by Gillian Flaccus
Associated Press
September 2, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — … Homicide rates appear to be dropping in some major U.S. cities, such as New York and Chicago, but in others killings are on the rise, particularly from guns.

… The pandemic and the social unrest it caused has also played a role. Eight million Americans became first-time gun owners between 2019 and 2021, said Jeffrey Butts, director of the research and evaluation center for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York.

“We already had 400 million guns in circulation. So when you bump that up and include a lot of first-timers in the population, you get accidents, you get precipitous behavior, you get people reacting to small insults and conflicts with their guns because they’re in their pocket now,” he said.

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AP Photograph
A police officer carries traffic barricades across 27th Avenue near Dear Valley Road, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2022, in Phoenix, as a damaged police vehicle is transported out of the area after a shooting occurred the night before injuring two Phoenix police officers. Americans struggled this week to process not one, but multiple high-profile shootings that unfolded in major cities and smaller towns across the U.S. But behind the stand-out headlines about shooting rampages in Bend, Ore., Phoenix, Detroit and Houston were dozens of murders and violent crimes that went largely unnoticed. (Megan Mendoza/The Arizona Republic via AP)