Leap on Rising Gun Violence During COVID Pandemic

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Jorja Leap was featured in an NBC News article about the increase in gun violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, homicides rose across the country in small and big cities. In Akron, Ohio, six children under the age of 16 were killed over a single four-month stretch, all but one from gunfire. According to Leap, changes in people’s routine punctuated by economic upheaval, job loss, distance learning and other factors also brought individuals into closer contact for sustained periods, heightening tensions and increasing the prospect of violent encounters. She also noted that gun sales spiked, teenagers were out of school, and organized activities and programs ground to a halt during this time. “This is a complex situation with COVID at its heart but with several social dilemmas all interacting with each other,” Leap said. “I’m actually surprised there hasn’t been more of a rise in crime.”

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