Gun violence is back on the rise in North Carolina and around the country. After a lull during the stay-at-home orders, shootings surged over recent weeks.
Researchers and local activists struggle to understand which of the contemporary crises could be causing increased violence. Since March of this year, three million more firearms were sold across the nation than in typical years, according to Brookings Institution estimates. That is in addition to a spike in thefts from gun stores. There is little data available for how many of those guns are ending up in the hands of first-time owners, but historical data correlates increases in violence especially with first-time purchases. Host Anita Rao asks Jason deBruyn to explain some of the possible contributing factors to the spike in both gun ownership and violence. DeBruyn is WUNC’s data reporter and a fellow with Guns & America.