Gun violence has affected most families in the US, new survey finds
Most families in the U.S. have been affected by gun violence, according to a new survey.
According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, gun violence is a major concern in the United States. The majority of families have experienced a gun incident.
A family member was killed by a firearm in nearly 1 in 5 cases, including homicides and suicides. The survey revealed that about the same number of adults had been personally threatened by a gun and 1 in 6 had witnessed a shooting injury.
This new report is released less than 24 hours after an attack in Louisville, Kentucky that left at least four people dead. In recent years, mass shootings have increased and reached a record rate in 2023. According to the Gun Violence Archive there have been 146 incidents this year. More than 200 people were killed and hundreds injured.
Federal data show that about half of gun-related deaths result from suicides. The suicide rate is also on the rise, after years of decline. It has returned to near record levels.
These tragic trends are part and parcel of an epidemic in the US that is now more deadly than ever. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were almost 49,000 gun-related fatalities in 2021 - a 23% increase over the two-year period during the Covid-19 epidemic.
According to the KFF survey, a vast majority of adult respondents worry that they or someone they know will be a victim of firearm violence at least occasionally. A quarter of parents with children under 18 worry daily or almost every day.
In 2020, gun violence will surpass car accidents as the number one cause of death for children and teenagers in the US. According to a recent KFF study, firearms are not among the top four causes for death in children anywhere else.
Guns are also responsible for a wide range of deaths. Recent research found that in 2021, the firearm death rate for young Black men in the US was 10 times higher.
According to a new KFF study, Black adults have a higher likelihood than White adults of having lost a loved to gun violence or personally witnessing someone being shot.
Black people are particularly affected by this disparity. According to the KFF survey, one in six Black adults feel unsafe in their neighborhood. This is a higher percentage than that of Hispanic or White adults. A third of Black and Hispanic adult say they worry every day or almost everyday that a member of their family will be a victim to gun violence. About 1 in 5 adults believe that gun-related crimes and injuries are a constant danger for the local community.
Despite the lack of prevention measures, they are still lacking.
The new survey revealed that about three quarters of adult gun owners store their guns in ways that go against common safety practices. For example, they may leave them unlocked or have the gun already loaded. Only 5% of adult respondents said that they had been educated by a healthcare professional about gun safety.