In the more than two years since gun violence suddenly began to rise in cities all across the country, researchers have been asked repeatedly to explain what caused the rapid increase and what can be done to reverse it. The urgency behind the question is warranted: Gun homicides rose by 34 percent from 2019 to 2020, and then rose again in 2021. In Chicago alone, over 250 more people were murdered in 2020 than in 2019, and that heightened level of violence continued into 2021. Murders are down slightly this year in Chicago and many other cities, but young lives continue to be lost to gun violence at a much higher rate than just a few years ago, writes Patrick Sharkey in The Atlantic.
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