10 Shocking Facts About Children and Gun Violence
Black youth are more likely to die from gunfire than others.
The deadly mass shooting of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., has refocused the nation on the spate of school shootings that have robbed young people across the country of their lives in the past decade. Unfortunately, school isn’t the only place where America’s youth are being gunned down. Every day, children die of gun violence in their homes, neighborhoods and elsewhere. Each year, the Children’s Defense Fund examines the impact that gun violence has on the nation’s children. Below are 10 notable facts the CDF has identified about American children and gun violence. The year 2009 is the most recent year for which data was available.
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Guns took the lives of 2,947 youth in 2008. The following year 2,793 youth died from gunshots.
Black youth are disproportionately victims of gun violence. From 2008 to 2009, they comprised 45 percent of youth gun victims. Nationwide, however, they only make up 15 percent of the youth population.
More black teens between the ages of 15 and 19 die because of gun violence than any other reason.
Guns killed 173 preschoolers from 2008 to 2009. That’s more than the 89 law enforcement agents killed in the line of duty during the same period.
In 2008 and 2009, 5,750 U.S. youth died from gun violence, which is more than the number of servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the same period.
The United States leads Western nations in deaths from gun violence. The country is home to 87 percent of gun-related fatalities in children under the age of 15.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 2006 and 2007, the cities of New Orleans, St. Louis, Oakland, Newark, Baltimore, Richmond, Miami, District of Columbia, Detroit and Cincinnati led the nation in gun deaths of youth between the ages of 10 and 19.
From 2006 to 2007, the homicide by gun rate of youth between the ages of 10 and 19 was three times as high in major U.S. cities as it was nationwide.
The good news about children and gun violence is that the number of youths killed by gunfire dropped in 2009 to 13,791 from a high of 20,596 in 2008.