Gun violence emerged as the dominant and deeply concerning issue throughout the entirety of 2023 in the United States. Unfortunately, at the six-month mark, a grim milestone has been reached, with the country experiencing the highest number of mass killings in any six months since at least 2006. This is an outcome that no one ever wished for or aimed to achieve.
Between January 1 and June 30, the United States endured a challenging period characterized by a series of distressing events. According to an analysis conducted by the Associated Press, there were 28 instances of mass killings during this time, with firearms being involved in nearly all of them. Tragically, the death toll seemed to increase every week, perpetuating a distressing cycle of violence and grief.
In surpassing the previous record of 27 mass killings in the second half of 2022, the year 2023 has unfortunately set a new and disheartening milestone.
According to a report conducted by the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey in 2018, it was revealed that the number of firearms owned by individuals in the United States reached 393.3 million. This figure surpasses the country’s current population, which stands at approximately 340 million people.
A study conducted by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that between January 2019 and April 2021, around 7.5 million Americans, accounting for just under three per cent of the population, became first-time gun owners.
According to an extensive analysis conducted by the Pew Research Center, there has been a distressing 50 per cent increase in the number of children and teenagers who have tragically lost their lives due to gunfire in the United States between 2019 and 2021. This analysis relied on the most recent annual mortality statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In 2019, before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of gun-related fatalities among children and teenagers under the age of 18 in the United States was recorded at 1,732. However, by 2021, this number had surged to an alarming 2,590.
The provided chart showcases the striking availability of deadly firearms within the United States. When comparing the firearm trade with the number of McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Subway outlets, it becomes apparent that the distribution of firearms surpasses even the widespread presence of burger or coffee chains. To provide some context, an astonishing 52,799 federal firearm dealers were spread throughout the United States in 2020.