The Facts About Firearm Violence

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FACT: In 2007 there were1,032 gun deaths in the state of Illinois, a 0.39% decrease from 2006 Illinois gun deaths 1,036. The 2007 Illinois gun deaths included 575 homicides (56% of all IL gun deaths), 423 suicides (41% of all IL gun deaths), and 21 unintentional shootings, 7 legal intervention, and 6 of undetermined intent (3% of all IL gun deaths).

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2010.)

FACT: In 2007, there were 31,224 gun deaths in the U.S, a increase from the 2006 total of 31,224: 12,632 homicides (40% of total deaths), 17,352 suicides (56% of total deaths), 613 unintentional shootings (2% of total deaths), 321 from legal intervention (1.1% of total deaths) and 276 from undetermined intent (.9% of total deaths).

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2010.)

FACT: In 2007, incidents of gun murders, gun suicides, and unintentional shootings in Illinois killed 150 children and adolescents ages 19 and younger, a 2% decrease from the 2006 total of 154 in this age group. Nationwide for 2007, gun violence killed 3,067 American children and teens ages 19 and under, a decrease of 4.7% from the nationwide 2006 total of 3,218 this means that in the U.S. an average of almost 9 young people are killed each day by guns.

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2010.)

FACT: Suicide is still the leading cause of firearm death in the U.S., representing 55.6% of total 2007 gun deaths nationwide. In 2007, the U.S. firearm suicide total was 17,352, an increase from 2006 total of 16,883 gun suicides. Total gun suicides in Illinois for 2007 were 423, an increase of 13.7% from the 2006 number 372. Over half of suicides in the U.S. are committed with firearms.

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2010; and the American Association of Suicidology.)

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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