NPR says spike in shootings during pandemic is the ‘new normal’: ‘Experts hoped it was a temporary blip’

An alarming report from NPR suggests that the major spike in shootings across the country during the pandemic is the “new normal.”

“When the U.S. homicide rate jumped nearly 30% in 2020, experts hoped it was a temporary blip — a fleeting symptom of pandemic pressures and civil unrest,” NPR began its report Monday. “Hopes for a rapid decline in the pandemic murder spike are fading. National statistics for 2022 aren’t yet available, but you can get a sneak peak from an informal year-to-date tally of murders in major cities compiled by data analyst Jeff Asher. The total count in those cities has dipped slightly lower than last year, but it’s still well above pre-pandemic levels. And in 40% of the cities listed, homicides are trending higher.”

LaMaria Pope, an advocate from the Seattle-based youth outreach program Choose 180, said young people in her city are more likely to have a gun than ever before, telling NPR, “Sixteen, and 17, 18 and up — they only feel safe if they have one. It’s becoming a jacket — they can’t leave the house without one.”

NPR cited Philadelphia and Baltimore as the “worst trouble spots” for their homicide rates that have surpassed their stats in 2020 and 2021, also noting that Portland has declared gun violence an “emergency.”

Washington state prosecutor Elyne Vaught told NPR, “This is definitely not the ’90s,” explaining, “The ’90s was more gang-oriented, there was much more organized, sort of targeted shootings… Today, it’s petty offenses, petty conflicts, reckless shootings.” – READ MORE