Gun - violence - united states In recent months, the US has experienced a series of mass shootings in different states and in familiar places such as supermarkets, schools, and churches.
Image via AP Photo/Stephen Spillman, file.

Gun violence affects Hispanics and Blacks at even higher rates.

Two in 10 US adults have had a personal experience with gun violence or someone close to them has, according to a report by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The report found that 54% of Black Americans and 27% of Hispanic Americans reported that they, or a close friend or family member, experienced gun violence in the last five years, compared with 13% of white Americans. 

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In general, the report shows that 21% of US adults reported a personal tie to gun violence, such as being threatened by a gun or being a victim of a shooting.

Professor Jens Ludwig, director of the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab, said that because of gun violence, “people are changing the way they live.”

He considers that 1 in 5 people with a friend or family member who was a victim of violence is a “strikingly high number.”

It shows that those who experience gun violence “aren’t the only victims,” he said, comparing it to what happens with the coronavirus epidemic.

In fact, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows a spike in gun violence since the pandemic, with gun-related homicides increasing across the country in large and small metro areas and in rural areas. The data proves Black people are disproportionately impacted by gun violence and are more likely to be the victims of gun crimes or homicides.

It is also found that while most Americans say they feel gun violence has increased nationwide and in their states, 59% of Black Americans and 45% of Hispanics said that gun violence is on the rise in their communities, compared with 34% of white Americans. 

According to data from Everytown for Gun Safety, 76% of all homicides in Florida involve a gun. It also shows that in an average year, 2,849 people die by firearms in Florida.

Despite these figures and the fact that the state has been the scene of some of the worst massacres in modern history, such as Pulse and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the GOP-dominated Legislature have not taken efficient measures to combat gun violence.

On Wednesday, Everytown for Gun Safety, which is a nonpartisan group, endorsed gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, who is running against DeSantis in November’s midterm elections.

“Ending gun violence requires electing strong gun sense champions, and Charlie Crist has a solid track record of supporting gun safety in Florida,” Monisha Henley, senior director of state Government Affairs for Everytown, told Florida Politics.

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Crist has said he will continue to work to ban assault weapons and require background checks every time someone buys a gun, even for private sales. 

“From Parkland to Pulse, the epidemic of gun violence has rocked our state and torn Florida’s families and communities apart — we need action,” Crist said, in a statement.

Associated Press contributed to this story.