Children may not be able to legally own a gun, but that certainly doesn’t stop them from dying by one. They are murdered by family, struck down by stray bullets, or shot by peers. Here are some facts and statistics regarding children and gun violence:
- An average of at least 8 children and teens die each and every day from gun violence, for a total of 3,067 deaths each year. 2,161 of these deaths are kids being murdered. (Grunwald, 2011)
- Eighty-five percent of the children in the world who are killed by guns are killed in the United States. (ABC World News, Jan. 8, 2013)
- Studies have found that children in rural areas of the United States are just as likely to die as a result of gun violence as kids in the nation’s largest cities, dispelling the myth that gun violence is only a big-city problem. (Time, June 7, 2010, p. 18)
- 44,038 black children have been killed by guns since 1979, the date at which official statistics first began tracking the age of victims. This is nearly 13-times more than all the black people killed by lynching in the 86-year period from 1882 to 1968. (Williams, 2013)
- Eighty-five percent of all youth murders are carried out with a firearm. (Bernard, Paulozzi & Wallace, 2007)
The Ripple Effects of Gun Violence (H3)
Gun violence doesn’t just impact those that are shot. It affects kids throughout the entire community, and witnessing gun violence is often a traumatic experience that can negatively impact children in several ways.
- At some schools in certain areas of the country, 40% of elementary school students have witnessed a shooting, and 60% know someone who has been shot. (ABC, 4-10-2009)
- Many of the 36 thousand people killed each year by guns are parents, leaving a costly legacy that deeply impacts children.