“This is an example of an unacceptable disparity that continues to move in the wrong direction,” Dr Simon said. “It is possible that stressors associated with the pandemic, which we know hit racial and ethnic communities hardest in many areas, are contributing to these inequalities.”
Overall, black and Hispanic Americans were 13.7 and 2.4 times more likely to die in a firearm homicide, respectively, than whites in 2021 — the largest such difference in more than one decade, according to Johns Hopkins analysis.
Suicides involving firearms only increased by 1% in the first year of the pandemic, but soared in 2021, from 24,292 in 2020 to 26,320 in 2021, the largest increase on a year reported by the CDC and a record high, according to Mr. Davis.
The increase occurred in both men and women, and across most age, racial and ethnic groups.
Gun-related suicides have long been more common among older white men, and in 2021, more than 80% of all gun suicides were among white Americans. People 45 and older had the highest rates of firearm suicide.
But black and Hispanic Americans accounted for the largest increases in gun suicide rates overall from 2020 to 2021, and Native Americans and Alaska Natives had the highest gun suicide rate. higher in adults under 45.
Sarah Burd Sharps, senior director of research at Everytown for Gun Safety, called on gun owners to keep firearms locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition and to implement so-called red flag laws that allow the temporary removal of firearms from people who are in crisis.
“The pandemic continues to cause huge disruptions in everyone’s lives – economic uncertainty, social upheaval, anxiety about our health, loss of routines affecting everyone – and it has had a particular impact on young people,” said Ms. Sharps.
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