I ask my readers to forgive me if I return once again to a subject that grieves me: American firearm deaths. According to the World Population Review website, “Gun-related deaths are tragically common. In 2019 alone [the most recent year for which I could find statistics], more than 250,000 people died as a result of firearms worldwide. Nearly 71% of gun deaths were homicides, about 21% were suicides, and 8% were unintentional firearms-related accidents.” That year, only one country outnumbered us in gunfire deaths, Brazil, with 49,436. We had 37,038. But in 2020, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far this year, the Gun Violence Archive reports, as of November 14, we have suffered 38,617 deaths from gun violence and 34,410 injuries.
When we look exclusively at high-income countries and territories with populations of 10 million or more, the U.S. ranks first in gunfire deaths. Accord to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the U.S. has a ratio of 4.12 per 100,000 killed by gunfire every year. That compares with 0.5 for Canada and 0.04 for the United Kingdom.
There is only one solution to this problem: reduce the number of guns in the hands of our citizens. Worldwide, the ratio between the number of guns held by the citizens and the number of people killed by gunfire is constant—the more guns, the more gun deaths. The U.S. has the highest number of guns per person in the world: 120.5 firearms for every 100 residents. We have more guns than people.
The facts dictate the answer: pass laws to require Americans to give up their guns. The sooner, the better.
More next time.