THE BLOG
01/10/2014 05:41 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2014

Cold Weather and Homicides in Chicago

Chicago will always be known as the "Windy City" and the "Homicide Capital of the United States." Even though homicides were down in Chicago by 16 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, but the struggle continues to reduce homicides even in the extremely cold weather. For example, according to the Chicago Tribune Red Eye, there were 44 homicides logged for January 2013 and 41 in January 2012.

Some people believe that the cold weather can actually play a role in halting homicides and shootings in Chicago because most people are indoors. However, this is far from the truth because the thought of taking another persons life begins in a persons mind before carrying out the act. If we do not change the thinking of violent individuals then you can expect more homicides no matter the weather. As a matter of fact, Chicago has a long history
of homicides during the winter months that exceed some cities yearly homicide rate. This is one of the main reasons why the weather is not a factor. The only difference between the warm weather and the cold weather is that people are out everywhere all the time and that's the reason why you have more homicides in the summer.

Homicides have become a way of life for a certain segment of the population and one of the effective ways to reduce violence would consist of meeting with the highest risk young men and women on a daily basis to probe their minds and find out what's really going on as it relates to existing conflicts with rival groups or individuals to help stop the violence on the front end.

One may think about violence as an infectious disease and how diseases spread throughout the year regardless of the weather. For example, if a person is infected with syphilis and chose not to tell his or her partner about the infection then knowingly spreads the infection to another person in the winter or summer, this could be observed the same way when it comes down to a
perpetrator of violence preparing himself to take a life. Most people do not communicate before committing the act of homicide. The act of homicide is totally connected to the mind. This makes it hard to predict when the next homicide will occur because we cannot gauge a person's mentality to help bring about more reasoning. Unfortunately, some people involved in a violent lifestyle believe that it's a sign of weakness to have a conscious.

The moral of the story would be, no matter the weather, the city of Chicago is still a very violent city especially for African American youth which constitute over 75 percent of the homicides in Chicago, according to the Red Line Project.

When you have people living in seriously distressed communities and trying to survive no matter what the circumstances may be then you will have high levels of violence occurring day after day and year after year. Chicago has been plagued with a high level of homicides due to the very nature of being dubbed as the Windy City not only because of the chilly weather.