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Gun ownership and gun violence in America, by the numbers

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Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida claimed 17 lives and injured more than a dozen others. It was not the first mass shooting - or even the first shooting at a school - in 2018. Below are some statistics on gun ownership and gun violence in America.

357 Million

That was the number of guns in the United States in 2013, according to a Washington Post review of data from the Congressional Research Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. At the time that figure was determined, there were only 317 million people living in the United States – meaning the country had roughly 40 million more firearms than residents.

3 percent

That's the percentage of people who own over half of the nation's guns, according to survey data compiled by researchers at Harvard University and Northwestern University.


That's the number of firearms stolen every year, according to the same Harvard/Northwestern survey data.

Over 3 million

That's the number of times federal, state, or local background checks have denied a gun to person prohibited from owning one, according to a Department of Justice study published in 2016.


That's the number of times a weapon has been fired on school grounds in 2018, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that favors stricter regulations on guns.

  • In eight of the incidents, a gun was fired but no one was injured.
  • Two of the incidents were suicides.
  • Of the other eight, three happened in Texas, two in California, two in Michigan, and one happened in Florida (Wednesday's shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland.)

Over 150,000

That's the number of students attending primary or secondary schools in the U.S. who have experienced a shooting on their campus, starting with the 1997 shooting at Columbine High School. The figure comes from the Washington Post, which analyzed "online archives, state and federal enrollment figures, and news stories." The Post notes that at least 170 such schools have been affected.


That's the number of mass shootings that have occurred thus far in 2018, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a website that aggregates data "from over 2,500 media, law enforcement, government and commercial sources."


That's the number of deaths that have occurred in 2018 as a result of shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive.


That's the average number of Americans murdered every year by gun violence, according to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a pro-gun control organization. The number was obtained, according to the group, by averaging "the most recent five years of complete data from death certificates (2011-2015) and estimates of emergency room admissions (2010-2014) available via CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System.


That's the average number of Americans annually "shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention," according to the Brady Campaign.

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