The debate over gun control in the US is once again in the spotlight following the mass shooting in Las Vegas. At least 59 people were killed and more than 525 were wounded in the attack by gunman Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old white male. Sadly, the Las Vegas death toll makes it is the deadliest gun massacre in US history.
Among developed nations, the US is by far the most violent — in large part due to the easy access many Americans have to firearms. The Las Vegas shooting is merely the latest in a series of gun-related massacres. As a result, the political stalemate over gun control laws has become an increasingly heated point of debate over the past few years. Here are some shocking statistics which reveal the devastating truth about firearm use in the United States.
Americans Are More Likely To Die In Gun-Related Homicides
The Harvard Injury Control Research Center has conducted a substantial amount of research into homicide. A literature review found that where there are more guns there is more homicide. Another study analysed the relationship between homicide and gun availability and found that across developed countries, where guns are more available, there are more homicides. Furthermore, in 2016, a study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that the rate of lethal violence was 25 times higher in the U.S. than in 22 other high-income nations.
In response to the findings, leading researcher, Erin Grinshteyn said: “Overall, our results show that the US, which has the most firearms per capita in the world, suffers disproportionately from firearms compared with other high-income countries. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that our firearms are killing us rather than protecting us.”
More Than 10,000 Americans Are Murdered Each Year
The Department of Justice have reported that firearm homicides have been around 11,000 since 2001 (3.5 in every 100,000 people). When you compare this to other countries, such a Portugal and Greece (less than 1 death per 100,000 people) the numbers really are shocking.
Mass Shootings Are On The Rise
In 2012, the Sandy Hook school shooting left 20 first-graders, 6 adults, as well as the gunman dead. Since this horrific attack, there have been at least 1,518 mass shootings which has left at least 1,715 people killed and 6,089 wounded.
Americans Are More Likely To Use Firearms Commit Suicide
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report which showed that the actual number of people who commit suicide using a firearm had increased from approximately 16,600 in 1999 to more than 21,000 in 2014. Research from the Harvard Injury Control Center has also suggested that gun availability is a direct risk factor for youth suicide in the U.S.
Children Die In Gun-Related Accidents Every Other Day
An analysis conducted by Associated Press and USA Today found that children die in gun accidents at an average of every other day. Specifically, three-year-olds were the most likely shooters and victims, with the accident likely to have happened at the child’s home.
It is quite clear that the United States is an outlier among high-income countries. The lax gun control laws have led to thousands of murders, numerous mass shootings, accidents and suicides. How many more lives will be lost before legislation is passed to protect American citizens?
IMAGE CREDIT: stillfx / 123RF Stock Photo
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here