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“Most people who are shot in the U.S. survive their injuries, and yet we still don’t have close to enough information about nonfatal shootings,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, Research Director for Everytown for Gun Safety. “Better data on the number and distribution of these injuries is essential in order to understand American gun violence and how to prevent it. These estimates shed new light on just how many people shootings affect in the U.S. — and they underscore the need to give the Centers for Disease Control the necessary resources to conduct thorough research on this critical aspect of American gun violence.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also acknowledged the limitations of its nonfatal shooting data — including by removing 2016 and 2017 data on those injured by guns from their website. For 2015, the estimate of 84,997 nonfatal gun injuries was qualified by a confidence interval that ranged between 36,636 and 133,357 nonfatal gun injuries, a huge range that drew concern from researchers and lawmakers alike. The U.S. House has passed an appropriations bill that includes $50 million in funding for the CDC and National Institute of Health for research on gun violence, but the Senate has not acted to fund this important priority.
In the absence of reliable nonfatal estimates, Everytown used data from a federal database of roughly 30 million hospital discharge records to estimate the total number of nonfatal firearm injuries, as well as injuries by demographic group. Among other takeaways, the analysis found:
- For those living in the lowest-income neighborhoods, the likelihood of being wounded in a shooting is seven times higher than those living in the highest-income neighborhoods.
- One in six gun injuries involves a child or teen.
- Half of all injuries took place in one region, the American South. In fact, the South has the highest rate of nonfatal firearm injuries, with 30.5 injuries per 100,000 people—about 2.5 times that of the lowest region: the Northeast.
Read the full report here.
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund seeks to improve our understanding of the causes of gun violence and the means to reduce it – by conducting groundbreaking original research, developing evidence-based policies, and communicating this knowledge to the American public. Learn more at www.EverytownResearch.org.