At least shooting deaths are still shocking here

According to the Chicago Tribune, 710 people have been victims of shootings in Chicago as of May 6. That’s 97 fewer shooting victims than in all of 2018, but the year isn’t even half over.

It isn’t just Chicago. Other major metropolitan areas have their share of shootings to be sure. But the epidemic of violence in Chicago has been the focus of a great deal of media attention and even consideration by the federal government to offer assistance.

Chicago’s shootings have actually trended down in recent years, from a peak of 1,199 in 2016 to the 807 last year. It seems unlikely that trend will continue by the end of 2019.

Meanwhile in Minot, a 55-year-old man was shot last week, allegedly by his son, who is charged with Class AA felony murder and is being held in the Ward County Jail in Minot.

The shooting incident has stirred plenty of talk and a little shock. Obviously, the incident is tragic, but at least such crimes are rare enough that they do surprise and shake up many people in our region.

One has to wonder if in violence-plagued big cities a single shooting prompts that much of a reaction. It’s not a matter of sensitivity, but when the population of any city has experienced shootings in the thousands, it can be difficult to even keep track of them. Without a personal connection to an incident, over time, it’s easy to imagine they can run together in the minds of residents when shootings are so common. There are only 365 days in each year, which means Chicago averaged three shootings a day in 2016.

The issue isn’t Chicago’s crime rate, however.

Instead it’s the contrast with our part of the country, where shootings are still rare and still surprise people when they do happen.

Sure Minot has a crime problem and over the years, it has gotten worse in many categories.

But an (alleged) murder is still news here. It isn’t an average day when it happens.

Few details are known about the actual shooting, but it appears to be an isolated incident and not a sign that Minot is becoming a violent place.

At least shooting deaths are still shocking here.


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