Gun Violence in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2017, over 39,000 Americans died from gun violence. That is over 100 people each day.
It is estimated that over 80,000 more U.S. residents are wounded from gunfire each year, some in ways that leave them suffering for the remainder of their lives. Improvements in trauma medicine mean more people survive after suffering crippling wounds.
Just over 60% of gun deaths are from suicide.
A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found there was a strong relationship between higher levels of gun ownership in a state and higher firearm suicide rates for both men and women.
During the past two years, more U.S. residents died from gun violence than died during the entire Vietnam War. (About 66,000 to 58,000 in Vietnam)
Gun Violence Closer to Home
In Pennsylvania, about 1,400 people a year are killed by guns.
In Chester County, eight residents were killed by gun violence in 2018. Another 35 died from gun suicide. (This was a 35% increase in the County’s firearm suicides.)
What are some examples of gun deaths?
- A young man being chased down Market Street in West Chester, attempting to hide in the Star Social Club, and being shot to death when he could not exit the back door.
- A man who, upset over a divorce, took his gun to a local retirement home and shot and killed his elderly parents.
- A student, despondent over grades and academic pressures, takes a family firearm and commits suicide.
- A man being shot to death in his own back yard following an early morning argument with a neighbor. Neighbors and law enforcement knew the firearm owner had anger management issues — but the Police believed under current law there was nothing they could do about it.
- A 15-year old being shot and killed behind local doughnut shop following a dispute over a marijuana sale.
- An 18-year old recent high school graduate who was shot and killed on a local highway as a result of road rage.
- A family there was a history of domestic violence and the husband shot and killed his wife, then shot and killed himself.
What Are Its Effects?
Click here to see five powerful personal stories of gun violence.
What Can We Do?
One very important action every firearm owner can take is to commit to safe storage of their weapon. Safe storage can reduce gun suicides, unintentional shootings, gun access by criminals, mass shootings and domestic violence. There are secure storage methods that can be located within easy reach and opened within seconds.
Guns always have the potential to be lethal. Proper care must be taken.