According to an alarming NPR report, the sharp increase in gunshots that occurred nationwide during the pandemic has become the “new normal.”
Cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore, where the number of homicides so far this year rivals the high totals of 2020 and 2021, are among the greatest dangerous places.
The mayor of Portland, Oregon, has declared a “gun violence emergency” as the city fights to control an annual murder rate that will rise to 88 in 2021 from 36 in 2019.
Even several smaller communities, like Little Rock, Arkansas, run the risk of surpassing their murder totals from the previous year.
Elyne Vaught, a prosecutor in Washington, told NPR, “The ’90s were more gang-oriented, and there were more planned, more targeted shootings, so this is clearly unlike the ’90s, the speaker explains. Today, it’s minor violations, little disputes, and minor shootings.”
According to NPR, “police around the nation have noted this pattern.” ‘Incidents of people indiscriminately firing into big groups while discharging vast amounts of bullets,’ according to a recent study from the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
According to the report, Anthony Branch, now 26 years old, “got into problems” when he was a teenager for carrying a pistol. He attributed the growth in illegal gun ownership to the “Defund the cops” movement.
He continued, “ They are just going to search for priority” referring to the Seattle police department, which lost hundreds of officials as a result of protests that followed in 2020 shooting death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
Is this the “new normal?”
In many urban and suburban regions, the sound of gunshots has become more prevalent. Jimmy Hung, top deputy for the King County Prosecutor’s Office’s juvenile section, claims to have observed the shift.
In West Seattle, Hung says, “I’ve never felt like I was in danger of being shot when I left my house, and I don’t even now. But after over 20 years of residence, I can affirm with certainty that, when I sleep at night with my window open, I now hear more gunshots than when I initially arrived in the area.
Hung questions if the shootings are related to a trend in young males using firearms in “demonstrative” ways.
Another explanation for this pattern can be “Kids were finding their parents’ firearms because they were home alone, doing nothing except playing and sleeping. I really believe that the epidemic just provided a window, “Pope claims.