“Firearm violence in the US is an unrelenting clinical, public health, societal, and political concern of major proportion. The morbidity and mortality attributed to firearms have continued to increase; have adversely and profoundly affected individuals, families, and communities; and have exceedingly important consequences for all of society. The frequent occurrence of firearm violence and the repetitive episodes of mass shootings highlight the pervasiveness of firearms and the accessibility of assault weapons and serve as grim reminders that every person in the US is potentially vulnerable to firearm violence.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 45 000 firearm-related deaths occurred in the US in 2020, representing the highest reported rate (6.1 deaths/100 000 population) since 1994, with more than half of deaths due to suicide and more than 40% due to homicide. Provisional data indicate that these deaths have increased in 2021, reaching more than 48 000 firearm-related fatalities in the US, which would reflect nearly the same number of deaths as those attributable to influenza and pneumonia (53 000) and kidney disease (52 000) in 2020. Firearm fatality rates also demonstrate critically important inequities; in 2020, the firearm homicide rate among Black individuals (26.6/100 000) was substantially greater than the rate among White individuals (2.2/100 000).”
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