A veteran City Council member may have put it best.
“We might as well tell people the truth,” Goldie Wells said during a discussion last week of the city’s horrific spikes in violent crime.
“If we knew the answer to stopping the homicides, we would do it.”
It does at times seem like an impossible dream. Or is it an unending nightmare?
Following a record year in which violent acts, mostly shootings, claimed 61 lives in Greensboro in 2020, as compared to 45 the previous year.
So far that grim pace continues into 2021. As of last week, there had been 12 homicides in the city.
We are not alone. According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks gun violence, gun-related deaths in the United States jumped 25% in 2020 compared to the previous year.
In North Carolina, those numbers were even worse, totaling a 31% increase over the prior year.
In Charlotte, 121 shooting deaths in 2020, the most since 1993.
In Durham, 32 versus 33 the year before.
In Wilmington, 22 homicides in 2020, as compared to only 10 the previous year.
“Twenty-twenty became the most violent year of the 21st century,” Philip J. Cook, a professor of public policy at Duke University, told McClatchy News. “It looks like that is also true for North Carolina.”