2020 was the deadliest gun violence year in decades. So far, 2021 is worse.
Gunfire deaths began to rise in April 2020, when covid-19 shut down much of the country, in-person schooling was paused and more than 20 million people lost their jobs. Gun violence – like the coronavirus – takes an unequal toll on communities of color. So as the pandemic took hold, it was one crisis on top of another.
“What we have is compounded trauma,” said Shani Buggs, an assistant professor with the University of California at Davis’s Violence Prevention Research Program. “The pandemic exacerbated all of the inequities we had in our country – along racial lines, health lines, social lines, economic lines. All of the drivers of gun violence pre-pandemic were just worsened last year.”