Rise in Gun Violence in Los Angeles

According to the Los Angeles Police Department intelligence reports, there is an alarming increase in gun violence cases this year. There is a 73% rise, with almost 445 people being dead due to becoming the victims of gunshots. You might end up thinking that it’s a new wave of gun violence in America, but the cases have been spiking since April of 2020.

This year in January and February only, there were 570 reports of shots fired compared to 303 similar cases registered during the first two months of 2020. On the other hand, the number of residential and commercial burglaries has gone down. The reason behind the decrease in housebreaking or robbery cases is the lockdown in which people are asked to stay at home most of the time.

The cases of homicides have also been reported to surge this year as per the data collected by Crosstown. Violent crimes, including homicide and assaults, have escalated up to 4.7 percent. The Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore reveals that they are concerned about increasing homicides and gun violence cases and are trying to find ways to tackle this complicated problem.

The spike in shooting incidents can be related to the rise in gun sales during the pandemic. Lacey Wallace, an expert in criminal justice and teaches as an associate professor, says that gun purchasing might have increased last year for security purposes or due to unemployment throughout the country. In the year 2021, the shoot-up of gun sales is more connected with people being afraid of covid related things. Such as people are unsure of their future in this pandemic and are distressed about their financial instability.

The Los Angeles Police Department states that gang disputes are worsening due to which more guns are coming out and resulting in increased shootings on the street. Reynaldo Reaser, a former gang member and now an executive director of Reclaiming America’s Communities through Empowerment (RACE), said while talking about increasing gun violence in Los Angeles that new battles are flaring up, which is making the problem more complex.

Michel Moore said that Vehicular hijacking is up to 20 percent this year, but the good news is that the rate of car theft in Los Angeles is slowing down. He further added that the number of property crimes has also decreased, with 2725 less reported cases than last year. Personal thefts have also been reduced by 27 percent. The decline in such cases can be directly correlated with the closure of shopping places during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Los Angeles police department has also deploy tactical officers to deal with the rising gun violence. This move has been called a desperate attempt by some critiques because they believe the tactics are racially biased and ineffective. According to LAPD, the sole purpose of reinstating the tactics was to help curb the unusual spike in homicide and shooting cases in the city.

By the end of the first month of this year, the homicide cases were reported to be 40 percent more than the last year. The mentioned percentage was 111 times less in the year 2019. The Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Regina Scott said that increased gun violence is most probably driven by a large number of weapons owned by the public. The Deputy Chief also pointed out the economic problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic as one of the reasons behind people’s panic.

The community leaders ask for help and assistance so that all the problems, from food to gun violence, are nipped from their roots and eradicated from society. Attorney Seppi Esfandi of Esfandi Law Group stated that as an authoritative body, they need to “properly understand what is happening in the neighborhoods and help the community overcome it”.

The outbreaks of gun violence can only decline when people and communities are made to sit down and discuss their problems. Young people should be trained on how to control their emotions and not take legal matters into their own hands.

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