Gun violence statistics in the United States tell a sobering story of murder and mayhem. Between mass shootings, armed robberies, and domestic disputes, thousands of people die because of guns each year. American citizens own more firearms than any other nation by far, and America's murder rate using these guns is higher than almost every other nation. By contrast, far fewer crimes are prevented using guns than committed with them – and this falls particularly hard on women and young children.
However, the facts about guns in America aren't that one-sided. The murder rate in the US is dropping, and has been for almost 20 years, though it's not clear why. Not only that, but gun ownership in the US is declining – but again, nobody knows by how much or why, exactly. Even with these drops, the numbers about gun violence in the US are alarming.Here are some of the most compelling facts about gun ownership in the US. What they mean will likely always be up for debate.
Over 30,000 Gun-Related Deaths Occur Every Year
It's difficult to calculate exactly how many people die due to gun violence each year, but the annual average is estimated to be around 33,880.
Mass Shootings Are On The Rise
FBI reports indicate mass shootings are on the rise since 2000; the number has increased from around 6.4 annual shootings to 16.4. As Vox points out, mass shootings are so frequent in America that they average out to about one per day.
Americans Are More Likely To Be Killed By Guns Than People Of Any Other Developed Nation
Research published by the American Journal of Medicine in 2016 found that US residents are much more likely to be killed by guns than residents of other developed countries. In fact, Americans are 25 times more likely to die by gun violence.
The US Has More Privately-Owned Guns Than Any Other Nation
While the numbers can't be pinned down with certainty, even general statistics bear out that US citizens own far more guns than any those of other nation. According to a Small Arms Survey, the United States possesses approximately 42% of the world's privately-owned guns – despite having just 4.43% of the world's population.