Interesting Gun Control Facts
Interesting Gun Control Facts

57 Sobering Facts about Shooting Deaths and Gun Control

By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published June 27, 2017
  • Almost 2/3 of all murders in the United States involve guns.[2]
  • Men are not only more likely than women to be the victims of gun homicides, but they are also more likely to be the perpetrators of homicides committed with a gun. However, firearm-related death rates for both sexes have decreased over the past few decades.[2]
  • African American women have the highest death rate from firearm-related injuries than women of other ethnic groups. Asian or Pacific Islanders females have the lowest rate.[2]
  • In some states, gun violence widely exceeds the rest of the country. For example, from 2001 to 2010 in Louisiana, there were 18.9 gun deaths for every 100,000 people, more than six times the rate in Hawaii.[9]
  • Japan is said to have the most restrictive firearms regulations in the world. The basic rule is that all firearms are prohibited, except where the law says there is an exception.[9]
  • International illicit arms sales supply dozens of conflicts that kill more than 500,000 people each year, 80% of whom are women and children.[9]
  • Interesting Guns in America Fact
    America is home to more guns than adults
  • The U.S. has the highest gun ownership rate in the world; they own nearly half of the world's civilian guns.[2]
  • Nearly half of American homes contain at least one gun, many of which are used for hunting and sport.[2]
  • At the time that the Constitution was passed, just 14.7% of male property owners had guns. The government went house to house conducting a census and asking the homeowners if they had a gun, what kind it was, and if they could see it.[2]
  • The first gun manufacturer in the United States was the Springfield Armory in 1794, which was established by the U.S. government.[2]
  • There are approximately 35,000 gun-related deaths in the United States each year.[2]
  • Firearms claim more lives in the United States than any other injury except motor vehicle accidents.[2]
  • A United Nations survey reveals that Canada, England, Germany, France, Japan, the Scandinavian countries, Poland, and Spain have gun death rates much lower than the U.S. On the other hand, Mexico, Zambia, Costa Rica, and Uruguay have rates similar to the U.S. And South Africa, Thailand, and Colombia have rates significantly higher.[10]
  • In the United States, accidental shootings and gun-related suicides kill more than one and a half times the number of people killed by armed criminals.[8]
  • Gun violence costs Americans $100 billion a year in medical fees, lost wages, and other costs. The figure is split between murders ($80 billion) and suicides ($20 billion).[2]
  • The NRA (National Rifle Association) argues that a large part of American freedom is the ability to own guns. For millions of Americans, owning a gun is a prime symbol of liberty.[10]
  • A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    - 2nd Amendment, U.S. Constitution 

  • Those who have a criminal record are more likely to die by gun homicide.[2]
  • There have been 11 assassination attempts with guns on U.S. presidents.[11]
  • Researchers note that gun violence among youth dramatically increased from 1984 to 1994, but decreased from 1994 to 2002 just as dramatically. They also note that the increase was due to the introduction of crack cocaine, the availability of cheap handguns, inadequate after-school supervision, and a general prevalence of violence in America. The subsequent decrease is attributed to increases in the number of police, the receding crack epidemic, and the legislation of abortion two decades earlier which resulted in fewer children at risk for violence.[2]
  • While gun-related homicides among juvenile offenders decreased between 1994 and 2002, it started to rise again in the 21st century. Researchers note that funding for police and community programs shifted from thwarting juvenile crime to the War on Terror following the September 11, 2001, attacks. Additionally, gang members who were imprisoned in the early 1990s were being released.[2]
  • An average of four U.S. deaths per year are caused by BB guns and pellet guns.[2]
  • Interesting Gun Control Fact
    British attempts to take away the colonists' guns precipitated the Revolutionary War
  • One of the main reasons for the Revolutionary War was King George III’s order for the British soldiers to disarm the colonists.[2]
  • States that have strict gun laws are typically the politically blue states, like New York, and have lower gun death rates. Red (Republican) states, with less strict gun laws, have higher gun death rates.[8]
  • An estimated 20,000 local, state, and federal gun laws currently regulate firearms in the United States. These laws range from addressing criminal use of firearms, to gun registration, to the purchase of firearms.a[2]
  • Gun homicides with black victims are 151 per million. Gun homicides with white victims are 15 per million.[3]
  • Polls find that 78% of blacks support stricter gun controls as opposed to 48% of whites in the U.S.[3]
  • Residents of England and Wales have a gun homicide rate 21 times lower than that among white Americans and 215 times lower than that among black Americans. Their gun suicide rate is 47 times lower than that among white Americans.[3]
  • The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) writes in his Politics that ownership of weapons is necessary for true citizenship and participation in the political system.[2]
  • Plato (428-348 B.C.) writes in The Republic that a monarchy with a few liberties is the best form of government and the disarming of the populace is essential to the maintenance of an orderly and autocratic system.[2]
  • The Roman politician Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) writes in De Officiis that he supports bearing arms for self-defense of the individual and for preventing tyranny.[2]
  • Males most often committed suicide with firearms (56%), whereas females most often used poison (40.8%) followed closely by firearms (31.9%).[2]
  • Interesting Gun Violence Fact
    The most common suicide method for males is firearms

  • The Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) argues in his Discourse that an armed populace of citizen soldiers is important to keeping headstrong rulers in line.[2]
  • One of the first documents to link a militia with the bearing of arms is the English Assize of Arms in 1811, which directs every free man to have access to weapons. It forbids the use of arms only when the intention is to “terrify the King’s subjects.”[2]
  • In 1328, under the reign of King Edward III (1312-1377), Parliament passed the Statute of Northampton, which prohibited the carrying of arms in public places but did not overrule the right to carry arms in self defense.[2]
  • When England fell briefly under the control of a military government in 1660, the government authorized its officers to search for and seize all arms owned by Catholics or any other person it deemed dangerous.[2]
  • The Game Act of 1671 in England is an early example of gun control law and was enacted to keep the ownership of hunting lands and weaponry in the hands of the wealthy and to restrict hunting and gun ownership among the peasants. The law was repealed in 1689 when Queen Mary II (1662-1692) and King William III (1650-1702) were installed as co-rulers of England and wrote a new Bill of Rights.[2]
  • Interesting JFK Fact
    The assassination of JFK helped fuel gun control debates
  • The modern debate over gun control erupted after several high-profile assassinations during the 1960s, including those of President John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.[4]
  • The modern debate over gun control is described as a split between “collective rights” interpretation and “individual rights” interpretation of the Second Amendment.[10]
  • One of the key issues in the debate over gun control is whether placing greater restrictions on gun ownership will make society safer. Some people think that access to guns makes it possible for law-abiding Americans to protect themselves and deter crime. Proponents of extensive gun control hold that Americans infrequently use guns for this purpose.[10]
  • Those who live in the South (56%) are more likely than those in the West (48%), Midwest (41%), and East (41%) to think that guns make a home safer. A large majority (63%) of rural inhabitants think guns make the home safer, compared with urban (40%) and suburban (45%) residents.[2]
  • Republicans (53%) are more likely than Democrats (41%) to agree that having a gun in the home makes it a safer place to be.[2]
  • People are nearly three times more likely to be killed in homes with guns than in those without guns.[2]
  • Whites are twice as likely to own a gun than nonwhites.[2]
  • The Federal Energy Management Improvement Act of 1988 required toy guns to have orange markings as an integral part of the toy to help distinguish toys from real guns. By November 1994, three major toy retailers announced they would stop selling toy guns designed to look like real guns.[2]
  • Having long guns (shotguns and rifles) in the home is more popular with the American public than having handguns (pistols and revolvers) in the home.[2]
  • Interesting Shotgun Fact
    A shotgun is one of the most popular weapons in the U.S.

  • Eight of the states with the highest levels of gun violence were among the 25 with the weakest gun laws.[5]
  • The JAMA Internal Medicine Journal reports that more firearm laws in a state were associated with lower rates of firearm deaths. The study takes into account factors like poverty, unemployment, sex, race, education, population density, violent deaths unrelated to firearms, and household firearm ownership.[5]
  • Machine guns caused half of the seven million casualties in WWI.[11]
  • Though Hitler issued “The Regulations against Jews’ Possession of Weapons,” which prohibited Jews from having guns, several Holocaust scholars have condemned the invocation of the Holocaust to argue against gun control.[2]
  • There are more than 350 million guns in circulation in the United States, which is approximately 113 guns for every 100 people.[7]
  • For every one person killed in the U.S. by a gun, two more are injured.[6]
  • Interesting gun statistic
    Every day, 7 children and teens die from gun violence
  • On an average day, 7 children and teens are killed by a gun in the U.S.[6]
  • In America, civilians carry 270 million guns. The police carry about 897,000.[1]
  • In the United States, about 50 women per month are shot to death by an intimate partner.[6]
  • America's gun homicide rate is over 25 times that of other industrialized nations.[6]
  • In the U.S., roughly 20% of gun owners own 65% of the guns.[1]
  • On average, approximately 93 Americans are killed with a gun each day.[6]
References

1"11 Facts about Guns." Do Something. Accessed: June 27, 2017.

2Alters, Sandra M. Gun Control: Restricting Rights or Protecting People? New York, NY: Gale, 2011.

3America’s Gun Divide.” The Economist. March 29, 2013. Accessed: April 24, 2013.

4Gold, Susan Dudley. Gun Control (Open for Debate). Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2004.

5Goode, Erica. “Report Links High Rates of Gun Violence to Weak State Regulations.” The New York Times. April 2, 2013. Accessed: April 24, 2013.

6"Gun Violence By the Numbers." EveryTown. 2017. Accessed: June 27, 2017.

7"Gun Violence: Facts and Statistics." Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. March 2017. Accessed: June 27, 2017.

8Kay, Roger. “Who Knew? The Leading Cause of Gun Death Is Suicide.” Forbes. January 22, 2013. Accessed: April 20, 2013.

9Lunger, Norman. L. Big Bang: The Loud Debate Over Gun Control. Brookfield, CT: Twenty-First Century Books, 2002.

10Magoon, Kekla. Gun Control (Essential Viewpoints). Minneapolis, MN: ABDO, 2010.

11Strahinich, Helen. Think about Guns in America. New York, NY: Walker and Company, 1992.

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