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Criminal Justice, Culture, Gun Control, Gun Violence, Media, Public Health, Public Policy, Science, Social Justice, Society, Uncategorized

25 Truly Shocking Statistics About Children And Guns In America

Sandy Hook School Shooting

This week marked the third anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a 20-year-old gunman armed with three semi-automatic weapons opened fire on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, murdering 20 children and six teachers as they sat in their classrooms. In the aftermath of this unthinkable tragedy, public support for stricter gun laws surged to the highest level in years. Sensible gun reform seemed all but inevitable at the time. And yet three years later, not a single step has been taken at the federal level to protect American children from the scourge of gun violence.

As the nation commemorates the somber anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, here are 25 numbers that reflect the frightening reality of gun violence for children in America:


Percent of all civilian-owned guns worldwide that are owned by Americans. This is despite the fact that the U.S. accounts for less than five percent of the global population.

40 Million

Number by which guns outnumber people in the United States. In 2013 there were an estimated 357 million firearms in the U.S., far exceeding the population of 317 million people. And according to the Washington Post, “these numbers are blind to firearms that enter and exit the country illegally, and to guns that break down, or are lost or destroyed” — meaning that the actual number of guns in the country is likely much higher.


Number of elementary school-aged children who have been shot to death in the three years since Sandy Hook, a rate of about one every other day.


Number of children and teens who die from gun violence annually — the equivalent of one Sandy Hook Massacre every three days.


Number of children hospitalized with gun injuries each day in the U.S, or about one every 90 minutes.


Number of children and teens killed by guns every single day in America.


Ratio of preschoolers to police officers killed by gun violence each year in the U.S.


Percent of all homicides of teens in the U.S. carried out with a firearm.


Number of times more likely American children (under 15 years-old) are to be killed by a gun than their same-age counterparts in all 25 of our peer nations combined.

One in five

Proportion of U.S. children and teens who have witnessed a shooting.


Percent of all child and adolescent firearm-related fatalities in the industrialized world that occur in the U.S., an increase from 86 percent two decades ago.


Percent of gun deaths among children (under 12 years) that occur at the hands of family members and acquaintances.

One in three

Proportion of of all U.S. households with children younger than 18 that have a gun.


Percent of those households that have at least one unlocked, loaded firearm.


Percent of parents with guns in their homes who are ignorant of, or indifferent to, the related dangers to their kids.

One in three

Proportion of children under age 10 living in homes with guns who know the location of their parents’ firearms.

2 Million

Number of children under age 14 who live in a home with an unlocked, loaded firearm.


Percent of school shootings carried out with firearms that were obtained from the attacker’s home.


Number of states with Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws that impose criminal liability when a minor gains access to a negligently stored firearm.


Percent reduction in unintentional firearm deaths among children (under 15 years-old) in states that have enacted CAP laws.


Number of federal CAP laws.


Number of states that have introduced “doctor gag order” laws in the three years since the Sandy Hook shooting. These laws–based on legislation drafted by the National Rifle Association–are meant to stop doctors from sharing potentially life-saving information on responsible gun storage practices with their patients.


Number of measures enacted by states to weaken gun laws since Sandy Hook.


Number of times Congress has taken a moment of silence for a mass shooting in the three years since Sandy Hook.


Number of gun control laws Congress has passed since Sandy Hook.



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"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge." -- Carl Sagan


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