There's a statistical chart going around on social media about the uptick in gun violence in the United States:
It's from this source:
The surge in firearms homicides that began in 2015 has an important feature not highlighted in the recent CDC report.— Andrew Morral (@AndrewMorral) May 16, 2022
Prior to 2015, nonfirearm homicides and firearm homicides tracked each other well (figure shows raw CDC data).
In 2015, these trends diverged. https://t.co/bf3bgcQf1L pic.twitter.com/2MtLr0YU8N
And it's horrifying to watch that "Firearm Homicides" number spike upward like it's the Himalayas. The only time the Non-Firearms chart spikes that high was 2001, when Bin Laden sent his peeps to attack the United States on Sept. 11.
How telling is it that the NRA is building up a body count equal to America's deadliest terrorist.
There's been some talk that the uptick of gun violence is due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, which forced a lot of people into their homes during the early quarantine months... and which triggered an uptick in domestic violence cases. That alone is a horrifying reality, where the "safety" of home gets subverted by the easy access to a gun amid abusive relationships. But that sharp increase in the charts seems to start before 2020 and the pandemic (with a noticeable bump around 2016), which points to another culprit causing that spike.
If there were anything happening in 2018 and 2019 to affect firearm usage in the United States, I would point to these two possibilities:
1) In response to the mass shootings going on during and after the 2016 election cycle - especially the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016 and the Parkland High shooting in 2018 - a lot of Republican-controlled states were passing laws by 2019 towards easier access to firearms, arguing that "more guns = more safety".
Of course, the chart below proves the lie to that belief. The reality is that "more guns = more gun deaths" and it's more than just anecdotal (via German Lopez back in April 2021 at Vox.com)
Using data from a 2016 study in Injury Prevention and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mother Jones put together the chart above that shows states with more guns tend to have far more gun deaths, including homicides and suicides. This has been found across the empirical research: “Within the United States, a wide array of empirical evidence indicates that more guns in a community leads to more homicide,” David Hemenway, the Harvard Injury Control Research Center’s director, wrote in Private Guns, Public Health...
And of course the gun cult that makes up the Far Right will never accept this truth. They would rather keep making it easier and easier for themselves to own guns - some states are getting rid of regulating and registering gun licenses altogether! - rather than respect the supermajority of Americans who want stricter gun safety laws.
2) The gun violence is ticking upwards as the extremist elements of the Far Right - emboldened by trump's "Make American
Great White Again" and the normalization of the "Great Replacement" fearmongering - act out their racism and rage.
We've seen that in Buffalo and we've been seeing more extremist violence since the January 6th Insurrection. The Anti-Defamation League tracked cases up to 2021 and found that three-quarters (roughly 75 percent) of the violent acts nationwide were perpetrated by Right-Wing extremism. By comparison Left-Wing extremism accounted for 4 percent, while Islamic (domestic) extremism counted for 20 percent (there was 1 percent left over for Other). Odds favor you getting killed by a Proud Boy / Oath Keeper before getting killed by a jihadist.
It doesn't help that in the past decade - as the Far Right became enraged by an Obama presidency and stoked by a Fox Not-News media that kept feeding them fearmongering about dirty brown immigrants raiding our borders - our nation has suffered a low-burning civil war of sorts. A culture war between racist sexist angry Whites and the rest of the United States that's pro-choice, pro-immigrant, and more progressive than the mainstream media gives credit to.
For all their public demonstrations of being "Christian" and holy and whatnot, these wingnuts keep proving that they worship the idolatry of the blood-soaked AR-15. The hypocrisy of them proclaiming a holy victory over the rest of us while they shoot up every Black, Hispanic, Jewish, and LGBTQ+ community center they can.
The fever of gun worship will not end until these wingnuts fall completely out of power, and saner heads passing safety laws prevail.
Get the damn vote out, Americans. We're at war. They got the guns but we got the numbers.