In the five years before 2020, nine million children ages five to 17 lived in a Census tract where there had been at least one gun homicide annually. The exposure risk was 4.4 times higher for Black kids and 2.1 times higher for Hispanic kids than for white children, The Trace reports. In the first year of the pandemic, found a new study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 11 million children were exposed to gun violence but Black and Hispanic kids experienced the biggest jump.
While the South reported the highest rates of neighborhood gun violence exposure for children, the racial disparities were much larger in the Northeast and Midwest, which researchers say could be linked to high rates of residential racial segregation. “These findings highlight the importance of firearm violence exposure as a source of racial inequity starting in childhood, the importance of surveillance to track child exposure to firearm violence, and the need for substantial investments in specific policies and programs that prevent violence,” the study said.. Among programs the researchers mention are community violence intervention like street outreach and violence interruption, place-based strategies, and targeted programs for at-risk young people in schools.