In 2021, gun deaths in the United States reached a record high, with one occurring every eleven minutes — 49,000 throughout the year.
According to the new study from Johns Hopkins, data from the Centers for Disease Control revealed that gun deaths reached their highest in recorded history for the second year in a row. Gun suicides rose by 8.3 percent, with a total of over 26,328. Gun homicides increased 7.6 percent from 2020, amounting to 20,958 deaths.
“In 2020, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. experienced an unprecedented spike in gun homicides. Many believed that this spike would be short-lived; levels of gun violence would subside as institutions effectively responded to the pandemic and people returned to their daily routines," the report reads. "This, unfortunately, was not the case."
The pandemic played a large role in exacerbating gun violence, seeing gun homicides increase by 45 percent between 2019 and 2021. The non-gun homicide rate rose by 7 percent.
The study also noted the impact that this had on adolescents, as gun violence is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-19 — 20 percent of deaths in that age range. In 2021, gun violence caused 4,733 deaths among youth. Homicide is much more common in the age group, with 64 percent of said deaths falling under gun homicide, whereas 30 percent fell under suicides.
People of color are also disproportionately impacted by gun violence, with the study reporting that Black people were 14 times more likely to die from gun violence than White people. Latino or Hispanic males were 2.8 times as likely to die from gun violence than White males, and Latino or Hispanic women were 1.3 times as likely as White women.
The rise in deaths directly correlates with "record gun sales," the report notes, as "millions of first-time purchasers, including Black and Hispanic/Latino people, and women of all races and ethnicities, bought guns during the pandemic at unprecedented levels."
"Many of these purchasers were motivated by gun industry marketing claims that guns make you safer," it reads. "Yet, this is far from the truth; gun ownership greatly increases the risk of dying by suicide and homicide."