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Shootings Are Spiking? Let’s Blame COVID!

U.S. Senator Mark Warner. Photo credit: WTVR

by James A. Bacon

It came as a big surprise to U.S. Senator Mark Warner to hear about the spike in violence occurring in the City of Richmond. The Senator, who last lived in the city when he was governor in 2006, met with what WTVR-TV describes as a gathering of government and community leaders.

During the meeting, VCU Medical trauma surgeon Michael Aboutanos said that VCU is experiencing a 121% increase in gunshot-wound victims from across the metro Richmond area. “This is a serious issue,” he said, “One we cannot ignore.”

“I didn’t think I realized the numbers were that astronomical,” Warner said.

The murder rate, which passed the 60 mark this month, has not yet reached levels seen during the crack-cocaine epidemic, when murders in the 1980s routinely exceeded 100, giving Richmond one of the highest homicide rates (as a percentage of population) in the United States. But it is more than double that of the low-water mark of 31 homicides achieved in the post-crack year of 2008. Continue reading