36 shootings, 9 homicides. A weekend in Chicago

I first saw this story in the International Herald Tribune. It made the list of Top 10 Most Popular stories. Europeans–myself included–have a morbid fascination with America’s gun culture.

I clicked on the article and read: “An outburst of gunfire rattled Chicago during the weekend, with at least nine people killed in 36 separate acts of violence…They included gang shootings, drive-by attacks, and even one case in which someone used an AK-47 to shoot up a plumbing supply store”. Wow. It reads like fiction.

During the same weekend last year, there were “only” 19 shootings, including four homicides, and 21 shootings were reported during the same weekend in 2006. Overall though, we are told we are much safer than we were a 100 years ago. Good to know.

Why the fascination with guns? Lately, I have had a few European friends request I take them on a tour of the “bad neighborhoods” of US cities. They have already seen the safe neighborhoods and felt like they were missing a piece of Americana. They wanted to see the movie-romanticized gun culture first hand.

I wonder if I should get my “urban ghettour” trademarked.