Gun Control Facts: What You Need to Know About Gun Violence in America

On March 18, 2013, CNN announced that a recent CNN/ORC International Poll had found that, among those surveyed, support for stricter national gun regulations had fallen to 43% since the December mass shooting of six adults and 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut. The poll cited significant losses with rural Americans and Americans over 50. With constant media bombardment comprising images of gun violence victims, bickering pundits, and information regarding of the efforts of Vice President Joe Biden and the newly formed gun control task force, one is impelled to ask: Are Americans simply tired of the gun control debate?

Nevertheless, in spite of the waning enthusiasm of many American citizens, in the days and weeks moving forward the gun control issue will continue to play into the forefront of the national consciousness. With this in mind, here are facts you need to know about gun violence in the United States.

1. As of April 7, 2013 there have been 3,296 gun-related deaths in the United States since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary:


According to a running tally conducted by Slate.com and the twitter feed @GunDeaths, there have been 3,296 deaths firearm related deaths in the U.S. since the events at Newetown.  This number includes 2,750 Men (such as West Virginia Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum),  538 women (including 15-year-old Chicago native Hadiya Pendleton), and 57 children (like 13-month-old Antonio Santiago of Brunswick, Georgia).

Curious about the current number of shooting deaths since Newtown? Follow the tally at Slate.

2. According to Bloomberg.com, gun-related deaths are projected to surpass auto-mobile related deaths in 2015:


In a recent report produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has so far been a 22% drop in motor vehicle-related deaths since 2005, while deaths associated with firearms have been steadily increasing since 2000. The study predicts that if trends continue this way, then gun deaths will surpass automobile deaths by 2015.

3. In 2011, there were roughly 10.3 gun deaths per 100,000 Americans – or precisely 32,163 deaths:


If you want to put that into perspective, that’s enough to fill a small city or half of New Orleans's Superdome. If you want even more perspective, that’s compared to 6,219 gun-related deaths in India in 2011, 1,864 in France, 236 in Australia, 155 in the United Kingdom, and only 139 in Israel.

4. The United States has an average of 88.8 guns per 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed nation in the world:


This statistic comes from a 2007 Small Arms Survey, in addition to a study done by gunpolicy.org comparing the United States with 178 other countries throughout the world. And if you figure that in 2012 census, there were 313,914,040 people in the United States that's roughly 278,755,667.5 guns. 

5. Although violent crime has actually been declining in the United States since the late 1970s, gun-related deaths have been on the rise since 2000:


In a study conducted by Duke University Sociology Professor Kiernan Healy, although the United States is characterized by an unusual amount of assault-related deaths relative to other countries, violent crime has actually been declining since the late 1970s.

However, in a study conducted by www.gunpolicy.org, gun-related deaths have been increasing in the past decade, with a low of 28,663 deaths in 2000, and a recent high of 32,163 in 2011.

6. Since 1982, there have been a total of 62 mass shootings in the United States:


According to motherjones.com, since 1982 there have been 62 mass shootings in the United States, 25 of which have occurred since 2006, and seven of which took place in 2012 alone. Additionally, Mother Jones reports that 49 of the sixty-two guns used in these mass shootings (or roughly 79%) were obtained legally.

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Katherine Kissinger

Hi everyone! My name is Katherine (Katie) Kissinger and I am currently a sophomore Government Major at Georgetown University. I hail originally from a small town in New Hampshire, but now call D.C. my home. I'm really excited to get involved with policymic :)

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