Study links violence risk to bars and liquor stores

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Violent crimes in poor areas of Chicago may be linked to the number of bars and liquor stores in the neighborhood.

A new study from Northwestern University finds people on the city’s South or West sides are 500 times more likely to become a victim of gun violence when they’re near a bar or liquor store.

Researchers say they did not find the same link between liquor stores and gun violence in more affluent areas.

Community activists point out the corner mini-mart in depressed areas may be the only place that sells groceries.

Some suggest replacing liquor stores with better food stores.

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  • Barb

    I agree. These corner stores are drug hubs and gang hang out spots. The owners allow this to happen around their business. Close these stores and open Whole Food markets!

  • Observer

    Forget about CCW creating a Wild West atmosphere. It's already here! And like the Wild West of the late 19th century, it's centered around alcohol and guns.

  • Rico

    The key word in this study is poor. The fatal flaw in this research is that it compares poor communities to more affluent communities. You cannot attribute violence in poor communities to liquor stores no more than you can directly link success in an 'affluent' neighborhood to having a Starbucks located on every corner. The city can close down every liquor store and I'll guarantee that there will still be violence in 'poor' communities.
    I'm not arguing that alcohol doesn't alter a person’s decision making but we can’t ignore major issues that contribute to the demise of millions of kids and families in these impoverished communities. Poverty by definition means to lack material possessions, money or to be destitute. We have to address issues like education, lack of ownership, gun control and the lack of options for those living in poverty. The fight should not be against liquor stores, the fight should be against poverty. When we cure the disease of poverty then we'll see the crime in these neighborhoods decrease.
    Unfortunately, this problem will not be solved by putting a Whole Foods or Starbucks on every corner, although, this is important to providing jobs. It has to begin with economic leadership and empowerment. When you know better – you do better. #nomoreredlining

  • Dick Beninya

    The late great Mike Royko said it decades ago, if you have 2 martinis with dinner every night it’s called gracious living, if you reach for a bottle under the kitchen sink every night you have alcohol problem!

  • mbarney

    What the combination between the liquor store and violence in this city, these fools don t know how to act when they get around with the people they hang around with.

  • suave

    The data here is skewed. The issue is not the *presence* of liquor stores, it is the *absence* of other vital businesses. I agree with the other comment, #nomoreredlining