According to a report by US health authorities, 19,350 homicides were recorded; 35% increase compared to 2019

BRYAN R. SMITH / AFP

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In 2020, there were 19,350 homicides involving firearms in the United States.

You U.S recorded a record in 2020, the first year of a pandemic, in terms of the number of deaths from firearms. According to a report by the American health authorities, released on Tuesday, 10, there were 19,350 homicides, an increase of almost 35% compared to 2019, which made the rate stand at 6.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. A scenario like this hasn’t happened for 25 years. For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “these deaths represent a persistent and significant public health problem”.

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The rate rose sharply among men, teens and young adults from African American and Indigenous communities, and no region was spared, however, the increase was greatest in counties with high poverty rates and ethnic minority populations. People also committed more suicides in poor, non-metropolitan and rural areas. There were 24,245 suicides committed by firearms, an increase of +1.5%. CDC violence prevention program expert Tom Simons links the growth to the Covid-19 pandemic. “They include changes or problems in services and education, social isolation, economic conditions such as job loss, housing instability and difficulty in bearing expenses related to the pandemic,” explains Simons.

The report also pointed out that the risk of violence is associated with long-standing systemic inequalities and structural racism, and mentions tensions in relations between the police and public opinion – referring to the wave of protests following the death of George Floyd in May 2020 in the hands of a police officer, which caused an increase in the purchase of firearms, reaching a record 23 million weapons sold, and the growth of domestic violence. Incidents with firearms have been frequent in the United States. In April, an attack on the subway in New York left at least 10 people shot. The attack took place in Sunset Park.

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