There is a problem of violence in America. And it doesn’t seem to go away anytime soon.
A shooter in Washington, DC, at the end of last month, April 22nd. Fire At a college school across the street, he struck more than 200 bullets and injured four. A mall shooting in South Carolina that same week injured 10 people. A shooting on the Brooklyn subway earlier that month injured more than 12 people.Recent New Orleans report The bloodiest weekend of almost 10 years.
Overall, recent data show that the United States experienced a record high annual increase in homicide in 2020 compared to 2019. Statistics from the FBI. The homicide rate rose by nearly 30% in 2020 and rose again by 5% in 2021. Violent crimes such as mass shootings and violent crimes have also increased since 2019.
Pandemic is hitting Americans
In an interview with Yahoo News, some experts attributed the surge in violence to three factors. They say the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a national blockade that disrupts all aspects of life and leads to increased stress and anxiety for the people.
Dr. Howard Curts, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, believes that violence and frustration arose as people were locked out of the outside world.
“There was a spirit of this plague that had to hurt people,” Kurtz told Yahoo News. “Then we will see an increase in violent crimes with a lack of social interaction.”
Cases of COVID have plummeted in the past few months and most blockades have ended, but new variants and ongoing mask restrictions still disrupt daily life. Even now, two years after the lockdown began, Kurtz argued that people couldn’t agree with Mask’s instruction and many were reaching their limits.
“We have cutting-edge people. People who don’t want to wear masks on public transport in a crowded indoor environment,” he said. “Climate is good for people who put the problem in their hands.”
Political polarization and distrust of the system promote discord
Experts believe that another reason for concern is the growing political polarization and distrust of US institutions. In addition to this distrust, there is also a sense of lawlessness resulting from police violence. The lack of American confidence in law enforcement, education, government and the economy contributes to social discord, John Jay College professor Dennis Kenny told Yahoo News.
“The factors of the last few years have begun to erode the social contracts formed by many,” he said. “As a result, you see conflict in society.”
In many respects, Americans are dissatisfied with the US government, the economy, and their fellow citizens.According to a March study from GallupApproximately three-quarters of Americans are dissatisfied with where the country is heading. Studies have shown that this has risen significantly since 2002, when the situation was almost reversed.
Political polarization drives the story that Americans need to put the problem in their hands. Liberals and conservatives are slowly beginning to see each other as enemies rather than fellow Americans, Dr. Kurtz argued.
“You have this group on the right who wants to regain the country and the group on the left who wants to reimburse law enforcement,” he said. “People who oppose will blame hard. Sometimes very hard.”
Guns play an important role in violent crime
Looking back at the many violent crimes that have occurred in the past year, a common theme is gun violence.by FBIIn 2021, more than 38 million guns were sold, and from 2019 it has exceeded 10 million. According to Charis Kubrin, a professor of criminology at the University of California, Irvine, violence can quickly turn into murder due to the presence of firearms.
“This is a very powerful combination of both increased violence and gun sales,” she said. “If you don’t have a gun, you may be assaulted. If you don’t have a gun, you may be robbed.”
Gun violence has dominated the topic for the past two years. Laws vary from state to state. The United States is one of the few countries where firearms can be legally purchased and carried.
“We are in an environment where you can buy guns,” Kurtz said. “The more scared we are, the more likely we are to buy more guns.”
Where are you going from here?
That’s not all bad news.Studies show that homicide rates are still high 30% lower Than the peak of the 1970s and 1990s. As the incidence of COVID-19 continues to decline in 2022, experts say the trend of the impact of pandemics on crime and violence may continue.
“Relaxation of COVID restrictions will remove some of the pressure from all our shoulders,” Kenny said.
Josh Meyers is a student at Syracuse University.