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Road rage shootings spiked in 2021, Everytown for Gun Safety says

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Road rage incidents reached a new high last year, according to data from a gun safety group.

Everytown for Gun Safety’s report out Monday indicated that 2021 was the worst year on record for road rage, with more than 500 people being shot, wounded or killed in more than 700 road rage incidents. 

Specifically, 728 road range incidents in 2021 involved a gun, up from 610 incidents in 2016. 

Of the incidents involving a gun from last year, 62 percent of them resulted in injury or death, an increase from figures between 2016 to 2019, which indicated that roughly one-third of incidents resulted in injury or death.

“The data is clear: With easy access to guns, road rage can turn deadly,” the report said. 

While the pandemic is not necessarily the direct reason for the increase in road rage, Everytown noted that it has brought new stressors into people’s lives and has also resulted in an uptick in gun sales. 

Overall, violence has also been on the rise throughout the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously reported that the murder rate in the U.S. rose by 30 percent between 2019 and 2020, marking the largest single year increase since at least 1905 and possibly ever. 

As midterm elections are fast-approaching, violence has become an increasingly more top-of-mind topic on the campaign trail with some Republican candidates looking to depict Democrats as soft on crime. 

Still, violent crime increases during the pandemic remain nowhere near those seen in the 1980s and 1990s.

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