The Reality of Gun Violence

Aastha Singh, Writer

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Gun violence. To some, gun violence is just another phrase, one to describe the events we see broadcasted on TV, events miles and miles away. But to many more, it is a harsh actuality. Its something experienced on the regular, over and over and over again.

Gun violence is mass shootings. Gun violence is police brutality. Gun violence is domestic abuse. Gun violence is violent suicides. Gun violence is so much more than what is shown in the media, through a few measly pictures or a short video clip. It is a reality, one that many Americans experience on the daily.

As a country, we need to take the proper precautions to prevent gun violence. To do that, the people must be educated.

Here are the facts:

  • Around 123,930 people are harmed by guns every year in the United States. This means that every day, 340 people are harmed by guns.
  • Out of these 340 people, 94 are killed and an additional 246 are injured with guns. This adds up to around 34,310 people killed and 89,620 annually.
  • Out of the 34,310 people killed annually, 21,637 are suicides, 12,246 are  homicides, 479 are from police brutality (although The Washington Post’s database claims this number could be as high as 982), 500 are unintentional, and 276 are undetermined
  • Out of the 89,629 injured annually, 66,673 are assault, 17,737 are unintentional, 3,926 are self harm, and 1,284 are from law enforcement shootings.

Suicide

  • Around two-thirds of all gun related deaths are suicides.
  • When able to access a firearm, a person’s risk of suicidal death is increases threefold.
  • Most suicides do not result in death, unless the person uses a gun. Less than 5% of suicides that don’t use a gun are successful, while 85% of suicides that do are successful.

Homicides

  • Around one-third of all gun related deaths are homicides
  • The U.S. has the highest gun homicide rate of any high-income country, with 3.6 deaths for every 100,000 people. Canada is in second place, with stricter gun laws and 0.5 deaths for every 100,000 people.
  • The risk of death by homicide is increased by two times when the attacker has access to a firearm
  • The number of criminal homicides overwhelms the number of self-defensive homicides, with a ratio of 34:1.
  • Guns are the second major cause of death for American minors
  • Around 1,500 minors die every year as a result of gun violence

Assault and Domestic Abuse

  • Around three-fourths of all gun related injuries are from assault
  • Every month, 50 women are shot and killed and many more are injured by their significant other
  • Currently, there are around 1 million American women alive have been injured by a gun-wielding partner. Another 4.5 million have been threatened by a gun by their partner
  • If a domestic abuser has access to a gun, it is five times more likely that the woman will be killed

Impact

  • Around 25% of Americans have said that them or someone in their family have been terrorized with a gun at some point in their life
  • Around 44% of Americans know someone who has been killed due to gun violence
  • Around 3 million minors every year report witnessing gun violence

The amount of damage done by gun violence every year is immense and we need to do something about it.

Gun control doesn’t have to necessarily be banning all guns, it means imposing more regulations and rules to make sure that guns don’t fall into the wrong hands. There are other alternatives, such as having all interested firearm purchasers to apply for government permits, raising awareness on unsafe gun storage practices and how to change them, or imposing more thorough background checks .

The time to act and put a stop to gun violence is now. Elect officials that will take action. Campaign and petition for better gun regulations. Make our country and better and safer place to live.

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