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Chicago's murder epidemic, explained in three minutes

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

Over July 4th weekend, at least 16 people were killed in shootings around Chicago. It's a a shocking amount of death, made all the more chilling by the fact that gun violence is in decline around the country. Chicago has the largest number of murders per year of any city  in the nation, and the third-largest per capita homicide rate.

So what's going on Chicago? This video, by Tara Long and the team at TestTube, explains the situation clearly — in under three minutes. Perhaps the most surprising part is that Chicago's murder rate rose after a successful crackdown on the city's most powerful gang:

You'll notice one thing the video doesn't discuss is what guns and gun laws have to do with the problem. Here's an in-depth take, including the relatively happy news that Chicago's homicide numbers are still way below the city's peak in the mid-90s.