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Firearms recently became the number one cause of death for children in the United States, surpassing motor vehicle deaths and those caused by other injuries.We examine how gun violence and other types of firearm deaths among children and teens in the United States compares to rates in similarly large and wealthy countries. We select comparable large and wealthy countries by identifying Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member nations with above median GDP and above median GDP per capita in at least one year from 2010-2020. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Wonder database and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study data, we compare fatality rates and disability estimates for people ages 1 through 19. (Since estimates were not available for children ages 1-17 alone, young adults ages 18 and 19 are grouped with children for the purposes of this brief).We find that the United States is alone among peer nations in the number of child firearm deaths. In no other similarly large or wealthy country are firearm deaths in the top 4 causes of mortality let alone the number 1 cause of death among children.
Concerns about adolescent mental health and substance use have increased recently, particularly in light of gun violence and the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years, many adolescents have experienced worsened emotional health, increased stress, and a lack of peer connection. Other mental health and substance use concerns are on the rise – including drug overdose deaths, self-harm, and eating disorders. Simultaneously, adolescents are spending more time on screens and many report adverse experiences such as parental abuse, hunger, and job loss – all of which can be linked to poor mental health outcomes.This brief explores the state of adolescent mental health and substance use in recent years, highlighting differences observed by sex, racial and ethnic groups, and sexual orientation. Throughout this analysis, we define adolescents as individuals ages 12 to 17. Although data on adolescent mental health is limited, where possible, we draw upon data from the 2020 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), which asks parents or guardians questions on behalf of their children and adolescents. We also include data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other surveys conducted during the pandemic.
Firearm suicide is having a devastating impact on American youth. Over the past decade, the firearm suicide rate among young people has increased faster than among any other age group. Today, youth firearm suicide has reached its highest rate in more than 20 years. As students continue to navigate changes in school learning environments--a result of the ongoing challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic--there is concern that the anxiety and loneliness already felt by many young people will continue to increase. This comes at the same time as an unprecedented surge in gun sales in the US, raising concern about the already growing rates of firearm suicide.But suicide, including firearm suicide, can be prevented. We know that removing access to firearms, a particularly lethal means, is the easiest and quickest intervention. We can save lives by implementing policies that limit easy and immediate access to firearms, increasing awareness of suicide risk factors, improving access to culturally appropriate mental health care, and supporting America's youth.
This report illustrates the enormous toll gun violence has in the U.S. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the 2020 CDC firearm fatality data, which was made public in December 2021; a look at demographic and state-level geographic differences; and a comparison of other injury fatalities. The report also highlights evidence-based policy recommendations states can implement to help curb gun violence in all its forms.
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.
This report is divided into five sections discussing bereavement and grief from gun death, healing after gun injuries, living in fear of gun violence, the impact of persistent gun violence, and recommendations for how to better support survivors and prevent violence.We strive to center the experiences of survivors, and through this work we hope to honor them by providing a deeper understanding of who they are, what they have experienced, and how we can better support them.
IntroductionChild Access Prevention Negligent Storage (CAP-NS) laws seek to reduce pediatric firearm injury by imposing sanctions on gun owners if children gain access to unlocked guns. Whether these laws affect the storage behavior they aim to encourage is not known because historical panel data on firearm storage do not exist. As a result, assessing how much, if at all, firearm storage changed because of CAP-NS laws requires an indirect approach.MethodsData for this study came from a web-based survey conducted by the research firm Ipsos from July 30, 2019 to August 11, 2019. Respondents were adult gun owners drawn from an online sampling frame comprising approximately 55,000 U.S. adults recruited using address-based sampling methods to be representative of the U.S. population. The primary outcome was the proportion of gun owners in CAP-NS versus non-CAP-NS states who had ≥1 unlocked firearm. Estimates are presented by CAP-NS status, for gun owners overall and for those who live with children, before and after adjusting for potential confounders. Data were analyzed in 2021.ResultsIn adjusted analyses, gun owners in CAP-NS states were no more likely to lock firearms than were those in states without these laws. In addition, most gun owners reported not knowing whether they lived in a state with a CAP-NS law.ConclusionsCAP-NS laws have at best modest effects on firearm storage. If the storage effect is as small as this study indicates, the mortality benefits previously attributed to CAP-NS laws are overstated. As such, developing interventions that effectively reduce firearm mortality by reducing access to firearms remains an urgent clinical and public policy priority.
Gun violence is a public health crisis impacting every corner of the state. Though every Washingtonian is impacted by the gun violence epidemic, we are not impacted equally. These numbers help illustrate the crisis in our communities.
Nonfatal gunshot wounds account for an enormous portion of the gun violence epidemic in America but they have not been an integral part of the conversation. This is, in part, because there is no centralized system for tracking nonfatal firearm injuries and no place to look up the number, type, and location of these injuries as a basis to analyze the data and use it to shape effective responses. Everytown has filled this critical gap with data and analysis using several federal datasets that are not readily available to the public.
Gun violence is a leading cause of death in the United States. Risk-based policies that help to create time and space between an at-risk individual and a firearm have great life-saving potential nationwide. A growing body of research suggests that extreme risk laws are valuable gun violence prevention tools.
This guide serves as a viewer supplement to the exhibition American Epidemic: Guns in the United States and can be used for engaging with the exhibition virtually or in person. The guide includes information about the works on view, questions for looking and discussion, classroom activities, and suggested readings.
In the fall of 2020, Arnold Ventures, a philanthropy dedicated to maximizing opportunity and minimizing injustice, and NORC at University of Chicago, an objective nonpartisan research institution, released the Blueprint for a US Firearms Infrastructure (Roman, 2020). The Blueprint is the consensus report of an expert panel of distinguished academics, trailblazing practitioners, and government leaders. It describes 17 critical reforms required to modernize how data about firearms violence of all types (intentional, accidental, and self-inflicted) are collected, integrated and disseminated. This project, which is also supported by Arnold Ventures, takes the conceptual priorities described in the Blueprint and proposes specific new steps for implementation.The first step in building a better firearms data infrastructure is to acknowledge where we currently stand. In The State of Firearm Data in 2019 (Roman, 2019), the expert panel found that while there are a substantial number of data sources that collect data on firearms violence, existing datasets and data collections are limited, particularly around intentional injuries. There is some surveillance data, but health data on firearms injuries are kept separately from data on crimes, and there are few straightforward ways to link those data. Data that provide context for a shooting--where the event took place, and what the relationship was between victim and shooter--are not available alongside data on the nature of injuries. Valuable data collections have been discontinued, data are restricted by policy, important data are not collected, data are often difficult to access, and contemporary data are often not released in a timely fashion or not available outside of specialized settings. As a result, researchers face vast gaps in knowledge and are unable to leverage existing data to build the evidence base necessary to adequately answer key policy questions and inform firearms policymaking.In the Blueprint, the expert panel developed a set of recommendations organized around a reconceptualization of how data are collected and who collects data. The broad themes from the Blueprint are as follows:Almost all surveillance data in health and criminal justice is generated locally. It is a high priority to provide information, technical assistance, implementation supports, and funding to state and local governments to improve their collections.Comprehensive monitoring of all federal data collections is needed to ensure that important data elements are being collected, data gaps are being addressed, and quality issues are quickly resolved.Timely dissemination of key data is important, including the development of guidelines to ensure consistency across collections and that resources are made available to speed reporting for collections with historical delays.Improvement is needed in strategic communication about the purpose and use of data to federal agencies, researchers and to the general public.The current report builds on the Blueprint by developing implementation guidance for key recommendations. Where the Blueprint included actionable recommendations, such as naming discontinued surveys that should be resurrected, this report develops specific recommendations for implementation. The report is centered on three topics that were the highest priority for the expert panel but that required additional research before guidance could be disseminated. The research findings from that additional investigation are reported here, and recommendations to facilitate implementation are described. The three topic areas are as follows:The creation of a nonfatal firearms injury databaseIncreasing the quality, availability, and usefulness of firearms data for research and policyPractical steps for building state capacity and infrastructure to use data for evidence-based decision-making