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This special collection brings together evidence and insights from nonprofits, foundations, and research organizations working to understand the full impact of firearm use and gun violence in the US. By providing us with analyses of current state and federal laws as well as valuable data on suicides, homicides, accidents, and mass shootings, these organizations seek to inform sound public policy and to curb this ongoing public health epidemic.

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"Gun Violence" by M+R Glasgow licensed under CC 2.0

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American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, Eighth Edition

October 1, 2023

Murder-suicide is "a dramatic, violent event" in which a person commits one murder or multiple murders, and then shortly after commits suicide. What makes these acts particularly disturbing is that they affect more than one person and often involve a family. Murder-suicides are almost always committed by a man with a firearm. Yet outside of high-profile mass shootings, the phenomenon of murder-suicide usually garners little public attention as a significant contributor to gun-related death and injury. This is despite the fact that, as one medical professional has observed, "because many murder suicides result in the death or injury of family members and sometimes mass murder, they cause countless additional morbidity, family trauma, and disruption of communities."Currently, comprehensive, up-to-date information specific to murder-suicides in the United States is not readily available, making it challenging to assess the toll in death and injury. In order to more fully understand the human costs of murder-suicide, in 2002 the Violence Policy Center (VPC) began collecting and analyzing news reports of murder-suicides, resulting in a series of studies titled American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States. This is the eighth edition of the study. For each analysis, the VPC tracked murder-suicide incidents over a six-month period using Internet news reports. For this most recent edition of the study, news reports of murder-suicides were collected for the period January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021. To be included in the study, both the murder and subsequent suicide had to occur within 72 hours of each other and within this six-month time period. Recognizing the lack of publicly available data, this study likely provides one of the most current and accurate portraits possible of murder suicide in the United States. 

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2020 Homicide Data

April 1, 2023

This study examines the issue of Black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for Black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2020 and is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2020 data on Black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest Black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of Black homicide victims.

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2019 Homicide Data

July 13, 2022

This annual study examines black homicide victimization at the state level utilizing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The study ranks the states by their rates of black homicide victimization and offers additional information for the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates.

Gun Deaths Outpace Motor Vehicle Deaths in 34 States and the District of Columbia in 2020

April 27, 2022

In 2020, firearm fatalities exceeded motor vehicle fatalities in 34 states and the District of Columbia, the most recent year for which state-level data is available for both products from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That year, gun deaths (including gun suicide, homicide, and fatal unintentional shootings) outpaced motor vehicle deaths in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In just over a decade, the number of states plus the District of Columbia where gun deaths exceed motor vehicle deaths has increased from just 13 in 2010 to 35 in 2020—a jump of 169 percent.

Hispanic Victims of Lethal Firearms Violence in the United States (2021)

July 28, 2021

This study reveals the disproportionate impact that lethal firearms violence has on Hispanics in the United States. It presents available information on Hispanic homicide victimization and suicide, the role of firearms in homicides and suicide, and overall gun death figures. The study also provides recommendations to governmental agencies to ensure complete and accurate data collection on Hispanic victims of lethal violence to aid in violence prevention.

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2018 Homicide Data

May 18, 2021

The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and young adults is a national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities. To educate the public and policymakers about the reality of black homicide victimization, each year the VPC releases Black Homicide Victimization in the United States, which details state by state the circumstances of all reported homicides with black victims.Our research shows the black homicide victimization rate is four times the national homicide victimization rate, and more than six times the homicide victimization rate for whites. More than 85 percent of black homicide victims are shot and killed with guns. These facts are both appalling and unacceptable. An important part of ending the gun violence epidemic is to reduce homicides in the African-American community.

American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States (7th Edition 2020)

July 23, 2020

Murder-suicides are a shockingly common form of gun violence in the United States — an estimated 11 such incidents each week. VPC research has found that more than 1,200 Americans die in murder-suicides each year. Nine out of 10 murder-suicides involve a gun. In nearly two-thirds of all murder-suicides, an intimate partner of the shooter is among the victims.No comprehensive national database or tracking system exists to systematically document the toll in death and injury of murder-suicides in the United States. In order to more fully understand the human costs of these incidents, the VPC began collecting and analyzing news reports of murder-suicides, resulting in a series of studies titled American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States. The VPC has published seven editions of this study.

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data

June 1, 2020

This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2017. This is the first analysis of the 2017 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. This study is limited by the quantity and degree of detail in the information submitted.

Hispanic/Latino Suicide in California

September 30, 2019

The study offers an overview of the impact of suicide on Hispanics/Latinos in California and the role played by firearms.In addition to data for Hispanics/Latinos of all ages, the study also focuses on the 10 to 24 year old age group. The study also presents suicide data for other races/ethnicities in California — white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native.

Gun Violence in the Great Lakes States

April 1, 2019

This report offers select data on lethal gun violence in states located in the Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) drawn from Violence Policy Center (VPC) publications issued in 2018 as well as additional research. Types of gun death detailed in this report are: overall gun death (suicides, homicides, and unintentional deaths); homicide; suicide; black homicide victimization; females killed by males; and, examples of non-self defense killings involving concealed handgun permit holders (for the years 2016, 2017, and 2018)

Lethal Hispanic/Latino Firearm Victimization in California

February 21, 2019

This study details the disproportionate impact of lethal gun violence on Hispanics/Latinos in California, most notably the 10- to 24-year-old age group. It also presents in-depth interviews with California experts on ways that data collection in the state can be improved, especially in terms of better identifying race and ethnicity and integrating different data sets to improve their utility, to offer a more complete picture of the full impact of gun death and injury on residents and aid violence-prevention efforts.The study also presents lethal gun violence information for other races/ethnicities in California — white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native – and contains numerous historic tables detailing firearm mortality among these groups.

"Start Them Young": How the Firearms Industry and Gun Lobby are Targeting Your Children

February 18, 2016

This report documents ongoing efforts by the gun industry and gun lobby to market guns to children. In recent years these efforts have intensified with little regard for the lethal consequences: the use of guns by children and teens in suicides, homicides, fatal unintentional shootings, and even mass murder.The study reveals the scope of this marketing effort through: gun industry advertisements, catalog copy, articles, marketing documents, and quotes; NRA articles and materials for its "Junior Members" and other youth; articles "For Kids By Kids" in the youth-oriented gun publication Junior Shooters; and numerous photos.