Twelve people killed and 50 injured in multiple shootings over the weekend in the United States

The one-year increase in firearm killings in USA It shows no signs of abating as restrictive measures over the coronavirus pandemic end, and an increase in shootings this weekend left dozens dead and injured.

Homicides, mostly carried out with firearms, increased 30% last year compared to 2019, and this year they have been between 20% and 25% more than 12 months ago.

SIGHT: Twelve people killed and 50 injured in multiple shootings over the weekend in the United States

Experts say there is no single reason for this trend, and it is not expected to decline as the pandemic subsides.

Local media counted 12 dead and at least 43 injured in Chicago alone, while in New York there were 30 injured and one dead, mostly attributed to disputes between gangs, arguments in bars and parties. Among the victims are innocent bystanders.

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A 14-year-old girl, Ronjanae Smith, was killed and 14 other people were injured at an outdoor concert in North Charleston, South Carolina, in which several attackers opened fire, according to police.

“My grief over the loss of Ronjanae can only be described as defeat,” her father, Ronald Smith, wrote in an open letter.

“Mass shootings are not limited to ‘poverty-stricken areas.’ Violence and / or ignorance does not reside in one area, nor does it reside in a particular race ”, He said.

“Incendiary situations”

Experts say the country is on track to surpass more than 20,000 murders last year, the highest level since 1995.

When the rise in killings was apparent last year, many attributed it to measures imposed to contain the pandemic, with home lockdowns and the loss of millions of jobs.

They also pointed to the ease of acquiring weapons: according to an estimate by the Washington Post, around 23 million were sold in 2020.

But the pandemic, protests and anti-police sentiment generated across the country by the murder of George Floyd and then other African-Americans by agents a year ago, were coupled with other factors that contributed to the increase in deaths, according to Jeff Asher, criminologist and co-founder of AH Datalytics.

“There is no single explanation … It is a complex mix of incendiary situations, with the pandemic, with the loss of police legitimacy”, explained.

“And then all the economic stressors, combined with historically high levels of gun ownership everywhere.”

“Basically everyone is under stress, everyone has a gun and police legitimacy is lowered,” Asher explained.

“Put all of that together and you get the worst nine months of homicides in recent US history.”

The increase in violent deaths is a phenomenon that the entire country suffers, Asher said, regardless of who governs in each state or city: those who had protests against the police and those who did not, those with tougher COVID-19 restrictions. or softer.

Baltimore stands out for not having seen an increase in homicides, Asher noted, but this Maryland city already had one of the highest violent death rates in the country.

Concern for the Memorial Day holiday

According to a study on crime carried out by the National Commission on covid-19 and Criminal Justice, the increase in murders in 2020 ended several years of falls.

However, they explained, the number of violent deaths in 2021 reflects that the pandemic was only one factor.

Covid-19, social unrest and other elements formed a “perfect storm,” according to the study.

Police departments across the country are gearing up for the long weekend of the Memorial Day holiday, which falls on May 31 and has historically seen an increase in shootings.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, last year the number of deaths and injuries from gunshots increased on those dates.

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