Murder four hundred and thirty-five. The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that the death of Chicago Transit Authority employee Fitz Bariffe this week has brought the murder count in 2012 in Chicago past last year’s total with two full months to go in 2012. Murders in Chicago are up 25%.
Last week during an interview with MTV, President Barack Obama said, “I live on the South Side of Chicago. Some of these murders are happening just a few blocks from where I live. I have friends whose family members have been killed.”
“What I’ve said is that we’ve got to have an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach. We have to enforce our gun laws more effectively. We’ve got to keep them out of the hands of criminals. We’ve got to strengthen background checks,” the President added.
The President has rarely addressed, or been asked about, the issue of violence in the town where he made a political name for himself. His former Chief of Staff at the White House, Rahm Emanuel serves as mayor of a city with the highest murder rate in the U.S.
Despite a year of murders in the news that will surely make 2012 one of the worst in recent memory, the issue of Chicago’s murder rate did not come up at any of the three Presidential debates.