How can we prevent gun violence in cities?

Harold Pollack • OCTOBER 16, 2017

Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago presents evidence and case reports on the gun violence situation in American cities, with a focus on Chicago. According to research done by Pollack and his colleagues, guns are surprisingly hard to obtain for individuals in Chicago, so other supply channels have emerged. Increasingly, people get guns from people in their informal social networks. Also, guns are now being trafficked in from Indiana and St. Louis. According to Pollack, we need to find ways within our constitutional and cultural frame to make it harder for dangerous people to get guns. Many young males in Chicago purchase guns for self-defense. In Pollack's jail survey, 40 person of the men who bought a gun had been shot at some point in their adult life. According to Pollack, there is no single policy that will fix the situation. Instead we need to rethink how we allocate resources to crime cases, do better undercover work to deter young people getting guns, and clamp down on background checks, among other interventions.

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