by Eric Lagatta, Mike Wagner, Jennifer Smola Shaffer and Bethany Outlet
The Columbus Dispatch
April 27, 2023
Gun violence has taken more than 1,300 people in Columbus since 2010. The city’s mayor declared it a health crisis and the battle against it continues.
… City officials, the Columbus Division of Police, Columbus Public Health and social service organizations all have been working together to address the growing problem [of gun violence]. Since the declaration, homicides and felonious assaults have declined.
Between 2021, when a record 205 people were killed in Columbus, and the end of 2022, homicides fell by 33% to 140, according to data tracked by The Dispatch. According to Ginther’s office, that represents the biggest percentage drop in homicides among the 20 largest U.S. cities.
But despite that decline last year, violence is rising again this year. As of April 25, 53 homicides have been reported in Columbus, a rise from the 36 people who had been killed by the same time in 2022. The number of homicides is higher than all but one of each of the past five years at the same point in time.
… National experts say the gun violence distressing Columbus is pervasive in communities, big and small, all over America. “It’s an international embarrassment. America is by far the most plagued civilized nation by gun violence and gun deaths,” said Jeffrey Butts, a research professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice based in New York City. “Yes, it’s terrible and it’s not just a city problem. It’s a problem all over in small towns and rural areas or anywhere people live and buy guns and use them to express their anger.”