The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said gun homicides in the US spiked 35% during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic-Zamkuwire
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said gun homicides in the US spiked 35% during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest rate in more than a quarter of a century.
“It is heartbreaking,” said Debra Houry, acting principal deputy director of the CDC and director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in an interview on Tuesday. “Unfortunately I am not surprised,”
The CDC study shows firearms were involved in 79% of all homicides in 2020, an increase of nearly 35% from 2019.
In addition, firearm murders increased the most, 40%, for young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years old.
However, the report showed the increase in gun-related homicides was not equally distributed across all demographics, highlighting significant disparities in race, ethnicity and poverty levels.
The largest increases in 2020 were among young Black males and the rate of gun homicides among the youngest Black males between the ages of 10 and 24 was 21.6 times higher than white males of the same age.
“When you look at a lot of these communities that were already hard hit, you add stressors to them, job loss, economic uncertainty, social isolation, those can be risk factors for violence,” said Houry.
The CDC believes many of these tragic gun deaths are both senseless and preventable. But awareness is key.
“The tragic and historic increase in firearm homicide and the persistently high rates of firearm suicide underscore the urgent need for action to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a statement.
“By addressing factors contributing to homicide and suicide and providing support to communities, we can help stop violence now and in the future,” added Walensky.