From the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks gun violence from 7500 online sources, here are my version of their stats from the last two years:
|GUN VIOLENCE ARCHIVE|
|PUBLISHED DATE: January 20, 2021||2019||2020||Chg||Chg %|
|Total Number of GV Deaths – ALL Causes||39,525||43,465||3,940||10%|
|Total Number of Injuries||30,140||39,404||9,264||31%|
|Number of Children (age 0-11)||Killed||209||293||84||40%|
|Number of Teens (age 12-17)||Killed||778||1,068||290||37%|
|Officer Involved Incident-Officer Killed or Injured||Killed||71||59||-12||-17%|
|Officer Involved Incident-Subject-Suspect Killed or Injured||Killed||1,286||1,288||2||0%|
If you take their row of “Homicide/Murder/Unintentional/DGU (Defensive Gun Use)” and subtract out their Unintentional Shooting and Defensive Use rows, I wind up with this estimate:
|iSteve estimate:||2019||2020||Chg||Chg %|
In early January, I looked through local newspaper accounts of 2020 in crime for 108 of the 200 largest cities and found murders in that sample (which accounted for 45% of national murders in 2019) up 38% over 2019. I figured the murder increase would be lower in smaller municipalities, so I estimated the national murder toll would be p 25-30%. So I find 31% plausible.
If this increase in gun murders turns out to be real, I expect the 2020 increase in murders of all kinds to be a few percentage points lower. But that would likely still be twice the previous biggest increases in murders since 1960: 12.7% in 1968 and 12.1% in 2015 (the first BLM era).
How much we can trust this database, I couldn’t say. But it has been around for a number of years now, and the numbers don’t look obviously implausible.
By looking at which type of shootings went up in 2020, we can get a sense of who was doing the incremental shooting.
Suicides, which tend to be a white thing, were unchanged from 2019. (Note that they get their suicide statistics from the CDC, rather than scraping them from thousands of sources like their murder statistics. I’m not sure if this number is all that complete yet, so you should probably check back in a while before citing it.)
Mass murders with four or more killed by gunshot (sometimes Columbine-like, often with white or Asian shooters) dropped from 31 to 20.
Mass shootings with four or more shot, whether killed or wounded, (like on The Wire, usually black shooters firing at somebody they want to kill in a crowd at a social event) grew 47% from 417 to 612.
Children killed were up 40%, and 12-17 year old teens killed was up 37%. I associate both, especially child shootings, with black-on-black “gunplay” in which innocent bystanders get shot.
Cops killed dropped from 71 to 59 (-17%), while cops injured grew 16%.
Suspects shot dead by cops was unchanged at 1288, but suspects wounded by cops went up 19% to 941.
Defensive use drop 10% to 1,432.
Unintentional shootings went up 19% to 2,264, perhaps because of all the new gun buyers.
Murder-suicide incidents (a generally white or Asian thing, often tied to domestic violence) dropped 9% to 574.
So, it sure sounds to me like the big growth in murders in 2020 was driven by more black shootings, typically of other blacks.