These are important questions to answer. We need reliable gun violence data and statistics to truly understand America’s gun violence epidemic. That is why Brady relies on the most accurate resources available when examining how gun violence impacts the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides annual gunshot fatality statistics. Using data from the most recent years available (2014-2018), Brady established five-year averages to represent annual gunshot fatalities in the most accurate way possible. Brady uses the term ‘gunshot injuries’ rather than the more commonly used term ‘gun injuries’ to describe individuals who suffer from a gunshot wound. The term ‘gunshot injuries’ better reflects language used by medical professionals and law enforcement.
While Brady historically used CDC data to establish averages for gunshot injuries as well, recent findings show there are more accurate sources. Due to funding restrictions and other constraints, the sample size utilized by the CDC is so small one has to question its statistical significance. Data provided by Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s HCUPnet, and collected from emergency departments and databases, gives a more comprehensive picture of the way gunshot injuries affect those living in the U.S. The numbers below represent a three-year average of the most recent HCUPnet data available (2013, ‘14, and ‘16).
This difference in data source has had an impact on some of the gun violence statistics shared here compared to previous statistics reported by Brady. Amongst those differences, it is important to note that data reported for children and teens previously included 0-19 year olds, and now contains data only for 1-17-year-olds. This change is responsible for a significant decrease in the number of deaths and injuries reported in this category due to the high number of gunshot injuries found amongst 18-19 year olds.
Without seeing the numbers, it may be easier to dismiss the severity of our current gun violence epidemic. By sharing these gun violence statistics, our goal is to inform, educate, and to ignite change across the country. If these numbers anger and upset you as much as they do us, join our fight and take action against gun violence.
Every day, 313 people are shot in the United States. Among those:
Every day, 21 children and teens (1-17) are shot in the United States. Among those:
Every year, 114,328 people are shot. Among those:
Every year, 7,878 children and teens are shot in the United States. Among those:
*Legal intervention is defined by the CDC as: deaths due to injuries inflicted by police or other law enforcement agents, including military on duty, in the course of arresting or attempting to arrest lawbreakers, suppressing disturbances, maintaining order, and performing other legal actions. It excludes injuries caused by civil insurrections.
Note: The data historically collected by the federal government on fatal shootings is not comprehensive. CDC data on cause of death relies on the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). The NVSS tends to misclassify police involved shootings as homicides if law enforcement intervention is not mentioned on death certificates. Further, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) does not require local police departments to give full information about officer involved shootings as part of its homicide reports, and participation in the Uniform Crime Reporting System is voluntary. While the FBI has begun a pilot project to track fatal and non-fatal use of force by law-enforcement offices through an online national database, this information is not yet available.
**This number is a five-year average derived from Violence Policy Center’s “When Men Murder Women” analysis of FBI homicide data, 2013-17 (the five most recent years available for this).
Brady averaged the five most recent years of complete data from death certificates (2014-2018) available via CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html, and three most recent years of complete data from emergency department visits (2013, ‘14, and ‘16) available via the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s (HCUP’s) online query system, hcupnet.ahrq.gov. Numbers may not sum to 100% because of rounding of CDC averages.
Emergency department statistics on HCUPnet are from the HCUP Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD), and State Inpatient Databases (SID). All diagnoses of external cause of injury that patients receive in emergency departments are assigned an International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code. The assignments of specific ICD codes are reflected in the data shown here.