Guns have been in the news a considerable amount these last few years. With the number or school shootings and other violent attacks continuing to take over headlines, more and more individuals push to regulate runs, but gun owners are passionate about their firearms, as is the NRA, or National Riffle Association, which is the second largest donor to politicians in the United States (the teacher’s union is the top). Due to this though, it is important to understand gun crime statistics inside of the United States, whether it really is out of control and how it compares to the rest of the world.
In 2008, a total of 9,528 people were murdered using firearms inside of the United States. That numbed started to go down every year until 2012, when the number increased to 8,855, up nearly 200 from the previous year. However, beyond this, gun violence is actually significantly down since 1999. In 1993, non-fatal violent gun crimes sat at just over 700 incidents per 100,000 individuals. By 2011, these numbers had dropped to around 190 per 100,000 people. Despite this, most people inside of the United States believe gun crime has actually gone up. There is reason to this though. With more and more news organizations providing 24-hour news coverage, it seems like there are more shootings because there is more news coverage. On top of this, there are more mass shootings, which receive a large amount of attention. The murder of an individual does not take national headlines, but when a shooting takes place inside a school or movie theater, it ends up taking over the news circuit for weeks.
Unique to the United States
Gun ownership inside the United States is far higher than anywhere else in the world. for every 100 people in the country there are 88.8 guns. The next closest nation in this category is Yemen, which has an average of 54.8 guns per 100 individuals. Other nations inside the top 10 of firearms ownership includes Serbia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Due to the high total of firearms inside the United States, it makes sense why there is also an increase in gun violence over other countries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported by the Washington Post, around 81,300 nonfatal injuries and 31,672 deaths occur every single year in the United States. When broken down to daily numbers, this is an average of 308 shootings and 86 deaths. Despite these numbers, gun violence is actually at a 20 year low in the United States. This isn’t to say the numbers are desirable or even good, but it does show it is getting better than where the shootings and murder rate had been at previously.
Gun violence is also very specific to the United States. The gun homicide rate inside of the United States is seven times higher than nations including Germany, India, Australia, France, South Korea, Italy, the United Kingdom and Italy, just to name a few. In total, Japan experiences less than 50 deaths annually from guns, while Germany, Italy and France all experience less than 150 annually. The firearm homicide rate of the United States is 20 times higher than the firearm homicide rate of 22 other first world nations combined.
Inside the United States, one in three people know someone who has been shot before. The violence also has a direct side effect on children, which in turn can desensitize a child to the usage of guns. One in five teenagers inside of the United states (between the ages of 14 and 17) have witnessed some sort of a shooting before and around eight children under the age of 20 are killed every single day by guns. With so many children dying from gunshot wounds, American youth are 11 times more likely to die from such wounds than most industrial nations. This is also not just an urban issue with guns entering a school or other public place. Children under the age of 20 are more likely to die from a gunshot wound in rural communities. However, these individuals typically due to to unintentional shootings and suicides via gun than in urban locations, which most people die in a homicide case.
In Self Defense
Many individuals and people who back the usage of guns as a means of self defense. However, guns are more likely to be used for other, less desirable means than for self defense. USA gun violence statistics indicates that for every time a gun is used in self-defense, it is used 11 times in an attempted or completed suicide, seven times for a homicide or assault and four times in an unintentional death of injury. This means, for every one time a person uses a gun to protect themselves, four other people are accidently injuring or killing people close to them by holding the exact same gun.
The Cost of Gun Violence
Gun violence is more than just something that takes a toll on the people who are involved with the violent act. There is another, national issue, for which gun violence affects. Inside the U.S., the medical costs for gunshot injuries is estimated at around $2.3 billion annually. Many of these people who are injured due to the firearms do not have insurance, as the average U.S. taxpayer pays about half, $1.1 billion, of the medical costs of gunshot injuries.
There is growing support to reduce and regulate the number of guns found inside of the United States. 87 percent of all Americans support background checks for private gun sales, which include firearms sold at gunshows. 83 percent of gun owners support this, as do 69 percent of NRA gun-owners. 82 percent of all Americans support reducing the sale of military grade assault weapons while 94 percent of police chiefs are in favor of a background check for all handgun sales. 65 percent of Americans want to limit the sale of handguns to individuals to one per person, per month. This is supported by 59 percent of gun owners as well. These numbers are put together by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
Violent Crime Rates
Roughly 35 percent of all gun deaths inside the United States are considered homicides. It also makes up about 65 percent of all homicides (death via gun). Locations inside of the United States where more people own guns and gun ownership is higher also have the higher rates of homicide. A total of 62 percent of all gun deaths inside the United States are from suicide, with over 50 percent of all suicides done with the use of a firearm. In fact, on average 49 suicides take place every single day, which means about 25 suicides via gun take place on a daily basis. The majority of people who kill themselves with the use of a firearm are white males. Although white males make up 40 percent of the United States population, they make up 80 percent of firearm suicides. Additionally, in a study conducted by the state of California, in the first year of owning a handgun, suicide by gun was the leading cause of death for everyone who purchased a handgun.
There are 10 states where the gun ownership is above 50 percent (while the volume of guns is 88 to every 100 individuals, most people who own a gun usually own more than one gun). More people carrying guns in Wyoming than any other state, with a gun ownership percentage of 59.7 percent.However, the murder rate per 100,000 inside of Wyoming is only 1.4 percent. Montana, Wyoming’s souther bordering state is third on the list, with 57.8 percent gun ownership and only 2.1 murders per 100,000 residents. While states in the great planes and surrounding regions tend to have a higher percentage of gun ownership, the murder rate is higher in most southern states. While Louisiana has a gun ownership of 44.1 percent, it has the highest state murder rate of 9.6 per 100,000. Other southern states in the top 10 for murder rate includes South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Gun violence is always going to be a problem inside of the United States. With the number of individuals who own guns and the total number of guns per 100 people is simply far higher than anyone else in the world. This is due to the Second Amendment, which states citizens of the United States are allowed to bare arms in order to maintain the militia (granted, most people who cite the second amendment simply state they have the right to bare arms and leave out this right is specifically for maintaining a militia). The Second Amendment is based on a parliament law, written in Great Britain, during the 1600s. Regardless of the current laws, amendments and what all is going on with guns and other firearms, these are the latest statistics in order to help better educate yourself on what gun ownership entails.