86 Firearm Deaths a Day in U.S.; 60% are Suicides

Saturday, December 20, 2014
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

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.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


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)


Mark S. 9 years ago
Wintemute has been peddling his one-eyed accounting for decades. Rational public policy depends on an honest assessment of risks AND benefits of firearms. When Wintemute is ready to discuss more than 15 studies showing that U.S. guns are used 1 to 4 million times annually to protect lives, prevent deaths, prevent injury, avert medical costs, and protect property, then—and only then—does Wintemute deserve a seat at the discussion table.
MrApple 9 years ago
Still using that tired statistic that lumps all deaths with a firearm together; murder, justifiable shooting, self defense, accidental shootings, and suicides. Suicides, the greatest portion of this statistic, are simply used to boost the "gun deaths" number by about 18000 to 19000 a year. The Left is all about Pro-Choice when it comes to killing the unborn but apparently they get bent out of shape when people make the personal choice to end their own lives with a firearm. Where's the Pro-Choice "my body, my choice" supporters then?
Mark 9 years ago
And other countries have uniquely high mortality rates by other means. Democide is very common in the third world. Shall Americans relinquish their firearms to appease the communists and fascists in our government only to be victims of democide. People have a right to defend themselves by any means possible. Why not concentrate on the pills being pushed onto the populace by big pharma. Since they are the big money behind mainstream news they will never be exposed for being ultimately responsible for creating the mental health problem this nation has. From my cold dead hands.

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