Nearly 20,000 Americans were killed in gun violence in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Data showed the figure is higher than any year in at least two decades, as reported by The Washington Post.
On average, there was one mass shooting every 73 days in 2020.
“There are many communities across this country that are dealing with ever-present gun violence that is just part of their daily experience,” said Mark Barden, co-founder of the gun violence prevention group, Sandy Hook Promise. “It doesn’t get the support, the spotlight, the national attention. People don’t understand that it’s continuous and it’s on the rise.”
Eighteen people died in the last two weeks in two mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, and at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. President Joe Biden implored Congress on Tuesday to enact new gun control laws, including an assault rifle ban.
The US also saw its highest one-year increase with 24,000 suicides with a gun last year.
“More than 100 Americans are killed daily by gun violence,” said Ronnie Dunn, a professor of urban studies at Cleveland State University. That figure factors in shootings and suicides.
“The majority are in Black and Brown communities. We don’t really focus on gun violence until we have these mass shootings, but it’s an ongoing, chronic problem that affects a significant portion of our society,” said Dunn.
The pandemic and police brutality against Blacks have triggered a surge in firearm sales. Americans purchased nearly 23 million guns, according to the Post, a 64% increase compared to 2019 sales.
Killings of minors showed a 50% increase in 2020 from the previous year as about 300 children were shot and killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive. More than 5,100 children and teens 17 and younger were killed or injured last year.