Newswise – A new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions that analyzes 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data reveals another record year for gun deaths.
The 48,830 lives lost to firearms in 2021 — the second year of the pandemic — was the highest number on record and 3,608 higher than the total for 2020. Gun homicides and suicides reached on a long record. More than half of these deaths—26,328—were due to suicide, an increase of 2,036 in 2020 from firearm suicides. The firearm suicide rate rose 8.3 percent in 2021, the highest one-year increase in four decades.
By 2021, blacks in the US are nearly 14 times more likely to die by gun violence than their white counterparts. Young Black men ages 15-34 are most at risk. They are estimated to account for 36 percent of all gun homicides in 2021, but represent only two percent of the total US population. By 2021, guns will be responsible for 51 percent of all deaths among Black teens ages 15-19.
The Center, based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, used CDC data that became publicly available last January to analyze 2021 firearm deaths by age, sex, race, and area. The report, US Gun Violence in 2021: An Accounting of a Public Health Crisisis believed to be the most comprehensive analysis of the CDC’s 2021 firearms data to date.
The report comes at a time of heightened concern about gun violence in the US as mass shootings and other interpersonal gun violence, as well as gun suicides, continue to occur across the country. The report also includes evidence-based policy recommendations aimed at preventing firearm deaths.
The authors note that approximately 9,500 fewer people would be killed by guns in the US in 2021 if the gun homicide rate—the number of gun homicides per 100,000—remained where it was in 2014, when it reached a 40-year low.
“Our country is breaking records for all the wrong reasons – record gun sales coupled with increasingly permissive gun laws have made gun violence a pervasive part of our lives. country, leading to a sharp increase in gun deaths,” said Ari Davis, MPP, policy adviser at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions and the report’s lead author. “Perhaps the most troubling thing is that these spikes in homicides and suicides are almost certainly connected to guns.”
In 2021, guns continued to be the leading cause of death for children and adolescents ages 1–19 as well as young adults under the age of 25. -ages 15–34 have a gun homicide rate double the national average, accounting for three out of every five homicide deaths. This is driven by the high rate of gun deaths among Black people in these age groups.
For gun suicides in 2021, white males are most at risk, accounting for 70 percent of all gun suicide deaths, while making up 29 percent of the population. People age 75 and older are at the highest risk of gun suicide with a rate twice the national average.
For their report, the researchers analyzed 2021 firearm death data collected in the CDC’s Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) database, which is considered the most reliable national source of death data in gun available in the US The data, based on the death certificate, shows the main cause of death.
In addition to year-by-year analyses, the report examines CDC gun data from 2019 to 2021. In the first two years of the pandemic, guns alone were responsible for driving both suicide and homicide rates. in the US From 2019 to 2021, the gun homicide rate increased by 45 percent, while the non-gun homicide rate increased by 7 percent. Black and Hispanic/Latino people experienced the largest increases in gun homicide rates from 2019 to 2021—up 49 percent and 44 percent respectively.
From 2019 to 2021, the gun suicide rate increased by 10 percent, while the non-gun suicide rate decreased by eight percent. American Indians/Alaska Natives experienced the largest increase in gun suicide rates from 2019 to 2021, up 55 percent. The next highest increase was among Blacks. From 2019 to 2021, the suicide rate among Black people increased 38 percent from 2019.
The report emphasizes that effective gun violence prevention laws can help reduce gun violence. In a state-by-state comparison, the authors found that the highest rates of gun-related deaths tended to be in states with weaker gun laws and higher rates of gun ownership. , while gun-related death rates are lower where laws to prevent gun violence are stronger. . For example, in 2021 a person living in Mississippi is 10 times more likely to die by gun violence than a person living in Massachusetts.
The report recommends evidence-based policies to address gun violence including:
- Implement permit-to-purchase laws, also known as gun purchaser licensing.
- Use of Domestic Violence Protection Orders and Extreme Risk Protection Orders—sometimes called “red flag” laws—to temporarily remove firearms from individuals determined to be at high risk of violence.
- Investing in community violence intervention programs.
- Adopt child access control laws that mandate the safe storage of firearms in households with children and/or teenagers.
- Enact stronger concealed carry laws; and abolishing “stand-your-ground” laws.
“Every life lost to gun violence represents a family torn apart, a community suffering,” said Cassandra Crifasi, PhD, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions and a co -author of the report. “The data is clear that states with stronger gun violence prevention laws have lower rates of gun violence. Passing evidence-based solutions can help end unnecessary violence. -suffering that happened in all corners of our country.
“US Gun Violence in 2021: An Accounting of a Public Health Crisis” written by Ari Davis, Rose Kim, and Cassandra Crifasi, with contributions from Lisa Geller, Silvia Villarreal, and Tim Carey.
Trends USA Gun Liability
Interested in Gun Responsibility?
Get automatic alerts for this topic.