FROM THE GRIO – With two months still left to go, Chicago has passed its 2011 total of 435 homicides in what is shaping up to be a brutally violent year.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the death of Chicago Transit Authority driver Fitz Bariffe brought the count to 435 on Sunday. Three more killings the next day marked the first time since 2008 that the city’s homicide total hasn’t decreased from year to year.

The high number of murders has brought attention to the city throughout much of this year, sparking discussions on violence and gun control.

In an MTV interview last Friday, President Barack Obama said, “I live on the South Side of Chicago. Some of these murders are happening just a few blocks from where I live. I have friends whose family members have been killed.”

“What I know is that gun violence is part of the issue,” he continued. “But part of the issue also is kids who feel so little hope and think their prospects for the future are so small that their attitude is, ‘I’m going to end up in jail or dead.’ And they will take all kinds of risks.”

Between the day of his interview and Monday, there were nine fatal shootings in Chicago and at least another 14 were wounded by gunfire.

“It’s wild around here all the time,” one resident, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper. “That’s the nature of the beast. It’s sad, really.”

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