It’s hard to unpack the events that happened in Orlando last week. There are a lot of elements to what is going, terrorism, violence against LGBTQ, but at the core of it is a very familiar debate about gun rights in the United States and a very familiar pattern of outrage, ineffectual silence, and a frustrating inability to change our laws or do anything about it. We here at The NYRD were on vacation while these most recent events took place, and normally we would try to write some sort of witty article about gun rights and statistics, maybe by comically comparing them to movies or cartoons or whatnot. After all, we have in the past, but this time around that doesn’t feel appropriate or especially effective.
We don’t want to clutter this already jam-packed issue with more noise or nonsensical pop culture references. Instead, we have decided that this time around we are just going to give you a list of straightforward and researched facts and let you be the judge. And, quite frankly, we are sick of using the phrase “this time around,” but we have to, because unless things truly change “this time” will keep coming around again and again.
So we’re just going to leave this here:
A Mass Shooting is a “single shooting incident which kills or injures four or more people, including the assailant.”
- There were 372 Mass Shootings in America in 2015.
- 457 people were killed and 1,870 people were injured in Mass Shooting incidents in 2015.
- There were 64 school shootings in 2015. (This includes incidents where a gun was discharged but no one was hurt.)
- Every major American City, except Austin, Texas, has experienced a Mass Shooting incident since 2013.
- Mass Shootings do not follow any clear seasonal patterns.
- In incidents involving high-capacity magazines, an average of 13.3 people were shot.
- 50% of Mass Shooting victims are Female, but Females only make up a total of 15% of gun homicide victims each year.
- In 57% of Mass Shootings a perpetrator killed a spouse or family member.
- In 58 of 133 incidents examined the perpetrator committed suicide during the incident.
- In 16 of 133 incidents examined the concern over the perpetrator’s mental health had been previously raised to medical practitioners.
- Mass Shootings only account for less than 2% of gun deaths each year.
- 13,286 people were killed by guns in the USA in 2015. (This excludes firearm suicides)
- In 2012, in the US 60% of all murders were committed with a firearm.
- 88.8 per 100,000 American residents own at least one gun.
- There are 794,300 police officers armed in the USA compared to about 800,000 armed civilians.
- Police error rate with a firearm is 11% compared to the Civilian firearm error rate of 2%.
- Between 1968 and 2011 1.4 million Americans died in gun deaths.
- Between the Revolutionary War and the Iraq War, 1.2 million Americans have been killed in war.
- There are estimated to be 300 million civilian guns in the USA, all owned by a third of the US population.
- From 2005 to 2015, 71 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks.
- From 2005 to 2015, 301,797 Americans were killed by gun violence.
- 40% of Americans know someone who committed suicide with or was killed by a firearm.
- 50% of men killed by guns are men of color.
- In total, 756 American school children were killed by gun violence, in 2015.
- In 2015, on average, at least 1 American toddler shot a person at a rate of once a week, a total of 59 incidents for the year.
- In 2014, gun deaths equaled motor vehicle deaths for the first time in history, about 10.3 per 100,000 people per year.
- Homes that have a history of domestic violence and own a gun are 12 times more likely to result in one or more gun deaths.
- 8% of gun owners own 10 or more guns, that is 6 million Americans.
- Chicago police seize an illegally purchased and unlicensed gun every 74 minutes.
We are not sure what else we can really do, but we cannot let people like the NRA or hard-line conservatives turn this argument into a gun/anti-gun argument, because it is not a black and white issue. No one is talking about banning weapons altogether, but putting restrictions on the selling and purchasing of such weapons does seem a common sense solution. We are not anti-gun. In fact, we believe strongly in the Second Amendment, but no amendment is absolute. Unfortunately though, the results of our country’s loose gun laws often are… absolute.