Despite ongoing lockdowns, mass shootings were up nearly 50% in 2020.
COVID-19 has been stealing the headlines as it has risen to the number one cause of death in the United States. But another public health crisis has gripped the nation for decades with no signs of slowing: gun violence. And this one, like COVID, disproportionately impacts people of color.
The surge in mass shootings – attributed to high stress caused by job and food insecurity and illness caused by the coronavirus pandemic – largely affected cities with predominantly Black and Latino populations that are disproportionately impacted by gun violence.
2020 also saw a shift in the types of gun-related violence because locations notorious for mass-killings such as concerts, movie theaters and malls were closed or less-frequented due to pandemic shutdowns.
After two mass shootings in a week, many are once again calling for government action while also highlighting the violent attacks and harassment towards Asian Americans that has spiked since the start of the pandemic.
But despite a majority (58%) of American adults or someone they care for experiencing gun violence in their lifetime, it remains unclear if the epidemic of gun violence in the United States can be curbed through state or federal intervention.