19 Upsetting Gun Violence Statistics [2020 Update]

The topics of guns and violence have always gone hand in hand, especially in the eyes of mainstream media. Ask a hundred random people about what they think regarding the degree of correlation between guns and violence, and you’ll no doubt get a resounding “high” as your answer.

Now:

Gun violence statistics have traditionally been a mixed bag of extreme opinions. From pro-gun lobbyists to anti-gun lobbyists, there has been little in the way of a balanced argument. This is where the information you will find here differs from most of the sources on the internet. By employing a non-biased approach, we will provide you with facts and information from which you can be empowered and fully informed.

The things is:

Simply labeling gun violence as “bad” or as being on the increase is neither good enough nor logical, as these are simply sweeping statements that mean nothing when examined.

After all, let’s also not forget:

Gun shooting statistics clearly show that guns can be used as defensive or deterrent tools and measures, keeping the peace instead of disturbing it.

Most of what we know about guns comes from either what we see in the movies or what the media chooses to tell us. Having movies and the media as your primary source of gun violence facts is definitely not a good roadmap for anyone looking for revealing and unbiased facts.

With all that said, let’s dive right in.

Fascinating Gun Violence Stats (Editor’s Choice)

  • 418 mass shootings took place in the US last year.
  • Gun violence severity in high school shootings has increased by over 50%.
  • Police officers are 75% more likely to be victims of gun violence in high gun ownership states than in low gun ownership states
  • Over 500,000 bump stocks may be in US civilian hands.
  • 82 mass shootings that took place on US soil between 1982 and December 2019 involved guns that were legally obtained.

Gun Crime Statistics Under the Microscope

1. 39,383 people died as a result of gun violence in 2019.

(Gun Violence Archive)

This figure comes from the FBI gun violence statistics and information from the Gun Violence Archive. As staggering as it is, it only tells part of the story when it comes to gun violence facts. This is because although it includes the number of the 24,090 of gun-related suicides, featured in full in gun suicide statistics, it doesn’t incorporate the 29,765 additional injuries related to firearms. 

This is due to the fact that most gun deaths statistics only take into account primary deaths related to guns (deaths that occurred within a week of the gun-related injury).

2. In 2019 alone, there were 36 shootings at K-12 schools

(The Conversation)

Statistics on gun violence in the US highlight the fact that shooting incidents at K-12 schools are a major concern. Gun crime statistics from 1970 to 2019 show a small but worryingly steady increase in K-12 school shootings, with 2018 topping off a staggering amount of 97 shootings. 

Although the figure has dropped significantly in 2019 to 36 shootings, the overall data over the last decade shows a steady rise in shootings.

Which leads to the fact that…

3. Most American children are just as likely to be killed by a gunshot as they are by cancer.

(The New England Journal of Medicine)

According to some of the most shocking gun violence stats, most children in the US are in danger of being a victim of gun crime. In fact, firearm-related injury is the second most common cause of death for children, accounting for 15% of all child deaths.

4. Police officers are 75% more likely to be victims of gun violence in high gun ownership states when compared to low gun ownership states.

(NBC News)

US gun violence statistics against police officers conducted over the last decade show that the likelihood of officers being shot in high gun ownership states rested around the 75% mark, something that represents firearms statistics. Unsurprisingly, large numbers of guns in an area were shown to directly correlate with the increased risk of officers being shot.

Gun Violence Statistics - gunshot

Mass Shooting Statistics

5. 418 mass shootings took place in the US last year.

(NPR)

Although this figure is high, it does show a decrease of 5% within the United States gun violence statistics. This encouraging trend has been attributed to the gun control legislation support that has been garnished by students of Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. 

The students launched a deluge of campaigns following the Parkland shooting incident that took place on their school grounds. As a result, they were able to gain the support of the media and the public, which effectively led to the government introducing more stringent gun control laws, something that has gone a long way towards bringing down American gun violence statistics

6. Gun violence severity in high school shootings has increased by over 50%.

(NPR)

According to gun violence statistics FBI, some of the deadliest mass shooting incidents in the US in recent years have taken place at high schools.

Statistics on gun violence show that in addition to the Parkland shooting incident, 10 students were killed and 14 were wounded in the Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas. And in Kentucky, Marshall County High School saw 2 students killed and 16 wounded. These figures from 2018 and are 54% higher than those seen 5 years previous in 2013.

7. Over 500,000 bump stocks may be in US civilian hands.

(Department of Justice)

Statistics of gun violence reflect that the sales of items called bump stocks — devices which can be attached to semi-automatic weapons to increase their fire rate — have led to the devices being in the hands of nearly half a million US citizens. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) estimates a total of 539,000 bump stocks to still be in civilian circulation.

The issue being:

The federal government banned the sale of bump stock devices in December 2018. But prior to that, thousands of the bump stocks were being sold to the public, and some were even bought in bulk.

Unintentional Shootings

8. 82 mass shootings that took place on US soil between 1982 and December 2019 involved guns that were legally obtained.

(Statista)

Gun control stats show a recurring and prevalent pattern that shows the vast majority of shootings have been carried out with illegally obtained firearms.

And gun control facts clearly show gun registration and background checks are woefully inadequate and largely at fault. 

Child gun violence statistics clearly reflect that 82  shootings in the US since the early 1980s involved legally owned guns, while only 16 involved guns that were illegally obtained. 

9. Every day, 90 people are unintentionally shot in the US.

(Brady United)

The number of unintentional shootings is on the rise. Current data and CDC gun violence statistics show that in 2019, approximately 90 people were unintentionally shot in the US on a daily basis. Although gun violence statistics worldwide highlight are growing, the US overtakes this rate of growth by almost 2.5%. Analysts and experts attribute this to lax laws on firearm purchase and possession. In addition, more guns are also finding themselves in the hands of minors or inexperienced owners.

10. On an average day in the US, only one person is killed by legal intervention

(Brady United)

World gun violence statistics point to a disturbing fact that amidst the large number of gun-related deaths that take place in the US on a daily basis, only one of these is due to legal intervention.

11. Every 16 hours, someone in the US is killed by an unintentional shooting.

(American Progress)

The gun violence rates for gun crime and accidental death are on the rise and are under current scrutiny from many different watchdog organizations. But what isn’t always factored into most statistical analysis and gun death statistics is the number of unintentional shootings that occur.

Shockingly…

The latest data reflects that at least one person will die in the US as a result of an accidental shooting every 16 hours.

12. One in three children in the US lives in a household that stores a loaded and unlocked firearm.

(NCBI)

Alarming gun control statistics show more children are exposed to the dangers of accidental shootings or have access to firearms that can prove as a convenient yet devastating outlet for any troubled young individual. Figures reflecting gun violence statistics by state show an increase in this problem, and no sign of decline.

Gun Violence Statistics - gunman

Gun Death Statistics

13. Over 36,000 people are killed in the US every year.

(Gun Violence Archive)

The US has become a country where guns are have become judge, jury, and executioner. Gun statistics show that over 36,000 Americans lose their lives every year due to gun crime.

Which means:

Approximately 100 lives are lost to gun violence daily on American soil.

Did you know…

14. The majority of gun crime deaths (61%) are the result of suicide.

(Gun Violence Archive)

The growth of suicide by gun statistics shows a sad picture as to the state of affairs between Americans and firearms and our inadequate approach to mental health and wellbeing.

15. 2549 of gun-related deaths are due to unintentional shootings.

(Gun Violence Archive)

Gun violence in America statistics reflect that the number of unintentional shootings has been rising for the last ten years. With laws only recently seeing a tightening, the last decade has given birth to a slew of gun-related crimes due to protocols and measures for background checks and monitoring being mainly ineffective and flawed.

As a result, last year alone saw a saddening 2549 deaths due to unintentional shootings, a figure that is 15% higher than gun violence statistics 2018. What’s more, over 70% of those unintentional shootings involved children under the age of 18.

16. Over 1000 people are shot and killed by police officers yearly.

(Department of Justice)

Police shootings severely damage the trust between communities and law enforcement. Trust is fragile in poor areas at best, and shootings can result in irreversible damage.

At present:

The number of gun deaths in the US reflects that over 1000 people are killed daily due to police shootings.

Urban Gun Violence

17. 52% of gun homicide victims in the US are black males.

(American Progress)

Gun violence statistics 2019 show rates in communities of color have now reached epidemic proportions. Unfortunately for residents in these types of areas, the majority end up paying for the mistakes of the few. Most gun crime in these areas is caused by a small percentage of individuals (approx 13%), meaning that the remaining 87% are left to deal with the aftermath.

Amazingly:

52% of gun homicide victims in the whole of the US are black males, despite black males making up only 7% of the US population.

Which means that…

18. Black Americans are 10 times more likely to be shot than white Americans.

(American Progress)

Facts about gun violence and results from studies on gun homicide deaths over the last decade show that black Americans were up to 10 times more likely to be shot and killed than white Americans.

Which leads us to the fact that often…

19. A small part of a city (5% or less), can account for the majority of its crime.

(Statista)

Empirical data, gathered and collated from gun homicide statistics, shows that most of the gun violence in US cities can be attributed to small parts of a city.

A great example of this can be found in Boston where the cost of gun violence is taking a heavy toll on its inhabitants. In this major US city, gun violence is on the rise. As a standalone fact, one can easily assume the city must be all at fault. However, when placed under the microscope, we find that over 53% of Boston’s gun crime occurs in less than 3% of the city.

Gun Violence Statistics - gun

To Sum It All Up

As you can see from our list of alarming gun-related violence statistics shared today, incidents and deaths are on the rise in the US.

Despite firearms being synonymous with gang-related crimes or suicides, a large aspect of most civilian related gun crime revolves around children.

The key here is really not to demonize guns in any way, shape or form, as that would be a fool’s errand.

The US has championed and will perhaps always champion the people’s right to own firearms in order to defend their homes and families. Challenging this right would only give rise to a reactive backlash from extreme pro-gun groups and lead to further complications.

Instead, it would be wise to put time and effort into decreasing gun death rates by making sure gun owners pass more rigorous background checks, maybe even with the help of crime-stopping AI. They also need to undergo more consistent monitoring protocols to ensure the responsible use of firearms. Finally, gun owners need to be educated in the proper use and storage of their weapons. By implementing these measures, we can make positive strides toward moving away from statistics of a negative nature and move toward more positive ones.

People Also Ask

Q: Which countries have the most mass shootings?

(World Population Review)

Gun violence is increasing worldwide. 

At present the country with the highest rate of mass shootings is:

Norway, with a death rate per million of 1.888.

Which means that:

Despite popular belief, the US is not the country with the most mass shootings. In fact, the US has a death rate per million of 0.089, which makes it tenth on the list of countries with mass shootings.

Q: How many people are murdered in the US every year?

(Gun Violence Archive)

Last year in the US, a total of 39,383 people died as a result of gun-related violence.

This figure includes 24,090 gun-related suicides but not gun-related injuries that later resulted in death (29,765). If the additional figures were accounted for, then the deaths per year in the US would be approximately 53,855.

Q: How many defensive gun uses per year?

(Foundation for Economic Education)

2.5 million people are reported to have used a firearm for defensive purposes in the US in 2019 alone.

This could be due to catching a burglar while robbing a home, street harassers, or as many sexual assault statistics indicate, defense against a sexual assault.

With guns being easier to obtain than ever before and crime rates on the rise, many Americans have been owners of firearms, gun violence statistics reveal. 

Sources: