Gun Violence and Youth

A recent report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) reveals that guns will kill more Americans under 25 than cars in 2015.

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As The Economist recently reported,

There are about 320m people in the United States, and nearly as many civilian firearms. And although the actual rate of gun ownership is declining, enthusiasts are keeping up the number in circulation.”

But it gets worse. Again, according to The Economist:

The group Everytown for Gun Safety has investigated loopholes in online gun sales and found that one in 30 users of Armslist classifieds has a criminal record that forbids them to own firearms.”

It should be noted that the figures on gun violence do not include police shootings. As a reporter in The Washington Post observes, “there is no reliable national data on how many people are shot by police officers each year.” The article also adds:

Several independent trackers, primarily journalists and academics who study criminal justice, insist the accurate number of people shot and killed by police officers each year is consistently upwards of 1,000 each year.”

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Overall, however, it is young people who suffer disproportionally from the proliferation of guns in the U.S. As the CAP points out:

On average, 33,000 Americans are killed with guns each year, and the burden of this violence falls disproportionately on young people: 54 percent of people murdered with guns in 2010 were under the age of 30.”

Furthermore, the risk of gun violence falls disproportionately on African American males. Young black men between the ages of 15 and 24 are killed by a gun at a rate 4.5 times higher than their white counterparts.

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