Gun violence rises in America


Note: This article references gun violence by suicide.

The total number of deaths by gun violence in America has reached past 6,000 as of mid-February. (Gun Violence Archive) 

More lives were claimed by gun violence in 2020 than in any other year recorded in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Nations around the world have criticized our application of the Second Amendment. “China has issued a new report analyzing the human rights record of the U.S. throughout the past year, looking specifically at reports of racial injustice, gun violence, and the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” as stated in an article written by Tom O’Connor of Newsweek. 

As shown by the latest Marist Poll on gun control, “(45% definitely vote for, to 48% definitely vote against) on the proposal to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons.” Americans are divided on how gun control should be monitored and the necessity of a complete ban on semi-automatic weapons. 

According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), as of mid-February, there have been 80 mass shootings in the United States so far. In total, there have been over 6,000 gun-violence-related deaths as of January first. Over half of these deaths, 3,432, have been by suicide and this fact has not changed since the new year. 31 children ages 0-11 have been killed and 79 have been injured, 222 teenagers ages 12-17 have been killed, and 501 have been injured. These numbers have only continued to rise since previous years. 

As reported by the GVA, from 2014-2020, there has been a 7,000 increase in overall gun violence-related deaths. There has also been a 400 increase in young children injured or killed yearly, for teenagers their statistics have doubled. Of widespread gun violence including death and injuries numbers have gone up by over 17,000.

As stated by Amnesty International, “In the U.S.  alone from 2009-2016 156 mass shootings killed 848 and left 339 people injured. “Public mass shootings account for less than 1% of gun deaths in the U.S.”

Minorities are often disproportionately affected by these mass shootings and gun violence in particular. “In the USA, firearm homicide disproportionately impacts African American communities, particularly young black men. 14,542 people in the USA lost their lives in gun homicides in 2017. African Americans accounted for 58.5% of these nationwide, despite making up just 13% of the US population.”

According to Amnesty International, “Most children who are victims of firearm killings in the USA are from minority communities. Homicide is the second leading cause of death among black children and 65% of those killings are committed with guns.” 

Women in difficult situations, such as women with abusive partners are also disproportionately affected by gun violence. As written by Amnesty International, “In 2017, some 87,000 women were intentionally killed around the world. More than half of them, 50,000 (58%) were killed by intimate partners or family members.” Globally over a hundred women are intentionally killed by a family member including intimate partners every day. 

 Since this is a global occurrence people often make the mistake of thinking that the U.S. has lower levels of gender-based gun violence. However, as reported by the Chicago Policy Review, “Of all femicide cases in the high-income world, 70% are committed in the U.S.” Femicide is a type of hate crime in which women are intentionally killed based on their gender. Although women with difficult lives are disproportionately affected, every woman living in America is at risk of femicide. 

Children have also been at extreme risk for gun violence in recent years. “For more than 60 years, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of injury-related death among young people. Beginning in 2017, however, firearm-related injuries took their place to become the most common cause of death from injury”, according to a study done by The New England Journal of Medicine. 

As children grow more at risk of gun violence more children have been losing their lives. “In 2021 3,597 children died by gunfire, according to provisional statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The death rate from guns was the highest it has been in more than 20 years,” according to the New York Times. 

As gun violence rises, some states have chosen to tighten restrictions while other states remain loosely regulated. “Carrying a gun openly is against state law or is legal only in limited circumstances (e.g., while hunting) or when legally used for self-defense (includes the District of Columbia, New York, and South Carolina).” While complete open carry of a firearm without a permit is allowed in over half of U.S. states, “including Alaska, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Utah.” As reported by the USCCA. 

Several organizations have been created to advocate for stricter gun laws or for protecting the Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and the Second Amendment Foundation are organizations in support of the Second Amendment. Gun Free Kids, Third Way, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are all organizations in support of tightening gun control. Individuals can donate to any of these six organizations that support their opinion in the way that best suits their needs.

One thought on “Gun violence rises in America

  1. When someone kills themselves with a gun, you label it ‘gun violence.’ When someone kills themselves by jumping off a roof, is it ‘gravity violence’? Half of suicides are committed without a gun.

    When a child accidentally dies after getting hold of a gun, it’s ‘gun violence.’ When a child accidentally dies from drinking a household cleaning product, is it ‘Dran-O violence’? Children are 10x more likely to die of accidental poisoning than accidental firearms discharge.

    If you really cared about reducing the number of suicides, murders, or accidental deaths, you’d address the actual causes of each. And guns are clearly not the cause of any of these phenomena.

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