America has been rocked by gun violence and mass shootings over the last several years. However, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that mass shootings have not only gone up since the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’ve also become the leading cause of death for children.
In a recent CDC report, new data showed an all-time high of gun-related deaths totaling 45,222 lives lost. The new data revealed “a sharp 13.5% increase in the crude rate of firearm-related death from 2019 to 2020.”
Outside of the sheer volume of firearm-related deaths, there is also cause to be highly alarmed at the concerning rate at which children have been chronically affected by the ongoing violence. In 2018, multiple children were massacred in a school shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Four years later, in Uvalde, Texas, 19 children and two adults were killed when an 18-year-old boy released gunfire into their school.
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro (D) tweeted his contributions to stopping gun violence across the country. He stated, “Last year, I helped pass the most significant gun violence prevention legislation in 30 years. It's good progress, but not nearly enough. From Uvalde to Parkland and Buffalo to Monterey Park, we must do more to protect American lives and keep weapons out of dangerous hands.”
Last year, I helped pass the most significant gun violence prevention legislation in 30 years. It's good progress, but not nearly enough.
From Uvalde to Parkland and Buffalo to Monterey Park, we must do more to protect American lives and keep weapons out of dangerous hands. pic.twitter.com/hkGjQBiK4z
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) February 2, 2023
“From 2019 to 2020, the relative increase in the rate of firearm-related deaths of all types (suicide, homicide, unintentional, and undetermined) among children and adolescents was 29.5% — more than twice as high as the relative increase in the general population,” said the CDC.
The push for new gun legislation has received widespread bipartisan support amongst voters, but there is still more work to be done to protect children and adults. The CDC states that “the increasing firearm-related mortality reflects a longer-term trend and shows that we continue to fail to protect our youth from a preventable cause of death.
Generational investments are being made in the prevention of firearm violence, including new funding opportunities from the CDC and the National Institutes of Health, and funding for the prevention of community violence has been proposed in federal infrastructure legislation. This funding momentum must be maintained.”