The Parkland school shooting sparked a national outcry for gun reform. But legislative change has been needed for some time now. Here are some relevant facts about the state of gun violence in America:
The US makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, but holds 31% of global mass shooters.
According to the New York Times, from the Orlando shooting in 2016 until the Texas Church shooting in 2017, there were 555 mass shootings in the United States. A mass shooting involves four or more people injured or killed in a single event at the same time and location.
According to CNN, of the 30 deadliest shootings in the US dating back to 1949, 18 have occurred in the last 10 years.
Americans make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population yet own roughly 42 percent of all the world’s privately held firearms.
A 2013 study, led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher, found that, after controlling for multiple variables, a 1 percent increase in gun ownership correlated with a roughly 0.9 percent rise in the firearm homicide rate at the state level.
A 2017 study estimated that 42% of US gun owners acquired their most recent firearm without a background check.
We are the only country in the world that treats gun ownership as a right and not a privilege. We are also the only country in the developed world that has this volume of mass shootings. These two facts are directly correlated. We need legislative change to end our country’s historical trend of mass shootings. As a 2016 review of 130 studies in 10 countries, published in Epidemiologic Reviews, found, new legal restrictions on owning and purchasing guns tended to be followed by a drop in gun violence — a strong indicator that restricting access to firearms can save lives.