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14 Horrifying Statistics About the Gun Problem in America

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America, we’ve got a problem.

1.) It is estimated that 50 million Americans own over 200 million guns. - American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry

2.) Over one-third of all homes contain guns, and despite continuing educational efforts, the majority of these guns are kept loaded, unlocked and potentially accessible to children. - American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry

3.) Research indicates that if a gun is stored in a home, the risk of homicide increases threefold and the risk of suicide increases fivefold. Guns also are 43 times as likely to be used to kill a family member or someone known to a family than to kill a stranger. - American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry

4.) Children and adolescents have easy access to guns. More than 5 percent of high school students indicated that they carried a gun in the past month, and it is estimated that approximately one million children bring guns to school each year. Many students who carry guns do so because they are afraid or influenced by peer pressure. - American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry

5.) The United States has the highest rates of firearm-related deaths among industrialized countries, including homicide, suicide and unintentional deaths; young people are often the victims. Gun violence accounts for over 3,000 deaths and over 15,000 injuries each year among children and adolescents. - American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry

6.) The rate of firearm-related homicides for U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 16 times greater than the rates in 25 other industrialized countries combined. - American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry

7.) There have been 62 mass shootings in the U.S. in the last 30 years. 139 guns were used, more than 75 percent obtained legally, including assault weapons and semiautomatic handguns. Of those 12 were school shootings, 19 workplace shootings, and 31 took place in malls, houses of worship, government buildings, military bases and other public spaces.  - MotherJones.com

8.) Of the perpetrators of the mass shootings in the last 30 years, 43 of the killers were white males. Only one was a woman. The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest among them was 11. – MotherJones.com

9.) The majority of gun owners are white, Republican males.  - JustFacts.com

10.) Roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the United States during 2008. Of these, about 10,886, or 67 percent, were committed with firearms. - JustFacts.com

11.) Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders. Of these, about 436,000, or 8 percent, were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun. – JustFacts.com

12.) The Federal Gun Free School Zone Act of 1995 states that people with guns cannot walk within 1,000 feet of any school (kindergarten to 12th grade). But on Thursday, one day before the Connecticut shooting, the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature passed a bill that would allow people to bring guns into schools. The bill now sits on Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) desk, who must decide whether to approve or veto the legislation. – ThinkProgress.com

13.) There are currently 88.8 firearms per 100 people in the United States. 68 percent of American gun owners have at least one handgun, while the percentage of Americans who own guns is decreasing (41 percent in 1994 to 36 percent in 2011). The jump in firearm possession is due to a rise in the average number of guns per gun owner, which rose from 4.1 in 1994 to an astonishing 6.9 in 2004. In other words, a shrinking group of Americans is stockpiling more and more weapons. – PolicyMic.com

14.) In 2009 there were 34,500 motor vehicle deaths and 31,400 firearm deaths. Based on the currently lowered rate of vehicle death and increased rate of firearm death, “there may actually be, this year to come, more firearm deaths than motor vehicle deaths,” Mark Rosenberg, president and CEO of the Task Force for Global Health, told NPR in August.

Main photo via iStock

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