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To End Gun Violence in Chicago, Should We Focus on Quick Fixes or Root Causes? Yes.


The following article was originally published in Crain's Chicago Business on October 16, 2018.

By Nina Vinik, Director, Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform Program

The debate we sometimes hear among advocates, experts and commentators about gun violence in Chicago is whether it's more important to focus on immediate solutions or to take a longer view and address its root causes. A new survey of young adults in Chicago's most violent neighborhoods demonstrates that this is a false choice.

In a report called "We Carry Guns to Stay Safe," the Urban Institute describes a research project designed to better understand how young adults in four of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods experience gun violence, learn more about gun availability and gun carrying in those neighborhoods, and point to solutions that can help reduce the violence.

The research was unique because it collected data firsthand from young adults who live in violent neighborhoods and have direct experience with gun violence. It's been said that those who are closest to the problem are also closest to the solutions. And, indeed, these survey findings not only were sobering—they demand our attention.

Here are four key takeaways from the Urban Institute survey of 345 adults from 18 to 26 years old conducted in Austin and North Lawndale on the West Side, and Auburn-Gresham and Englewood on the South Side.

Read the full article here.