The homicide rate in the United States rose from five murders per 100,000 people in 2019 to about 6.2 per 100,000 in 2020, according to preliminary data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a significant jump.
The rise continued in early 2021 when Biden took office and The New York Times reported that a sample of 37 cities with data for the first three months of the year showed an 18 percent increase in murders compared to the same period in 2020.
Violent crime rates are causing concern in different parts of the country and even became part of the debate about the election of a new mayor in New York City, as there was a substantial increase in shootings in that city in early 2021 compared to previous years.
But what is most worrying for Biden and his allies is that the issue also constitutes a potential problem for the White House and Congressional Democrats in the face of the 2022 midterm elections, The Hill newspaper highlighted on Tuesday.
The White House did not provide details on what Biden will announce Wednesday, but sources revealed to The Hill the possibility that the president will announce funding for law enforcement and Justice Department initiatives to reduce criminal activity.
‘(…) it’s an opportunity for the President to speak to what he’s going to do to help address that. And as we’ve seen around the country, it is a concern of many Americans — Republicans but also Democrats, too’ the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Experts say the problem is unlikely to go away anytime soon, considering that arms sales have grown since Biden became president, and that it seems unlikely that Congress will pass major legislation in an attempt to curb the mass shootings, and the partisan division on surveillance could contribute to more unrest in the coming months.