Gun violence in the United States shot to a record high in 2017, claiming nearly 40,000 lives, a new analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found.
On an average day, more than 90 people are killed with guns in the U.S. – about 1,300 per year, the CDC’s latest figures show. The 39,773 people who were killed by guns in 2017 marks the highest level of gun violence since the U.S. began coding gun-related deaths in national mortality data in 1979.
Analyzing the CDC data by race and gender, CNN found that white males made up 23,927 of the gun deaths in 2017 – about 60 percent. These numbers include suicide, accidental shooting deaths, law-enforcement-related gun deaths, and undetermined deaths.
Gun suicides were the highest among white males by far at 14 per 100,000, a CNN analysis of the CDC data determined. Suicides were second-highest among Native American/Native Alaskan men (9.3 per 100,000), followed by black men (6.1 per 100,000).
Gun-related homicides were highest among black men by an alarming margin – 33 per 100,000, compared to the second-highest rate of 4.8 per 100,000 for Native American/Native Alaskan men, and 3.5 per 100,000 for both white men and black women.
“In 2017, nearly 109 people died every single day from gun violence. Gun violence is a public health epidemic that requires a public health solution, which is why we must immediately enact and implement evidence-based interventions — like permit-to-purchase policies and extreme risk laws,” Adelyn Allchin, the director of public health research for the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, said in a written statement.
“Gun violence has been part of our day-to-day lives for far too long. It is way past time that elected leaders at every level of government work together to make gun violence rare and abnormal.”