On December 14, 2012, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, and killed twenty children and six adults before killing himself. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 2,654 mass shootings since then, with 2,908 killed and 11,088 wounded.
The Gun Violence Archive (GVA) defines mass shootings as events in which four or more people are killed or injured, excluding the shooter. GVA looks at the full breadth of gun-related incidents in the United States, including gang violence, crime, and domestic violence. Surprisingly, even as crime and murder rates drop, mass gun violence has skyrocketed, and no state in the union has been immune. Since 2013, the longest period of time without a mass shooting was 11 days, from January 8 to January 18, 2013.
The U.S. far outstrips all other developed countries in gun-related deaths per 100,000 people. Why, in the United States, are there so many gun-related deaths? The reasons are both simple and complex. Most obviously, we just have more guns – a lot more guns.
According to the Small Arms Survey of 2017, for every 100 civilians, there were 120 firearms in civilian hands – more guns than people. By contrast, the per capita rate for virtually all other countries was under 40, with many European countries under 20 guns per capita. England and Wales have less than 5.
The presence of fewer guns suggests fewer shootings. But there are other reasons for gun-related deaths, involving the complex issues of culture, differing laws across the country, spotty enforcement of existing laws, and poor mental health services. These various problems present themselves in the sad statistics.
In 2016, per the CDC, 39,000 people died of gun-related injuries. As startling and frightening as mass shootings are, just 451 deaths, or 2% of the total, were from mass shooting incidents. Some 14,000 were homicides, and most heartbreaking, approximately 23,000 were suicides – nearly 60% of total deaths.
While experts wrestle with solutions to this tragic rate of gun violence, we all need to take precautions to protect ourselves as much as possible: as individuals, companies, public building managers, and commercial property owners.
Every place of business or public location must have state-of-the-art security systems in place to protect staff and visitors. Security personnel must be well-trained to properly use security technology. And individuals should remain vigilant and be well-versed in safety and emergency protocols for when shots are fired.
If you would like to learn how the ZeroEyes AI gun detection technology can help you protect your people and your property from gun-related incidents, contact us today.