Gun Violence


In 1992, 5,262 of five to nineteen-year-olds in the United States died from gunshot wounds. Of these:

  • 62 percent of the violent acts were homicides
  • 27 percent of the violent acts were suicides
  • 9 percent of the violent acts were unintentional injuries
  • 2 percent of the violent acts were the result of undetermined causes
  • Twice as many children in the United States under ten years of age died as the result of firearm injuries in 1991 as US soldiers were killed in the Persian Gulf and Somalia combined.(1)

  • Suicide is nearly 5 times more likely to occur in households where a gun is present (8) with approximately 60% of all suicides in the United States involving guns.(9)
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that in 1995 for every firearm-related homicide, there were 3.3 nonfatal firearm injuries (10).
  • Approximately 80 percent of the medical cost for treatment of firearm-related injuries is paid for by taxpayers (11),

Information Sources

(1) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (1995). Injury Mortality: National Summary of Injury Mortality Data, 1986-1992. Atlanta Georgia: Centers for Disease control and Prevention.

(2-4) The State of America's Children Yearbook 1994, Children's Defense Fund, Washington, DC.

(5) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Rates of Homicide, Suicide, and Firearm-related death among children in 26 industrialized countries." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, February 7, 1997.

(6) US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Guns Used in Crime: Firearms, Crime and Criminal Justice-Selected Findings. 1995.

(7) Wintemute, GJ. Firearms as a cause of death in the United States, 1920-1982. Journal of Trauma. 1987.

(8) Crime in the United States 1995, Uniform Crime Reports, US Department of Justice (Washington, DC).

(9) Kellerman, AL et al. Suicide in the house in relation to gun ownership. New England Journal of Medicine. August 12, 1992.

(10) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Deaths resulting from firearm- and motor-vehicle-related injuries: United States, 1968-1991. Vol. 4, 1994

(11) US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Firearm Injury from Crime. April, 1996.

(12) Wintemute, GJ et al. Initial and Subsequent Hospital Costs of Firearm Injuries. Journal of Trauma. October, 1992.

(13) Kizer, KW et al. Hospitalization charges, costs, and income for firearm-related injuries at a university trauma center. JAMA. June, 1995.

(14) National Center for Health Statistics. Advance data from vital and health statistics, no. 242. 1994.