The FBI has reported that murder numbers increased nearly 30 percent in 2020, the steepest increase on record.
Nearly 5,000 more Americans were murdered across the country last year than the year before, even as numbers for other crimes, such as rape and robbery, fell, according to FBI figures.
About 77 percent of reported murders in 2020 were committed with a firearm, the highest share ever reported, an increase of 67 percent from a decade ago.
While Louisiana reported the highest murder rate for the 32ndstraight year, a rise in murder was recorded nationally. While reasons may never be fully known, analysts have pointed to many possible contributing factors, including:
• Pandemic-related stresses
• Increased distrust between the police and public following the murder of George Floyd, including a pullback by the police in response to criticism
• Increased firearm carrying
The effects from these nationwide reports have started to filter to local security companies, including Boss Security Screens, which operates in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, and Albuquerque, with plans to expand soon to Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and San Diego.
James Kerr, CEO of Boss Security Screens, says security has always been a timeless need, but in the last 18 months, he’s seen orders jump 300 percent among his commercial and residential clients.
“Pandemic and civil unrest have affected the whole country,” he said. “People suffered economically, and we’ve become increasingly divisive as a nation. Couple that with the proliferation of guns and a reduction in policing, and you produce an environment that’s conducive to murders.”
Kerr believes this uncertainty has led to people buying more firearms and increasing their personal security efforts in general.
“If we continue to see dangerous Covid variants and an increase in political instability as the 2024 election nears, I’d expect that to continue,” he said.
With a background in mechanical engineering and data security, Kerr’s goal for his company is to make personal security, such as security screens, more accessible to everyone, from homeowners and business owners to renters.