Gun Death by the Numbers

Sometimes, if you want to understand a problem, you need only look at numbers.

That is certainly true of the gun problem.

In the United States:

More than 100,000 people are shot with guns every year. Of those 100,000 gunshots, nearly 33,000 people die And nearly double that many are seriously injured. Many of those injuries impact the victims for a lifetime. Put simply, about 275 people are shot every day and about 90 people are killed every day.

There are about 13,000 gun homicides every year that is two-thirds of all homicides. Of that total, less than eight percent are committed by rifles or shotguns. Most are committed by handguns (about 67 percent of the total). And just to make things clear, about 1,700 murders are committed by knives and other sharp instruments, and less than 700 are committed with bare hands.

Since 1968, more than 1.6 million Americans have been killed by guns.

Shootings are now the third-leading cause of death for children in the US, with more than 7,000 kids killed or injured by guns every year. Though we have five percent of the world’s population, we claim 91 percent of all gun deaths of children under 14, as well as 90 percent of all women gun deaths. Overall, we claim 81 percent of all gun deaths worldwide.

Seven children and teens are killed every day, on average.

The national  firearm death rate was 10.64 per 100,000 in 2013, and it has been climbing ever since.

The states with the highest firearm death rate are as follows (2013, per 100,000):

Alaska – 19.59

Louisiana – 19.15

Alabama – 17.79

Mississippi – 17.55

Wyoming – 17.51

Montana – 16.94

Arkansas – 16.93

Oklahoma – 16.41

Tennessee – 15.86

New Mexico – 15.63

Since Sandy Hook in December 2012, there have been 1,600 mass shootings, defined as three or more people shot in a single event, leading to 1,800 deaths and 6,400 wounded, as of February 2018.

There are more than 120,000 armed robberies committed with a firearm annually, compared to 48,000 committed with other weapons every year. The firearm robbery rate is 39.25 per 100,000.

Every year, there are almost 140,000 aggravated assaults committed using a firearm every year.

About 20,000 gun deaths every year are suicides. Guns are used in more than half (51 percent) of all suicides.

(Source for everything above.)

How we compare:

Compare our overall gun death rates rate with those of other countries, in no particular order. (Keep in mind, the US rate is 10.64):

Chile – 3.7 (per 100,000)

Estonia – 2.67

Turkey – 1.95

Israel – 2.09

Canada – 1.97

France – 2.83

Poland – o.26

Ireland – 0.8

Australia – 0.93

UK – 0.23

Italy – 1.31

Sweden – 1.47

Germany – 1.

Mexico – 11.23

And look at some raw numbers for gun homicides. (These are from 2013, which is the last number when all countries reported. Again, the United States sees 13,000 gun homicides per year):

Germany – 269

Czech Republic – 181

Ukraine – 173

Canada – 144

Poland – 111

Spain – 97

Switzerland – 68

Australia – 59

Sweden – 58

Austria – 25

United Kingdom – 14

Compare our rate of firearm ownership with select other countries:

United States – 88.8 guns per 100 people

Yemen – 54.8 (second-highest in the world)

Switzerland – 45.7

Sweden – 31.6

France – 31.2

Canada – 30.8

Austria – 30.4

Germany – 30.3

Czech Republic – 16.3

Australia – 15.0

Spain – 10.4

Ukraine – 6.6

Poland – 1.3       (Source)

Only the United States and Yemen consider gun ownership a right, and Yemen is beginning enact stricter gun control measures.

Though the United States has 4.5% of the world population, accounts for 40% of its civilian firearms.

The numbers speak for themselves. We have a problem in this country, and if you can’t see it, you’re blind. We have more guns than anyone else, but that’s not the problem. Proportionally peaking, Canada and most of Europe have a significant number of guns, yet nowhere near the number of gun homicides and deaths experienced annually in the United States. How do you explain three times the number of guns, but 40-100 times the number of gun deaths?

The difference seems to be that other countries seem to have a handle on their guns, and we do not.

If so many people were dying from any other consumer product, we’d demand answers. But when it comes to guns, we treat them as a sacred cow. The numbers don’t lie; our firearm statistics are more in line with third world dictatorships than a developed country. No other developed country is even close to us on this. Why aren’t we fixing it?

Also published on Medium.


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