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Staggering scope of U.S. gun deaths goes far beyond mass shootings: WP

Photo taken on Oct. 8, 2021 shows the vases of flowers installed to memorize gun violence victims at the Battery Park in New York, the United States. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

The rate of gun deaths in 2020-2021 hit the highest level since 1995, with more than 45,000 fatalities each year.

NEW YORK, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The rising number of gun deaths in the United States extends beyond high-profile shooting attacks, emerging nearly every day inside homes, outside bars and on the streets of many cities, reported The Washington Post (WP) last week, citing federal data.

The surge in gun violence comes as firearm purchases rose to record levels in 2020 and 2021, with more than 43 million guns estimated to have been purchased during that period, according to a WP analysis of federal data on gun background checks.

"At the same time, the rate of gun deaths in those years hit the highest level since 1995, with more than 45,000 fatalities each year," said the report.

Guns are used in most suicides and are almost entirely responsible for an overall rise in homicides across the country from 2018 to 2021, it cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is not one clear answer as to what is driving the rise in bloodshed, but possible factors include the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, fraying ties between the police and the public, mounting anger, worsening mental strain and the sheer number of guns in America, it quoted experts as saying. ■