Guest writer: Nouhad Melki
It was 2:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day. A fire alarm rang through the halls of Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, followed by gunfire. That gunfire left 17 kids dead and the shooter with 17 murder charges.
Here are 17 figures from Vox Media indicating that America has a gun crisis:
1: Between the years 2000 and 2014, the U.S. had 133 public mass shootings; that was more than Germany’s six and Canada’s three.
2: The U.S. has a bigger population than Germany or Canada. For every 1,000 people, 380 Americans were killed by guns; again, more than Germany’s 70 and Canada’s 90, estimates Vox Media.
3: Between 2010 and 2015, there was one mass shooting per 64 days. That rate was more frequent than between 1982 and 2010, when there was one per 200 days.
4: In 2015, there were 355 mass shootings in only 336 days. These trends strongly
indicate that gun violence is becoming more frequent and more lethal.
5: States with less gun control result in more gun deaths.
6: The inverse—states with more gun control have fewer gun deaths.
7: In states with more guns, more officers are killed on duty than in states with fewer guns.
8: States that had the highest rates of gun-inflicted suicides also had the most gun ownership between 2001 and 2005.
9: Developed countries with less gun control have more gun deaths.
10: Between 1999 and 2014, the rate of gun-inflicted suicides increased while steadily remaining more than rates of gun-inflicted homicides.
11: In 2013, 92 Americans were killed resulting from gun violence. Of the 92, one in three were homicides, almost half were mass shootings and approximately 58 were suicides.
12: Per 100,000 people, the U.S. has about six fatal gun-inflicted suicides out of 14 fatal suicides, Germany one in 12 and Canada two in 10.
13: Most suicide victims in the U.S. choose guns over alternative means, especially men and white women.
14: This one really hits home. In Indiana, between 1990 and 1997, fatal gun-inflicted suicides were far more fatal than alternative suicides: 96.5 percent of gun suicides—compared to 7.4 percent of poison and 5.1 percent of cutting—were fatal.
The point is, suicides in the U.S. are more fatal because of guns, especially compared to Germany and Canada.
15: This proposes a solution. Australia’s 1996 gun buyback initiative reduced gun suicide rates.
In 1990, there were three gun suicides per 100,000 people in Australia. In 1996, there were two per 100,000. In 2006, there was less than one per 100,000.
Despite these facts, the U.S. public is reluctant to shift its views on gun control.
16: According to the Pew Research Center, Americans have increased their support for more conservative gun rights since the 1990s.
17: Also from Pew Research, increasing trends of gun violence have not shifted public
opinion on gun control.
Those are the 17 facts and figures. Now speak for yourself.
Nouhad Melki is a freshman political science and journalism major from Bedford, Indiana.