Gun Homicides Skyrocket Like Never Before — But What’s Causing The Spike?
(ReliableNews.org) – The lockdowns and restrictions over the course of the coronavirus pandemic appear to have resulted in much more than frustrations and inconvenience. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed the rate of gun homicides jumped an alarming 34.6% in 2020, and the trend hasn’t stopped there. Fox News reported in December 2021 the rate of murders continued to increase throughout the year in 16 states at minimum.
CDC Study Details
The CDC found 79% of murders and 53% of suicides throughout the United States in 2020 involved firearms. The organization reported the homicide rate increased in all age groups as well, with the highest being those between 10 and 24 years old. The biggest jump by race occurred among the Black population from 19 to 26.6 per 100,000 that year, with the Mid Atlantic region seeing its gun violence increase by a startling 51%.
Although the CDC admits in the study it doesn’t know the exact reasons for the steep uptick, the government organization has some theories that may help people understand what happened. Experts stated the rates of gun violence might be due to economic, social, and psychological stressors from the prolonged pandemic. Others said “disruptions” in services related to emergencies, health, and social issues may have been a contributing factor. The study also points to an increase in gun purchases throughout 2020 and systemic inequalities coming to the forefront of American society.
While no one could have truly predicted the length and immense stress that comes with a lengthy worldwide pandemic, the CDC listed some recommendations to help lower the violence that likely resulted. The suggestions included using comprehensive strategies to enhance economic stability and developing programs and space to help people both mentally and physically. Communities could work to increase the number of “green spaces” and restore vacant lots, which have been shown in the past to reduce gun violence.
It’s essential to create preventive programs to help citizens cope with problems in a productive way and deal with their mental health issues. The study also suggests “enhancing firearm safety and storage” for current and potential gun owners.
Obviously, quelling gun violence is complicated given its array of contributing factors and will take some time to solve. However, Dr. Debra Houry from the CDC stated community outreach programs, counseling, and education are good first steps to addressing the issue and making the US safer for everyone.
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