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CDC: Gun homicides skyrocketed in 2020, UAB says there are similar trends in Birmingham

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:45 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A new report from the Centers for Disease Control said the number of Americans killed by guns skyrocketed in 2020.

Gun violence is a problem plaguing cities across the nation, including right here in Birmingham.

The CDC said gun homicides jumped nearly 35% in 2020 to the highest level in more than 25 years, saying stressors caused by the pandemic may be to blame.

The U.S. saw more than 45,000 gun-related deaths in 2020.

To put that into perspective, that’s about 124 people killed by guns each day.

UAB doctors said the City of Birmingham is seeing a similar trend.

Dr. Daniel Cox said more than 1,200 gunshot victims were treated at the hospital last year, a 100% increase in an eight year period.

He said UAB rarely goes a day without seeing at least one gunshot victim, and there are days when several patients are treated.

No group is more affected than Black people, with Black men and boys aged 10 to 24 dying more than 21 times as often as white males in the same age group.

“You know, this is a city problem, this is a county problem, this is a state problem, this is a national problem. And it requires that kind of attention and focus for us to be able to make progress in limiting this unnecessary death. It’s a huge, huge resource cost to the system. We have two surgeons in house 24/7 just because of how much, how many traumatically injured patients we see every day,” Dr. Cox explained.

Researchers said more than half of firearm-related deaths are suicides.

If you, or someone you know, is considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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