City Shooting Spikes and Heat Waves: Is There a Connection?

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Two are dead and six were wounded in shootings in the Bronx and Queens this past Sunday. These primarily drug-related shootings follow a long streak of summer violence, including a 3-year-old being struck with a stray bullet. The weekend following the Fourth of July saw seven deaths and 21 injuries from shootings and stabbing violence, reports Gothamist. Seventeen people were shot on the Fourth of July holiday. Between July 2 and July 8, a total of 77 were shot in the City. Mayor Bloomberg said the Fourth of July traditionally sees a large number of shootings in the City, but this year is particularly out of control. Joe Coscarelli at New York Magazine called the recent shootings "at best a statistical anomaly and at worst a disturbing new trend." The Magazine reports the numbers have jumped from last year: "There have been 12 percent more shootings on the year so far, and murders are up to 21 from 18 at this point in 2011 - a jump of almost 17 percent." On the issue of whether there is a correlation between heat waves and shooting spikes, a police source recently told the New York Post: "Warm weather means shorter tempers, and the people know that police are doing less stop-and-frisks, so more people carry guns." It's the perfect storm this steamy summer-cops do blame hotter temperatures for the rise in violence, though they also point to recent scrutiny aimed at stop-and-frisk procedures. Until the recent heat wave, the murder rate was "on pace to be the lowest in years," reported Business Insider. -Alissa Fleck

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