Young Black men are killed by guns 20 times more than their white counterpart, according to the CDC.

Black Soldiers
Black Soldiers

Black men dying by gun violence is a disease and needs to be treated as such.

Young Black men between the ages of 15 and 34 made up more 37 percent of firearm homicide victims in the United States in 2019, even though they are only two percent of the entire population. That’s 20 times higher than white males of the same age group. The data was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and shows that there is anther ongoing pandemic in the country that leaders are choosing to ignore.

Of all reported firearm homicides in 2019, more than half of victims were Black men, according to the study spearheaded by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Sixty-three percent of male victims were Black. In fact, if every Black man killed by gun violence was instead a member of the KKK, the Klan would be no more.

The contrast is even more stark when the rates were compared with white people: Across all ages, Black men were nearly 14 times more likely to die in a firearm homicide than white men, and eight times more likely to die in a firearm homicide than the general population, including women.

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Black women and girls are also at higher risk. Black females had the highest risk of being killed by a firearm than females of any other race or ethnicity, and they were four times more likely to be victims than white females.

“Gun violence has for the longest time been a public health crisis in the Black community,” said epidemiologist Ed Clark of Florida A&M University’s Institute of Public Health.

The gun violence expert said a “holistic approach” is needed to reduce gun fatalities and injuries.

“That should include really viewing gun violence as a public health issue. The business of public health is population wellness – looking at how we can decrease the disease burden or the threat of injury to the population at large,” he said. “And gun violence is definitely a problem that should be looked at through that lens.”

After Black males and females, American Indian and Alaska Natives were the next highest-risk group, according to the analysis, followed by Latino and Hispanic people.

Most of children and teens up to age 19 who died that year died by firearm, the study found – 1 in 10 deaths in that age group. That’s the second-highest total in two decades.

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Evidence suggests gun homicides rose “dramatically” last year during the pandemic, the authors said, but because of what they argued is a lack of timely data, “we won’t know the full scale of the problem for many months to come.”

The emerging data suggests, the authors wrote, that suicides among Black people rose disproportionately, though the study found the majority of all suicide deaths by firearm, 73%, were white males. White men were more than twice as likely to die by a firearm suicide than others.

Sixty percent of all firearm deaths in 2019 were suicides. In total, 39,707 people died from gun violence that year.

“Despite the limitations, gun death data are the most reliable type of gun violence data currently available – but gun deaths are only the tip of the iceberg of gun violence. Many more people are shot and survive their injuries, are shot at but not hit, or witness gun violence,” the analysis reads. “Many experience gun violence in other ways, by living in impacted communities, losing loved ones to gun violence, or being threatened with a gun.”

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