Study Shows Half Of Chicagoans Witness Shooting By Age 40

According to a new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly half of Chicagoans will personally witness a shooting before the age of 40 thanks to skyrocketing crime in the city.

The report came from a comprehensive study tracking the lives of Chicago residents from childhood in the 1990s until they reached middle age. The findings reveal that 56% of Black and Hispanic Chicagoans witnessed at least one shooting incident by the time they reached 40 years old — while White Chicagoans are less likely to be exposed to gun violence, with just 25% reporting having witnessed a shooting by the age of 40.

According to the report, 50% of study participants overall had witnessed a shooting incident before the age of 40 — with the average age of witnessing such an incident being just 14 years old.

A shocking 7% of Black and Hispanic Chicagoans in the study also reported that they had been the victim of a shooting before the age of 40, while 4% of White Chicagoans experienced being shot. The average age of these shooting victims at the time of the incident was 17 years old.

The report also reviewed the locations of shootings in Chicago in the year leading up to the recent study interviews, which were conducted in 2021. According to Red State, “The rates of shootings within a 250-meter radius of Black participants’ homes were more than 12 times higher than those of white participants. Similarly, the rates of shootings near the homes of Hispanic individuals were nearly four times higher compared to those of white individuals.”

The study was conducted by a University of Cambridge criminologist, who collaborated with researchers from both Harvard and Oxford University.

Study lead Dr. Charles Lanfear, who works at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, explained the results of the study.

“Existing evidence suggests that the long-term stress of exposure to firearm violence can contribute to everything from lower test scores for school kids to diminished life expectancy through heart disease,” he said.

“We expected levels of exposure to gun violence to be high, but not this high,” Lanfear added. “Our findings are frankly startling and disturbing. A substantial portion of Chicago’s population could be living with trauma as a result of witnessing shootings and homicides, often at a very young age.”

“It is clear that Black people in particular are often living in a very different social context, with far higher risks of seeing and becoming victims of gun violence in the streets near their homes lasting into middle age,” he continued.

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