The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released alarming data that gun deaths are near a 40-year high. Perhaps more concerning, the approximately 40,000 gun-related deaths reported last year total more than double the data from 1999. In addition, the report claims that the majority of the climb—nearly 24,000 gun deaths—are from suicide by gun: the highest in 18 years.
More specifically, the CDC’s WONDER database indicates there were 39,773 gun-related deaths in 2017 which is an increase of more than 10,000 from 1999.
The report also found that white males led both the gender and racial demographics for suicide by gun while black males led the demographics for death by homicide. At the same time, black men are also nearly 10 times more likely to be killed by a gun than white men; and women are less likely to be the shooter or the victim, all other demographic factors aside. However, white males make up the majority of deaths by firearm, when you include all methods of death (homicide, suicide, legal intervention, unintentional, etc).
Last week, Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence director of public health research, Adelyn Allchin, released a written statement which describes that there was an average of 109 deaths from gun violence every day in 2017. As such, she warned, “Gun violence is a public health epidemic that requires a public health solution, which is why we must immediately enact and implement evidence-based interventions.”
These interventions might include things like stricter risk laws and new permit-to-purchase policies.
In a statement reacting to the CDC report, US Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D) said, “This data from the CDC reminds us how many lives our gun violence crisis alters every year—and why so many Americans are rising up to demand action.” You may recall that Giffords was nearly killed by a gunshot wound in 2011. She goes on to say, “It’s unacceptable that the number of deaths from shootings keeps escalating while Washington, DC refuses to even debate policies we know would help save lives.”