Gun violence in the United States has broken records and is at the highest level in twenty-five years, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday.
According to this study, in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, there were 19,350 firearm homicides in the United States, up 35% from 2019 and the highest level in the last quarter century, according to data presented today by the CDC.
The CDC report does not include data for 2021, although organizations such as The Gun Violence Archive speak of a higher figure than in 2020: 20,600 gun deaths last year.
The figures are even higher in the case of suicides: according to the CDC 24,000 people took their own lives with a firearm in 2020. A figure that The Gun Violence Archive raises to 24,100 in the case of 2021.
Gun injuries are considered a serious public health problem in the United States, explained Debra Houry, deputy director of the CDC, during a telephone press conference to present the report.
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As Houry explained, 79 percent of homicides and 53 percent of suicides in 2020 involved firearms.
By racial group, the highest rate of homicide deaths is among African-American men, while Native Americans are the group with the highest suicide rate.
In any case, Dr. Tom Simon, associate director of the CDC and head of the Division of Violence Prevention, warned that poverty is above race as an influential factor in firearm deaths in the United States, whether homicides or suicides.
However, he also recalled that it is racial minorities who live in the poorest areas of the country.
Simon explained that the study does not delve into the reasons for firearm homicides and suicides in 2020, although he admitted that among the multiple explanations may be stress and the alterations brought about by confinement, such as social isolation, economic problems or instability in homes.