Un Fun Gun Facts

  • Only 4 of the 62+ mass shootings in the US during the last 30 years did not involve a semi-automatic weapon. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map


  • Gun assaults with semi-automatic weapons end up with roughly 10% more victims.  http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/9/2/151.full


University of Pennsylvania School of Public Health http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/ficap/resourcebook/pdf/monograph.pdf:

  • On the whole, carrying a firearm does not seem to guarantee protection; rather it may, on average, increase overall injury risk.


  • The correlation between firearm availability and rates of homicide is consistent across high income industrialized nations: in general, where there are more firearms, there are higher rates of homicide overall. The U.S. has among the highest rates of both firearm homicide and private firearm ownership. In 2001 an estimated 35% of U.S. households had a firearm.


  • Excluding firearm suicides, the rate of child suicide in the U.S. would be similar to that of other countries.


  • States with higher rates of household firearm ownership had significantly higher homicide victimization rates in multivariate analyses.


  • In 1997, handguns comprised about one-third of all firearms owned in the U.S. (65 million of 192 million total).


  • Firearms are present in about one third of American households. 61% of these households with firearms (or approximately 20% of all U.S. households in 2001) are estimated to have handguns.


  • Handguns are used in half of all homicides, approximately 70% of all firearm homicides, and 70% of all firearm suicides. Handguns account for 77% of all traced guns used in crime.


  • In a review of firearm homicides, semi-automatic pistols are associated with significantly greater wounds per gun than revolvers or long guns, perhaps related to greater magazine capacity.


  • Semi-automatic and automatic pistols are capable of inflicting greater injury, as more bullets can be fired in a shorter period of time. The increased use of semi-automatic weapons has resulted in changed wounding patterns with an increased number of bullet wounds per incident per body and a subsequent higher mortality.


  • A study of handgun type in assaults found an 15% increase in wounded victims for pistol use (i.e. semi-automatic handguns) compared to revolvers.  Of the two major types of handguns, revolvers and pistols, pistols currently are more popular. Revolvers typically hold 5-6 cartridges in a rotating cylinder and must be manually reloaded when the cylinder is empty. A revolver fires one bullet with each trigger pull.  Pistols are typically semi-automatic, hold 7 or more cartridges, and have an internal magazine where ammunition is stored. The chamber of a semi-automatic weapon is reloaded automatically after each round is fired, but the trigger must be pulled for each firing (a fully automatic weapon would fire multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger).


  • In 2000 semi-automatic pistols were the most frequently traced handguns by law enforcement for all age groups (50%). Among juveniles less than 17 years old arrested in 1999, handguns were the most common type of firearm recovered by law enforcement (87%).


  • Semi-automatic pistols were the weapon of choice for juveniles committing assaults, with 58% traced among youth under age 18 and 60% for those ages 18-24.


  • In a study of U.S. firearm injuries from 1994, cost was estimated at $2.3 billion in lifetime medical costs, an average of $17,000 per injury. Of these costs, 74% are accounted for by assaults. Most of the costs of firearm injuries are due to long-term consequences, not acute care.


  •  A 2005 study of hospital charges for firearm injuries in Pennsylvania found that hospital

    charges for the state averaged $127 million per year, between 2001 and 2003. The median

    charge inpatient hospitalization due to firearm injuries was $30,814, more than double the

    figure for 1996-1998. Uninsured and medical assistance patients accounted for over 70% of

    these hospitalizations.


  • U.S. taxpayers pay about half ($1.1 billion) of the total lifetime costs of treating gunshot

    injuries, with private insurance, victims, and other sources covering the rest.


  • In addition to ongoing medical costs, survivors of firearm injuries incur losses in productivity, long-term

    disability, physical problems and psychological problems. When

    these factors are considered in the context of a willingness to pay methodology and quality of life, the price tag exceeds $100 billion per year.

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