Firearm Violence

FACT: In 2013 there were 1117 gun deaths in the State of Illinois, a 5.18% decrease from 2012 Illinois gun deaths 1,178. The 2013 Illinois gun deaths included 576 homicides (nearly 52% of all IL gun deaths), 496 suicides (44% of all IL gun deaths), and 18 unintentional shootings, 16 legal intervention (1% of all IL gun deaths), and 11 reported with undetermined intent (just less than 1% of all IL gun deaths).

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013.)

FACT: In 2013, there were 33,636 gun deaths in the U.S, a increase from the 2012 total of 33,563: 11,208 homicides (33% of total gun deaths), 21,175 suicides (63% of total gun deaths), 505 unintentional shootings (less than 2% of total gun deaths), 467 from legal intervention (1% of total gun deaths) and 281 from undetermined intent (.8% of total gun deaths).

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013.)

FACT: In 2013, incidents of gun murders, gun suicides, and unintentional shootings in Illinois killed 151 children and adolescents ages 19 and younger, which represents a decrease from 2012 when there were a total of 165 in this age group. Nationwide for 2013, gun violence killed 2,465 American children and teens ages 19 and under, this means that in the U.S. an average of almost 7 young people are killed each day by guns.

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013.)

FACT: Suicide is still the leading cause of firearm death in the U.S., representing 63% of total 2013 gun deaths nationwide. In 2013, the U.S. firearm suicide total was 21,175, an increase from 2012 total of 20,666 gun suicides. Total gun suicides in Illinois for 2013 were 496, an increase of 1% from the 2012 number 490. Over half of suicides in the U.S. are committed with firearms.

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013.)

FACT: While handguns account for only one-third of all firearms owned in the United States, they account for more than two-thirds of all firearm-related deaths each year. A gun in the home is 4 times more likely to be involved in an unintentional shooting, 7 times more likely to be used to commit a criminal assault or homicide, and 11 times more likely to be used to attempt or commit suicide than to be used in self-defense.

(A Kellerman, et al. Journal of Trauma, August 1998; Kellerman AL, Lee RK, Mercy JA, et al. The Epidemiological Basis for the Prevention of Firearm Injuries. Annu.Rev Public Health. 1991; 12:17-40.)

FACT: A gun in the home increases the risk of homicide of a household member by 3 times and the risk of suicide by 5 times compared to homes where no gun is present.

(Kellerman AL, Rivara FP, Somes G, et al. Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun Ownership. NEJM. 1992; 327(7):467-472)

FACT: Despite popular belief, young children do possess the physical strength to fire a gun: 25% of 3-to-4-year-olds, 70% of 5-to-6-year-olds, and 90% of 7-to-8-year-olds can fire most handguns.

(Naureckas, SM, Christoffel, KK, et al. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 1995.)

FACT: 48% of gun-owning households with children do NOT regularly make sure that guns are equipped with child safety locks or other trigger locks.

(Peter Hart Research Associates poll, 1999.)

FACT: 59% of students in grades six through twelve know where to get a gun if they want one, and two thirds of these students say they can acquire a firearm within 24 hours.

(Harvard School of Public Health.)

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Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) is the oldest and largest statewide organization in the U.S. working to prevent the devastation caused by firearms. Founded in 1975 by four suburban Chicago women concerned about the tragic consequences of handgun proliferation and availability, ICHV works on a variety of fronts to educate, raise public awareness, and build coalitions to enact change in laws and behavior. For 40 years, ICHV has been a leader among state gun violence prevention groups.

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