Washington, D.C., April 8, 2020 – Today, Brady marks National Public Health Week by thanking the hundreds of thousands of public health workers across the country for their courageous and tireless work during the coronavirus pandemic. In recognition of these workers’ tireless efforts, Brady urges all Americans to follow the evidence-based advice of public health officials to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Given the current strain on our healthcare system and the unabated pace of shootings across the country, Brady stresses the importance of reducing gun violence in all of its forms, particularly gun death and injury from Family Fire.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“National Public Health Week emphasizes the importance of public health workers and the critical importance of public health. During this time of extreme stress on our healthcare systems when all front line health care workers are attempting to manage the surge of patients with Coronavirus, it is also a stark reminder that many are also helping to treat patients injured by gun violence and are managing the strain on systems while our gun violence epidemic continues.
Gun violence is a public health crisis. Every day, over 300 people are shot and over 100 killed by gun violence across the United States. According to the CDC, 39,740 people died from gun violence in 2018. In that same year, we know that approximately 24,172 of those deaths were gun suicides. We also know that incidents of Family Fire, gun injuries and deaths due to unsecured weapons in the home, can be prevented by keeping firearms stored locked and unloaded, with ammunition locked separately.
Our nation’s gun violence epidemic hasn’t stopped during this pandemic, and at this time we must all do our part to ensure that we do not add to the strain on our healthcare system. For gun owners, that means safe storage for guns we have at home. When we are checking in on our friends and loved ones, we must ask if there are unlocked guns in the home and make sure our friends and neighbors know of the life-saving importance of safe storage. Improvements in safe storage practices among gun owners, such as locking all household firearms, can save lives. Keeping guns locked and unloaded reduces family fire risk by 73 percent among youth.
Right now, we all must do our part. An easy place to start is properly storing firearms, whether we’re modeling safe storage in our own homes, or asking loved ones to do so in theirs.”
About Family Fire:
Incidents of Family Fire are shootings involving improperly stored or misused guns in the home. Unintentional shootings, suicide, and intentional shootings are all components of Family Fire. For more information visit: EndFamilyFire.org
Family Fire Statistics:
- 4.6 million children live in homes with access to an unlocked or unsupervised gun.
- 1 in 5 parents who said their child never handled guns without supervision were contradicted by their child’s reports.
- Eight children and teens are injured or killed every day due to an unlocked or unsupervised gun in the home.
- 51 percent of all suicide fatalities are by firearm and 60 percent of all gun deaths are suicides.
- The risk of death by suicide is three times greater for those in homes with loaded firearms than for those in homes with unloaded guns.
- Individuals living in homes where guns are stored unlocked have double the risk of dying from suicide than those where firearms are locked up.
- Improvements in safe storage practices among gun owners, such as locking all household firearms, could reduce family fire fatalities among youth by as much as 32 percent.
Facts About Guns and Suicide:
- Every day in the United States, 63 people die from self inflicted gunshot injuries. 60 percent of all gun deaths annually are a result of suicide.
- Gun suicides account for half of all suicide deaths in the United States. In 2018, 48,344 people died by suicide and 24,432 of those deaths involved a firearm.
- The availability of firearms and their lethality greatly increases the risk of death in a suicide attempt. While less than 10 percent of all suicidal acts are fatal, 90 percent of suicidal acts with a firearm result in death.
- White men make up 85 percent of suicide by gun victims, and men over 40 make up about two-thirds of suicide victims.
- Every day, twenty-two veterans die by suicide. Fifteen of those twenty-two veterans (69%) use a gun. Veterans make up less than 8% of the U.S. population, but they account for 25% of the nation’s gun suicide deaths.
- More than two children and teens a day die by gun suicide, half of whom are under the age of 16.
For more information about how to End Family Fire through safe storage, visit EndFamilyFire.org
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.