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At Least 21 Kids Under 14 Have Been Shot In Chicago This Year

By Gwendolyn Purdom in News on Jul 20, 2016 4:07PM

A 6-year-old girl was shot in the abdomen in West Englewood Tuesday afternoon. Tacarra Morgan was sitting on her porch with her mother and grandmother when the shots were fired from passing cars. She was listed in critical but stable position at Comer's Children's Hospital Tuesday night, the Tribune reports. It's a scene that's grown startlingly common this year in Chicago—Morgan is at least the 21st child 13 or younger to be shot in the city this year.

A spate of gun violence Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning brought Chicago's overall number of people shot this year to more than 2,200, according to data compiled by the Tribune. That includes the 64 people shot (four fatally) during the traditionally violent Fourth of July weekend earlier this month and the more than two murders a day averaged in June. Just this past weekend, seven people were killed and at least 52 more were wounded.

Chicago's shooting epidemic rages on amid the ongoing national conversation around gun violence—a heated debate that's recently been stoked by outrage over the deaths of black men at the hands of police and a number of shootings targeting officers. Chicago Police Officer officers, who continue to patrol in pairs following a shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge last weekend, have upped their on-the-street forces in recent weeks. But with numbers like this, it's unclear whether their efforts are curbing much.

While Chicago residents, victims and law enforcement struggle to address the complex issues that feed this pattern of tragedy, in Cleveland, at least one speaker at this week's Republican National Convention seemed to make light of Chicago's never-ending nightmare: CBS Chicago reports that former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz told a pro-life luncheon at the Cleveland convention Tuesday that, while he's never been afraid of trips to Iraq or Afghanistan, visiting Chicago is "scary"—a remark that reportedly got laughter from the crowd.

A "Help Stop The Violence" rally is planned near 60th and Paulina Wednesday night, the place where Morgan was shot Tuesday.