Shootings bring attention to gun violence in NYC, Chicago

Rush Hour

(NewsNation) — Violent crime is in the spotlight for two major U.S. cities after a police shooting in New York and a series of attacks this week in Chicago.

Officials in both cities are now talking about rising violence and what to do about it. On Capitol Hill, some lawmakers think they also have a solution.

In Chicago, at least 21 people have been shot since Monday afternoon. Police say most of the attacks are gang-related.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said gang members battered two officers. Two suspects, already convicted felons, were arrested.

This came as a shootout in the Bronx left a suspect dead and an officer wounded. Officer Dennis Vargas, 32, was patrolling the streets with another officer when they were approached by a man on the sidewalk, NewsNation local affiliate PIX11 said. The man began to run from the officers, and a foot chase ensued, the station said, before the man fired two shots at Vargas and the other officer. The officers returned fire and shot the suspect, who later died, in the head, PIX11 said.

“We can’t stand for these kinds of dangerous and violent offenses,” New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

At a press conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, said a crackdown on guns is the solution.

Pointing at a gun held up by an officer at the presser, he emphasized: “This is not a toy.”

Exacerbating the problem are “ghost guns,” which are privately made firearms that lack serial numbers — meaning they are often unregulated.

“This is our real problem here,” Adams said. “This is what we are up against right now.”

The NYPD has recovered 153 ghost guns this year.

President Joe Biden has unveiled different efforts to crack down on gun violence, including going after rogue gun dealers, disrupting illegal gun trafficking as well as funding community job training, mental health and other services.

But Republicans are saying that’s not enough.

“The Biden crime plan, as you know, is gun control. That will not reduce crime,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday.

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