According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people died from gun-related injuries last year than in any other year previously recorded.
According to reporting by the New York Times:
There were 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, up by more than 1,000 from the year before. Nearly two-thirds were suicides. It was the largest yearly total on record in the C.D.C.’s electronic database, which goes back 50 years, and reflects the sheer number of lives lost.
When adjusted for population size, the rate of gun deaths in 2017 also increased slightly to 12 deaths for every 100,000 people, up from 11.8 per 100,000 in 2016. By this measure, last year had the highest rate of firearm deaths since the mid-1990s, the data showed.
It was the third consecutive year that the rate of firearm deaths rose in the United States, after remaining relatively steady throughout the 2000s and the first part of this decade.
The CDC only has records for the past 50 years, making this the highest amount of gun deaths in their recorded history.
Suicide has historically made up the majority of gun-related deaths. As TIME reports:
Firearms are exacerbating the suicide rate because of their wide availability in the U.S. and their relative efficacy compared to other methods, says David M. Studdert, a health law policy expert and professor at Stanford University. “The chances of dying of suicide by gun are very high,” he says. “Women attempt suicide more than men, but they have far lower rates because they employ less lethal means.”
It’s worth noting that in the mid-90s, under pressure from the National Rifle Association, Congress stopped the CDC from being able to conduct research on gun violence.
CNN also dove deeper into the statistics from the report, showing a breakdown of where and how the deaths are occurring.
CNN’s analysis also showed that, within the total number of deaths, 23,854 people died from suicide by guns in 2017, the highest number in 18 years. That’s a difference of more than 7,000 deaths compared with 16,599 suicide deaths by guns in 1999.
When the data are analyzed by race and gender, they show that white men made up 23,927 of the total 39,773 firearm deaths last year, including suicides.
But of course, the NRA claims the answer isn’t better gun regulation. It’s always… Something else.
The facts are clear: Gun control laws are not the answer. If we want to prevent more horrific acts of violence our leaders need to stop demonizing the men and women of the @NRA and find solutions that will save lives. https://t.co/No0RZTnowf
— NRA (@NRA) December 13, 2018
The facts are clear: Gun control laws are not the answer. If we want to prevent more horrific acts of violence our leaders need to stop demonizing the men and women of the @NRA and find solutions that will save lives.