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About Gun Violence

America has a problem with gun violence

  • One in three people in the U.S. know someone who has been shot.1
  • On average, 32 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 140 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.2
  • Every day on average, 51 people kill themselves with a firearm, and 45 people are shot or killed in an accident with a gun.3
  • The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population.4
  • A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.5

Gun Violence Takes a Massive Toll on American Children

  • More than one in five U.S. teenagers (ages 14 to 17) report having witnessed a shooting.6
  • An average of eight children and teens under the age of 20 are killed by guns every day.7
  • American children die by guns 11 times as often as children in other high-income countries.8
  • Youth (ages 0 to 19) in the most rural U.S. counties are as likely to die from a gunshot as those living in the most urban counties. Rural children die of more gun suicides and unintentional shooting deaths. Urban children die more often of gun homicides.9
  • Firearm homicide is the second-leading cause of death (after motor vehicle crashes) for young people ages 1-19 in the U.S.10
  • In 2007, more pre-school-aged children (85) were killed by guns than police officers were killed in the line of duty.11

Gun Violence is a Drain on U.S. Taxpayers

  • Medical treatment, criminal justice proceedings, new security precautions, and reductions in quality of life are estimated to cost U.S. citizens $100 billion annually.12
  • The lifetime medical cost for all gun violence victims in the United States is estimated at $2.3 billion, with almost half the costs borne by taxpayers.13

Americans Support Universal Background Checks

  • Nine out of 10 Americans agree that we should have universal background checks, including three out of four NRA members.
  • Since the Brady Law was initially passed, about 2 million attempts to purchase firearms have been blocked due to a background check. About half of these blocked attempts were by felons.14
  • Unfortunately, our current background check system only applies to about 60% of gun sales, leaving 40% (online sales, purchases at gun shows, etc.) without a background check.15

 

Gun Death and Injury 5 Year Average Stat Sheet

Learn about what you can do to prevent gun violence

 

Sources:

1Goss, Kristin, “Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control,” Princeton University Press, 2006. p. 2

2The Brady Campaign averaged the most recent three years of data from death certificates (2008-2010) and estimates of emergency room admissions (2009-2011) available via CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html. Data retrieved 12/28/12.

3The Brady Campaign averaged the most recent three years of data from death certificates (2008-2010) and estimates of emergency room admissions (2009-2011) available via CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html. Data retrieved 12/28/12.

4Richardson, Erin G., and David Hemenway, “Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Fatality: Comparing the United States With Other High-Income Countries, 2003,” Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, published online ahead of print, June 2010

5Kellermann, Arthur L.MD, MPH, et al. “Injuries and Deaths Due to Firearms in the Home.” Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care 45 (1998): 263-67

6Source: Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Study, p. 6, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, October 2009.

7The Brady Campaign averaged the most recent three years of data from death certificates (2008-2010) and estimates of emergency room admissions (2009-2011) available via CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html. Data retrieved 12/28/12.

8Richardson, Erin G., and David Hemenway, “Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Fatality: Comparing the United States With Other High-Income Countries, 2003,” Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, published online ahead of print, June 2010, p. 1

9Nance, Michael L., et al, “Variation in Pediatric and Adolescent Firearm Mortality Rates in Rural and Urban U.S. Counties,”Pediatrics 125(6) June 2010: 1112-1118

10National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (2007 (deaths) and 2008 (injuries)), http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html.  Calculations by Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 2009

11Children's Defense Fund, Protect Children Not Guns 2010, September 2010

12Cook, Philip J, and Jens Ludwig, Gun Violence: The Real Costs, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000 (based on gun deaths and injuries in 1997)

13Cook, Philip J., Bruce A. Lawrence, Jens Ludwig, Ted R. Miller, The Medical Costs of Gunshot Injuries in the United States, JAMA(1999) 281 (5): 447-54

14From the inception of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 on March 1, 1994, through December 31, 2010, approximately 2.1 million attempts-to-purchase a gun were blocked under the Brady law. Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2010: Statistical Tables (February 2013), See Table 1

15National Institute of Justice, “Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms,” Research in Brief, May 1997, NCJ 165476