Editor’s Note: The CDC report referenced in this article was released on May 10, 2022, and looks into data collected from the year 2020.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Gun-related deaths in the United States are increasing, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
The report lists the overall firearm homicide rate increasing by 34.6% from 2019 to 2020. It noted that firearms were used in 14,393 homicides in 2019, and 19,350 homicides in 2020.
In a recorded phone call, Dr. Thomas Simon with the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), said “2020 had the highest recorded firearm homicide rate in more than 25 years.”
The report also states firearms were involved in 79% of all homicides in 2020.
It also noted the use of firearms in suicides. The report lists the use of a firearm in 53% of suicides in 2020. The rate was 8.1 per 100,000 persons.
The overall use of firearms in suicides in 2020, remained about the same level as in 2019. However, the CDC found some age-group-specific changes.
The use of firearms in suicides amongst people aged 10 to 24 years old and 25 to 44 years old increased. For people aged 45 to 64 years old, the use of firearms in suicides slightly decreased.
There are many factors that could have led to the changes in gun use in both homicides and suicides from 2019 to 2020, however, the CDC points to the COVID-19 pandemic playing a role.
“One possible explanation is stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Simon. “That includes changes and disruptions to services and education, social isolation, and economic stressors, such as job loss, housing instability, and difficulty covering daily expenses,” he continued.
A full report titled “Firearm Homicide and Suicide During the COVID-19 Pandemic” was also released on May 10th, 2022 by the Journal of the American Medical Association. That report digs further in to some of those factors.