This year has been difficult beyond description for so many people. While the COVID-19 pandemic has understandably occupied front pages across the country and around the globe for much of the past six months, another destructive wave continues to fester, creating so much pain and grief: our national plague of gun violence, which claims 100 lives a day. Together, the two crises have become a toxic combination.
Gun violence was a national health crisis long before COVID-19 hit us, is still a crisis amid the pandemic, and, unless we take action, will remain a crisis long after. As we grieve the loss of life each day from COVID-19, we must continue with renewed urgency to save the preventable lives of the 38,000 people killed each year by guns.
Not every home is a safe place to weather this coronavirus storm. Domestic violence is believed to be on the rise, as people are confined in their homes and not working. We know that the presence of a gun makes domestic violence more deadly, and this pandemic is no exception. A gun in the home makes it five times more likely that an abused woman will become a victim of domestic homicide.
Fear from the pandemic and panic around the racial justice awakening have created a record wave in gun sales, with nearly 2 million gun purchased in March. We’ve seen armed militia groups marching on capitals and gun deaths increasing at 200-300 percent in some U.S. cities this year. We are seeing one tragedy after another, most recently in a terrible shooting at a Chicago funeral that left more than a dozen people critically wounded — a depressingly familiar sight in an otherwise unprecedented year.
Read the full article where it was first featured at Sojourners.