Firearm-related violence is up in major American cities in 2016. While we may not be facing the apocalypse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump depicted at his convention last month—violent crime rates in cities are far below what they were a decade ago—it remains a disturbing trend, and not for the reasons the candidate inferred. How can our nation possibly be proud of the fact that so many of our cities are killing fields, with almost all of the victims being men of color?
Assistant Professor Desmond Patton has been pondering the issue of surging gang violence since he started his academic career. He attended graduate school in Chicago, which has the country’s largest gang population and one of its worst gang violence problems. (Already in 2016, Chicago shootings have soared 88 percent over last year.)