40 Appalling Gun Violence Statistics

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Guns are a way of life in the United States. The Second Amendment is a treasured part of the laws that govern the land for many, but the right to keep and bear arms does come with a price. More people in the United States are killed every year because of gun violence than have been killed by terrorist acts perpetrated against Americans in the last 40 years combined.

This means the greatest threat that an American will face in the average day is another American who has a gun. Although that fact might seem shocking, here are the gun violence statistics which prove that it is true.

Statistics on Gun Violence

1. Every day, 48 teens and children are shot in murders, assaults, suicides or suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention techniques. Out of this number, 7 of those kids will die. Four of them will be murdered. (Brady Campaign)

2. 32 children and teens are shot, on average, every day and survive despite being assaulted. (Brady Campaign)

3. 8 children are shot unintentionally every day in the United States. (Brady Campaign)

4. In 2015, 11,564 people were murdered in the United States. Another 21,037 people committed suicide with a gun. (CDC)

5. From 2011-2015, an average of 544 people were killed unintentionally every year in the United States with a gun. (CDC)

6. For every one person that is killed with a gun, there are two more that are injured. The number of annual non-fatal firearm injuries averages 200 each day over the past 5 years. (CDC)

7. In the average month, 50 women are shot to death by their intimate partners in a domestic violence incident with a firearm. More than half of all women killed by intimate partners in the US are killed with guns. (CDC)

8. When compared to other high income countries, the US has a homicide rate that is 25 times higher than the country in second place. (Grinshteyn and Hemenway)

9. On the average day in 2015, 36 Americans were killed by guns and this is a number that excludes most suicides. (Gun Violence Archive)

10. There were more than 50,000 incidents of gun violence reported in the United States in 2015. (Gun Violence Archive)

11. From 2005-2015, 71 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks on US soil. In the same amount of time, 301,797 Americans were killed by gun violence. (Politifact)

12. 40% of Americans say that they know someone who was fatally shot or committed suicide with a gun. (Huffington Post)

13. In 2015, mass shootings, defined as 4+ people being shot, regardless of the fatalities, occurred in nearly 100 different metro areas of the United States. Despite this fact, mass shootings account for less than 2% of the annual gun deaths which occur in the United States every year. (CDC)

14. About 50% of the people who are killed through gun violence on the average day are African-American/Black men. This is despite the fact that they make up just 6% of the current US population base. (CDC)

15. In 2015, 75% of the children who were killed by gun violence were under the age of 12. Since the mass shooting of school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a child under the age of 12 has died by gun violence in the United States every other day. (NBC)

16. In 2015, a toddler shot someone in the United States an average of about once per week. Children under the age of 3 were able to locate a gun and shoot someone at least 59 times. (Washington Post)

17. Domestic violence assaults with firearms are 12 times more likely to result in death than an assault that doesn’t include a fire arm. (CA Attorney General)

18. On Black Friday 2015, the FBI processed over 185,000 background checks for the purchase of a firearm. (NICS)

19. 8% of gun owners in the United States own a stockpile of at least 10 weapons. There are more people in the US who own 10+ guns than the entire population of Denmark. (Harvard)

20. 22% of Americans say that they own guns, with 1 in 4 in that group stating that they own 5 or more guns. (Harvard)

21. Fewer than 10% of stolen firearms are every recovered. This is despite the fact that in cities like Chicago, police are taking one illegal gun off of the street every 74 minutes, on average. Up to 600,000 guns are stolen every year. (FBI)

22. Between the Newtown shooting and December 16, 2015, Congress held 25 moments of silence to honor gun violence victims, but has never taken an action to put an end to the gun violence incidents that are occurring throughout the country. (LA Times)

23. 63% of gun owners say that the primary reason why they own a firearm is so that they have personal protection against other people. (The Guardian)

24. Of the approximately 70 million guns added to the civilian arsenal in the United States since 1994, about 46 million of them have been handguns. (NIJ)

25. 83% of criminal offenders in the city of Chicago cite self-defense as their primary motivation to own a gun. (Yale)

26. The country of Honduras is considered to be the “Murder Capital of the World.” This is because the homicide rate in Honduras is 90.4 per 100,000 people. In Greater Ville, a neighborhood in St. Louis, the homicide rate is 290.8 per 100,000 people. In comparison, St. Louis has a murder rate of 59.3 per 100,000 people. Chicago, which has been getting all of the attention as of late for a surge in homicides, still has a 17.5 per 100,000 rate as of 2016. (UN Office on Drugs and Crime)

27. An estimated 4.5 million women have been bullied with a gun by an abusive intimate partner. (University of Pennsylvania)

28. 80% of the victims who are fatally shot by a romantic partner are women. The United States accounts for 90% of the women who are killed by guns in high income countries when looking at global data. (FBI)

29. 91% of the children under the age of 15 who are killed by guns in high income countries around the world are in the United States. (University of Nevada-Reno)

30. Atlanta police reported more than 800 accounts of guns being stolen from vehicles in 2015, a figure that is double what was reported in 2010. (Harvard)

31. 41% of Americans believe that the country has a system for universal background checks. In reality, the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act of 1993 only requires a background check on sales conducted by a licensed dealer. Up to 40% of current gun owners may have obtained their most recent firearm without the need to go through a background check. (Yale)

32. 73% of the victims in mass shootings that occur in the United States are African-American/Black. Nearly 1 mass shooting occurred in the US every day in 2016. (New York Times)

33. Living in a home where guns are kept increases an individual’s risk of death by homicide by a minimum of 40%, and in some cases, up to 170%. (New England Journal of Medicine)

34. People with guns in the home are a greater risk of dying from a homicide in the home than those without guns in the home, increasing the risk of death by homicide by 90%. (American Journal of Epidemiology)

35. Individuals who have possession of a gun are 4.5 times more likely to be shot during an assault than those who do not have a gun. (American Journal of Public Health)

36. Up to 64% of the reported instances of self-defense that occur in the United States and require a gun to be involved weapons that were either carried or used illegally. (Hemenway)

37. Defensive gun use occurs about 98.5% less frequently than US gun lobbies state. (Violence Policy Center)

38. For every one justifiable homicide in the US involving a gun, guns were used in 44 criminal homicides. (Violence Policy Center)

39. There were 64 school incidents in the United States that involved a gun in 2015, including incidents where a gun was brought to school, but not fired. (BBC)

40. In 2012 data, the number of gun murders per capita in the US was nearly 30 times higher than that in the UK, at 2.9 per 100,000 people in the US compared to 0.1 per 100,000 people in the UK. (BBC)

Do guns serve a purpose? Of course they do. They can be useful tools for a variety of needs. Unfortunately, they are also one of the go-to tools that people who would perpetrate harm on another will seek out. This doesn’t necessarily mean that gun control is necessary in the US, but the gun violence statistics show that what is currently being done is not working.

It’s time to take a fresh look at guns, who owns them, and how they can be owned. There are too many lives at stake to ignore this issue anymore.