more notorious early 1990s when there were about 25,000 homicides each year. "We're nowhere near that level," he said.
[. . .]
[Indianapolis, IN] Police spokesman Sgt. Kendale Adams said last year's record homicides and the continued rise in killings this year is being driven by a multitude of factors, including the proliferation of guns, disputes over drugs and fights that escalate into gunfire.
"People want a reason, right? There's got to be a reason, but when we look at the data it's disturbances, it's drugs, it's even simple disputes on Facebook. It's very lifestyle-oriented, that's what the data is telling us," he said Wednesday. "Disputes that normally would have been settled through fighting are being settled through lethal means."
Jun 5, 3:23 PM EDT
US CITIES SEE UNEXPLAINED RISE IN VIOLENT CRIMES THIS YEAR
BY LISA MARIE PANE AND DON BABWIN
Spike: Los Angeles (pictured) has also seen a spike in crime, with killings up 27.5 per cent in the first two months of the year and violent offenses in general up by 12.6 per cent.
Murder, rape and other violent crimes have soared this year in major US cities
Chicago has already had almost half the murders in 2016 that it had in 2015
And LA has seen spikes too: murders were up by 27.5% in Jan and Feb
But Oakland and Miami are experiencing a drop in violent crimes
A study of 50 US cities and seven Canadian cities says crime is up overall
Experts are struggling to agree on the reasons
Some are blaming increasing numbers of guns and drugs
Others say cops are scared to act in case they're put on YouTube
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Daily Mail (UK)
PUBLISHED: 09:21 EST, 5 June 2016 | UPDATED: 16:58 EST, 5 June 2016