As USA Today reported Friday, more than 41,000 people in America died by gun violence in 2020, with much of that violence concentrated in cities. As shown in a new analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, the surge in gun homicides hasn’t been isolated to municipalities in a specific region but rather is an upward trend in cities across the country.
Despite the unprecedented spike in violence in some cities, there’s good news: Many of the same communities have had success in preventing gun violence with local gun violence intervention programs. Heading into 2021, it’s paramount that lawmakers at the federal, state and local levels work together and find ways to support and resource these programs.
As Everytown’s Community Safety Initiatives Director Michael-Sean Spence told USA Today:
“Although gun violence ‘happens in a split second, there’s a ripple effect,’ said Spence, director of the nonprofit’s Community Safety Initiatives. ‘This moment will continue into 2021, and it’s necessary that we not only address it at this point but that we sustain it into the following year.’”
Local gun violence intervention programs have faced new challenges because of COVID-19, hindering the life saving work outreach workers have been doing in cities. With strained funding and resources, it’s more important than ever that policymakers support community-based gun violence intervention organizations.
Learn more about this deadly year for cities and what policymakers can do to turn the tides of gun violence next year here. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a policy expert about violence in cities here, please don’t hesitate to reach out.