USA: “Historic” increase in homicides from firearms in 2020


Gun deaths in the United States have risen “dramatically” in 2020, most likely linked to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and poverty, according to a health report released today.

With 19,350 homicides (an increase of + 35% compared to 2019) and 24,245 suicides (+ 1.5%), these deaths “constitute a persistent and significant public health problem,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report. of.

In 2020, 6.1 homicides were recorded per 100,000 inhabitants, a record of 25 years. Homicides have risen mainly among men, teens and young adults from African-American and American communities. No area records stagnation or reduction in killings.

However, the largest increase is recorded in counties with a high poverty rate and where a large part of the population comes from ethnic minorities. Suicides are also on the rise in poor and rural areas.

“Stressful situations associated with the Covid-19 pandemic may have played a role,” said Tom Simmons, a CDC violence prevention expert.

Among them, he mentioned the disruption in services and education, social isolation, job loss, instability in terms of housing and the difficulty of covering one’s expenses.

The report also notes that the risk of violence is linked to “systemic inequalities and racism” and refers to “tensions between police and the public” (referring to anti-police violence protests following the assassination of George Floyd in May 2020) as well as “the increase in firearms sales” (record, with 23 million sales) but also domestic violence.

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