86 Firearm Deaths a Day in U.S.; 60% are Suicides
On any given day in the United States, an average of 86 Americans die as a result of gunfire. The majority of the deaths are self-inflicted, according to data from a new public health study (pdf) on gun violence.
Garen Wintemute at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program says in his research that the nation experienced 313,045 deaths from 2003 to 2012.
His study, published in the Annual Review of Public Health, also found that 60% of these deaths were suicides. “Suicide is far more common than homicide and its rate is increasing,” Wintemute wrote. “The homicide rate is decreasing.”
He also noted that firearm violence is a “large and costly public health problem in the United States for which the mortality rate has remained unchanged for more than a decade.” Even when the homicide rate was far higher than now, it was outpaced by the suicide rate, according to the study.
“Compared with other industrialized nations, the United States has uniquely high mortality rates from firearm violence,” he added.
The 313,045 deaths are more than the number of Americans killed in World War II, and “outnumber the combined count of combat fatalities in all other wars in the nation’s history.” In terms of economic costs, firearm injuries consumed $174.1 billion in 2010 alone, according to Wintemute.
To Learn More:
The Epidemiology of Firearm Violence in the Twenty-First Century United States (by Garen J. Wintemute, Annual Review of Public Health)
Most Gun Deaths in U.S. are Suicides (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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