New national study shows America’s gun epidemic is more deadly than ever
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new national study commissioned by the Journal of American Medical Association shows America’s gun violence epidemic is more deadly than ever.
The study analyzes data from 1990-2021 and provides context into the gender and racial disparities of gun violence in that time.
The numbers show more than one million people were shot and killed in that time, 86 percent of them men.
They also show all homicides doubled across the country from 2014 to 2021, with men five times more likely to die.
Men were also seven times more likely to die by suicide in 2021.
The racial disparity is even greater than the gender disparity.
According to the study, Black men ages 20 to 24 have a homicide rate of 142 deaths for every 100,000, nearly 10 times higher than the overall firearm death rate in the US in 2021.
“This is a Louisville problem and this is an American problem,” Dr. Keith Miller said.
Miller is a trauma surgeon at UofL Health and has dedicated his life to saving the people who find themselves on his operating table.
He gets a daily first-hand look at gun violence’s warpath in Louisville.
“I’m a surgeon,” Miller said. “I’m supposed to like stop bleeding and fix holes and put people back together. But at the end of the day, the inattention to this issue is shocking and heartbreaking.”
It’s why Miller works outside the hospital, in the community, to slow the trend.
He partners with community activist Christopher 2X to spearhead the Future Healers program, which introduces children to the field of medicine while helping them navigate through the emotional trauma that stems from the increasing violence currently plaguing their communities. The program is meant to uplift and empower them to aspire for better futures for themselves and for the communities in which they reside.
From surgery to policy, Josh Crawford studied the numbers when he was the Executive Director of the Pegasus Institute.
Now working with the Center for Opportunity, he believes solutions to the problems in Louisville must come from a community approach.
“The first is the group violence intervention that has started to gain some steam and while is not functioning perfectly, is in a far better place than it was a year ago,” Crawford said. “And the other thing is that our homicide clearance rates a year ago at this time were abysmal. One of the things that was done was try to reduce homicide detectives’ case loads.”
Miller agreed and added a solution to the gun violence problem nationwide needs to be addressed like the public health crisis it is.
To read the full study, click or tap here.
Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.