Dave Schuler makes the following observation about violent crime in Chicago:
What there is is more like internecine warfare. I know that some believe that the underlying problem is the War on Drugs but my own view is that the WoD is actually just a small part of a much larger problem which I would summarize as the rule of law does not extend into the black community here in Chicago at least in part because people have lost confidence in the Chicago Police. The homicides that are occurring on a weekly basis are the result of gang initiations and turf battles between rival gangs. The gangs themselves exist to provide protection, support, and something to do under conditions of social and economic disintegration.
My reservation is the extent to which the drug trade throws economics into the mix. That the thing that they are protecting people from, and the importance of their commercial real estate, and the means with which they do the protecting, ties mostly into drugs. Or maybe not! I confess a degree of ignorance. Regardless, it has given me something to think about for my hopefully-someday post on disaffection, crime, education, and inequality.