Story at a glance

  • Despite the global coronavirus pandemic’s interruption to daily activity, gun deaths increased last year.
  • The number of gun deaths so far this year are already surpassing last year’s rate and rising, according to a Washington Post investigation.
  • The number of gunfire deaths has also increased in suburban and rural areas, in addition to cities.

Last weekend, police were investigating at least four mass murders in Austin, Texas; Cleveland; Chicago; and Savannah, Ga., that killed six people and wounded 38. The numbers suggest that this could just be the beginning of a violent summer. 

This year is already on track to surpass 2020 in gun deaths, which was the deadliest year of gun violence in at least two decades, according to an analysis of data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. This year is already trending higher and higher entering the summer, when gun violence has traditionally peaked in the United States, according to the Washington Post analysis.


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

STUDY SUGGESTS THIS GAME COULD DELAY THE PROGRESSION OF DEMENTIA

EARNING A BACHELOR’S DEGREE COULD ADD AN AVERAGE OF THREE YEARS ONTO YOUR LIFE, STUDY FINDS

4 OUT OF 10 AMERICAN DEATHS LAST YEAR COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED SAYS A NEW ANALYSIS 


“I’m scared to death of the summer, I’ll be real honest,” Mark Bryant, founder of the Gun Violence Archive, told the Washington Post. “I expect this to be a record year.”

The past 14 months presented “a perfect storm,” Cassandra Crifasi, the deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy, told the Washington Post. And that storm could get worse as the country opens up after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“What we have is compounded trauma,” Shani Buggs, an assistant professor with the University of California at Davis’s Violence Prevention Research Program, told the Washington Post. “The pandemic exacerbated all of the inequities we had in our country — along racial lines, health lines, social lines, economic lines. All of the drivers of gun violence pre-pandemic were just worsened last year.”


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


The analysis shows that while gun violence was higher in cities, proportional to higher populations, the number of gunfire deaths has also increased in suburban and rural areas. At the same time, the New York Times recently reported that the spike in gun purchases during the pandemic has continued. 

“All of these people who bought guns in the context of fear around the pandemic and the unrest and uprising in relation to the murder of George Floyd, what do they do with those guns now?” Crifasi told the Washington Post.


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

A LOVE LETTER TO MALE CAREGIVERS: JUSTIN BALDONI DISCUSSES THE CAREGIVING CRISIS

117 YEAR OLD BEATS COVID-19 JUST BEFORE HER BIRTHDAY

LIFE EXPECTANCY IN US PLUNGES IN MOST DRAMATIC FALL SINCE WWII

DRUG REPORTEDLY REVERSES AGE-RELATED MENTAL DECLINE IN MICE WITHIN DAYS OF FIRST DOSE


 

Published on Jun 16, 2021