99.85% Americans will be impacted by gun-violence

27 Oct 2016 | By Supriya Kaur

According to a recent study at the Boston University (Study), nearly every single American will know at least one victim of gun violence.

Victims of gun violence are not just those who've been injured or those who lost their lives but even those who're 'on the periphery'.

This if the first time a study has shown extent of gun-violence's impact on individual American lives.

In context: Gun-violence likely to impact over 99 percent Americans

Key statisticsGun-violence in America an epidemic

According to Centers for Disease Control, 30,000 gun related deaths are reported annually in the US.

Additionally, a mind-boggling number of 80,000 non-fatal injuries are also reported yearly.

According to a recent study, compared to residents of 22 high-income countries, Americans are 10 times more likely to die due to firearms.

Of all gun-related deaths in these 23 countries, over 80% occur in America.

Depressing realityHomicide and suicide rates

A comparison between US and 22 high-income countries with respect to gun-violence throws up alarming points of contrast.

The average gun homicide rate in US was 25 times higher; in the age group of 15- 24, the gun homicide-rate in America was at a shocking 49 times higher.

Suicide rates that were firearm-related were nearly 8 times higher in the US.

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US firearm death rate keeps climbing

Compared to estimates from 2003, the firearm death rates in the US remain steady whereas gun-related death rates in other countries have lowered. Hence, between 2003-2010, the rates of firearm homicide, suicide and unintentional deaths in US, compared to other high-income countries, has infact increased.

27 Oct 201699.85% Americans will be impacted by gun-violence

DetailsThe Study: How was it done?

To comprehensively determine impact of gun-violence, the researchers collated two kinds of data.

Firstly, statistics of direct victims of gun violence, both fatal and non-fatal injury rates, were collected at the national level.

Secondly, researchers then calculated the average size of an American's social network.

Researchers also took into consideration the average number of stable relationships and the ethnicities people tend to associate with.

HighlightsObservations of the Study

Researchers determined that an American would know 270-312 people over a lifetime and almost no one could expect to be spared impact of gun-violence.

The Study concluded that more people are likely to know a survivor of a firearm-injury than one who died due to it.

Another key observation: compared to whites/Hispanics, African-Americans were likely to know at least one gun-violence victim who died.

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Could the Study change things?

Kalesan, Weinberg and Gale, authors of the Study, hoped that it "might inform our national conversation to recognize that nearly all Americans, of all racial/ethnic groups will know a victim of gun violence in their social network. This should bring the issue closer to home."