Gun Violence Across America Continues to Increase

By  //  November 20, 2020

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Death rates have been surging in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic is not the only reason why. Gun violence has been increasing significantly throughout the United States, especially among the youth.

As a result, firearms have become one of the leading causes of death for children and teens in America, which has been heightened by the protests speaking out against police brutality and the government’s response to the global health crisis.

From homicides to suicides, thousands and thousands of people are affected by the use of guns.

Homicide Rates Among The Youth

Firearm-related violence is causing a great number of young lives to be taken nationwide. During the summer, shots were fired on Chicago’s Southside costing the life of Janari Ricks, a nine-year-old who was playing with friends on a courtyard.

Ricks was an honor roll student in the third grade and shortly passed after getting shot in the chest. During a cookout on July 12 in Brooklyn, NY,  one-year-old Davell Gardner Jr. was sitting in his stroller when two gunmen suddenly fired several shots at the group and struck Gardner in the stomach.

Seven-year-old Zamar Jones was playing on his front porch when he was shot in the head during a gunfire exchange in Philadelphia. One day later, another one-year-old boy was killed in Akron, Ohio due to gun violence.

Children should be able to go outside and play with no worries on their minds – especially not the fear of getting shot. Children are victimized by gun violence daily. According to media reports, teenagers and kids are caught up in gun violence as unintended targets.

According to the New York Police Department, six children (all under the age of 17) have been killed by gun violence so far this year in New York City.

New York had a record of 777 shootings, which surpasses the number of gun incidents totaled in 2019. According to the department’s CompStat 2.0 portal, a site that displays up-to-date crime-related statistics, there has been a 56.3 percent increase in shooting victims compared to last year.

Gun Violence Rages Across Major and Mid-Size Cities

Chicago is among several major US cities experiencing a big spike in shootings and homicides so far this year. From this past Saturday and Sunday, 53 people were shot and four people died in Chicago this past weekend as a result of gun violence. Among the 53 people, five minors were wounded.

According to the Chicago Police Department, there has been a 67 percent increase in murders compared to 2019. In Philadelphia, ten people were shot overnight Saturday, Oct. 10 through Sunday, Oct.11. According to the Philadelphia Police Department, there has been a 39 percent increase in homicides throughout the city.

There have been at least 18,021,383 deaths due to gun violence according to the Gun Violence Archive, an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 7,500  law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources daily to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. The Los Angeles Police Department reported that homicides increased 40% compared to a month ago

Gun Violence Prevention & Intervention

Nearly 23,000 Americans and 1,100 children and teens lives are taken through suicide every year. Many of these suicides are from firearms. Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides, according to Everytown Research & Policy.

The firearm suicide rate has increased by 65 percent over the past 10 years. There are many cases where children are involved in accidental deaths due to the misuse of guns. Whether a bullet is shot accidentally or purposely, gun violence prevention and intervention is necessary to save lives.