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CDC data shows U.S. has reached highest rate of gun-related deaths in more than 25 years

Gun homicides increased by 35% across the country during the pandemic to the highest level in 25 years, according to newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Firearm murders increased most among youth and young adults, 40% for those 10 to 24, the CDC data shows.

“The COVID-19 pandemic might have exacerbated existing social and economic stressors that increase risk for homicide and suicide, particularly among certain racial and ethnic communities,” CDC researchers wrote in their report.

“The increases in firearm homicide rates and persistently high firearm suicide rates in 2020, with increases among populations that were already at high risk, have widened disparities and heightened the urgency of actions that can have immediate and lasting benefits.”

In 2020, 79% of all homicides and 53% of all suicides involved firearms, according to the CDC, which is somewhat higher than during the preceding five years.

The CDC study suggests that the rise in violence could be attributed to the social and economic pressures stemming from the pandemic that reinforced “longstanding” inequities between communities.

“There’s a direct correlation between poverty and violence,” said Rev. Earle J. Fisher, Ph.D. Fisher, who is the Senior Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church, basically summed up the results of the recent CDC report. “But what we have heard as the primary solution coming out of government is more police officers,” he said.

The largest increases in firearm homicide rates were among Black males ages 10–24 and 25–44. “I think it’s something about over 50% of all violent crimes committed by less than 1% of the population,” said Fisher. Fisher said the approach being used to fix the problem doesn’t reflect that.

“The conversation that we have about solutions is let’s do this blanket approach, which is ultimately mass incarceration. Let’s be tough on crime. Let’s lock people up. Let’s not deal with the structural and systemic inequities as if the majority of our community is engaged in that type of behaviour,” said Fisher.

“It’s not true. The vast majority of citizens in Memphis, especially the Black ones, do exactly what they’re supposed to do every day. The vast majority of parents do exactly what they’re supposed to do with their children every day.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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