According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gun violence is on the rise. From 2019 to 2020, firearm homicide rates grew by nearly 35%, and guns were involved in 79% of all homicides in 2020. Suicides involving firearms remained high, and Pew Research Center reveals that “more Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than in any other year on record.”
As CDC Director Rochelle Walensky explains:
“The tragic and historic increase in firearm homicide and the persistently high rates of firearm suicide underscore the urgent need for action to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths.”
How Does California Stack Up?
Fortunately, California has a lower gun death rate than other states, with less than 10 deaths per 100,000 people (8.5 firearm deaths per 100,000 people).
Notably, California also has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
For example, law enforcement officers and immediate family members can ask California courts for Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO) if they feel someone presents a danger to themselves or others.
Gun Violence and Domestic Violence
Sexual violence can be facilitated by firearms, and women are particularly at risk of firearm violence perpetrated by an intimate partner.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, do not wait to seek assistance. As an immediate family member, you can ask for a GRVO. Someone served with a GRVO must turn in all of their guns, firearms, and ammunition, which means they won’t be able to hurt someone else – or themselves.
What Is Causing the Spike in Gun Violence?
Experts and policymakers are still uncertain why gun violence is increasing so rapidly, but they have several theories. For example, Mayor Eric M. Garcetti of Los Angeles told The New York Times:
“We have two things together: the trauma of the past two years, and the mental health crisis that came out of this pandemic…Those things have caused us to see more violence.”
Notably, more than half of the gun deaths in 2020 were suicides. Many people have faced social isolation and struggled to cover the expenses of daily living. The early pandemic also caused widespread panic and anxiety, so many people purchased firearms to protect themselves and their homes.
Unfortunately, having a gun in the home increases the risk of homicide by a factor of 3 and suicide by a factor of 5.
There are now 15 million more guns in circulation than there were before the pandemic – and more societal vulnerabilities. As rates of political division and economic hardship, so does violence, particularly domestic violence and gun violence.
What Can I Do to Keep Myself Safe?
If you see something, say something. Whether you recognize the warning signs of domestic violence in your own relationship or alert the authorities about an argument that gets out of hand in your neighborhood, you can save a life and help keep yourself and others safe.
Taking legal action can be intimidating, but at Cecil Cianci Law, PC, it doesn’t have to be. We will educate you, so you can make an informed decision about your situation. Our team also takes a unique approach, so we can create a personalized strategy for your case.
Please tell us about your goals and let us put more than 6 decades of combined experience on your side – you can start finding a solution to whatever problem you are facing by calling us at (916) 675-3866 or sending us a message online.