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A newly released report found that young, Black males aged 10 to 24 died by gun homicide more than 21 times as often as White males in the same age group.
The overall rate for gun homicide deaths across America took a drastic jump from 2019 to 2020, rising by almost 35%, to the highest level in more than 25 years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report last week highlighting the changes in firearm homicide and suicide rates.
This report was released the day before the tragic mass shooting that took place at a Buffalo supermarket where a White 18-year-old named Payton Gendron drove 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York and killed 10 Black innocent civilians and wounded three others.
According to Mike Anestis, a professor at Rutgers University and the executive director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center, more than 20 million guns were sold in 2020, up from 12.4 million sold in 2019.
Black Americans Most at Risk in Gun Homicides
Of the 19,350 gun homicide victims in 2020, Black Americans accounted for 62% of the deaths, with White Americans accounting for 21%, per the report.
“We’re losing too many of our nation’s children and young people — specifically Black boys and young Black men,” said Dr. Debra Houry, the acting principal deputy director of the CDC.
Black boys and men aged 10 to 24 died by gun homicide more than 21 times as often as White males in the same age group.
The CDC acknowledged that the drastic increase in the gun homicide rate and widening inequities amongst races are unclear and complex. Several explanations have been proposed, including increased stressors (economic, social, and psychological) and disruptions in health, social, and emergency services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police Receiving Record Funding
Even with police budgets at a record high year after year, homicide rates have increased across cities all over the country.
The amount of money being poured into police departments per year is astounding. Estimated federal, state, and local spending on law enforcement/corrections in 2021 was $277 billion. That breaks down to $759 million per day spent across the country.
“These findings underscore the importance of comprehensive approaches that can stop violence now and prevent future deaths,” said Houry.