Two US Zip Codes More Deadly Than Afghanistan

A new study conducted by Brown University researchers shows that young males in the two most violent zip codes in the United States are more likely to be shot to death in their home areas than American soldiers were in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The two zip codes are inside metropolitan Chicago and Philadelphia.

Young men between 18 and 29 living in the Chicago zip code were 3.23 times more likely to be gun-related homicide victims than U.S. soldiers in those twenty-first-century foreign wars. Those from the same demographic in the Philadelphia zip code were 1.9 times as likely to suffer a gun murder than the group of soldiers.

The study also included New York City and Los Angeles. It found that the young men most affected by gun homicides were overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic across all four cities, with 96% of the murder victims belonging to those groups.

Dr. Brandon del Pozo was the study’s co-author and recently published a research book titled, “The Police and the State: Security, Social Cooperation, and the Public Good.” He has also worked as a police officer in New York City and as chief of police for Burlington, Vermont.

He told reporters that “we often hear opposing claims about gun violence that fall along partisan lines,” with one claim centering on a need for a “severe crackdown on crime” and the other claiming that “our fears about homicides are greatly exaggerated and don’t require drastic action.”

Dr. del Pozo concluded that “it turns out both are wrong.” He said, “while most city residents are relatively safe from gun violence, the risks are more severe than war for some demographics.”

However, del Pozo’s conclusion overlooks that murders are not evenly distributed throughout American cities. A 2017 study shows that 68% of U.S. homicides occur in just small parts of 5% of all counties. A majority of American counties, 54%, had zero homicides that year.

Dr. del Pozo’s research could also be flawed in that it only considered “gun violence” while overlooking all other violent crimes. For example, the FBI statistics regularly show that more homicides in the U.S. are committed every year with hands, fists and feet than with rifles of all types.

A report from the Independent Sentinel last year indicated that “all 16 cities with record high homicides in 2021 have Democrat mayors.”