One of the biggest changes in American society the past 50 years has been growing income inequality. That has, understandably, gotten an enormous amount of attention. But alongside that trend has been less attention to rising inequality in something even more basic: safety.
Over the last few years, Chicagoans across the city have been increasingly concerned about safety. The city is now on the verge of choosing a new mayor, and whatever the outcome, there’s no doubt that the next administration will have safety at top of mind.
By “safety,” I mean the type of crime the public cares most about: gun violence. Crimes involving guns — homicides, most of which now involve guns in Chicago; nonfatal shootings; and those crimes that involve the threat of a shooting, like armed robberies and armed carjackings — generate most of the trauma and fear of crime.