In-depth: Gun violence in America

by Taji Owens
edited by Mike Levitt

If you compare the US vs. to the world, the US is far and away the most violent due to gun-related deaths and injuries.

(Photo: WRDW)

According to, there have been an eye-raising total of 47,165 incidents due to gun violence.

23,958 of the gun incidents involved injuries. 11,797 of the 47,165 involved deaths, which consisted of suicides and murders. Here are some of the statistics behind the gun violence.

There were 371 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870 according to the Mass Shooting Tracker. A mass shooting is defined as a single shooting incident which kills or injures four or more people, including the assailant.

There were 64 school shootings in 2015. These figures included when a gun was fired but no one was hurt.

Some 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured (these figures exclude suicide). These figures are likely to rise by several hundred, once incidents in the final week of the year are counted.

The number of gun murders per capita in the US in 2012, the most recent year for comparable statistics, was nearly 30 times that in the UK, at 2.9 per 100,000 compared with just 0.1. Of all the murders in the US in 2012, 60% were by firearm compared with 31% in Canada, 18.2% in Australia, and just 10% in the UK.

So many people die annually from gunfire in the US that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. According to research by Politifact, there were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq.

The US spends more than a trillion dollars per year defending itself against terrorism, which kills a tiny fraction of the number of people killed by ordinary gun crime. 11,385 people died on average annually in firearm incidents in the US between 2001 and 2011. In the same period, an average of 517 people were killed annually in terror-related incidents. Removing 2001, when 9/11, occurred from the calculation produces an annual average of just 31.






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