A large body of anecdotal evidence suggests that gun deaths are up in 2020. Certainly, this is true in some major cities that have reported figures this year compared to last. One thing is for certain. As mid-August approaches, there have been over 25,000 gun deaths in America this year.
The Gun Violence Archive, which counts each gun death in America, collects information on every case. This includes the type of gun death and where each occurred. It uses 7,500 sources, which it examines manually. Among these are state and local police reports, media and other gun data aggregates. The organization says that the method allows it to report incidents in “near real-time.” Its data goes back to 2014.
So far this year, gun deaths total 25,657. Of these, 14,784 are suicides. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put gun-related suicides at 23,854 for the full year in 2017.
Homicide, murder and unintentional shooting deaths number 10,873 this year. Of those, 184 were children ages 0 to 11. Gun deaths among children 12 to 17 were 600.
“Officer-involved incidents,” which are those that involve the police, fall into two categories. The first are ones in which police were killed or injured. There were 41 of these. In this group, 216 officers were killed or injured. The second type is those in which suspects were killed or injured. There have been 828 of these this year. Among them, 595 subjects were killed or injured.
Gun deaths in which the use of the firearm was for self-defense number 844 this year. In these cases, someone has used a gun to defend themselves or their families. Unintentional gun deaths so far in 2020 have hit 1,287.
There have been 14 mass murders this year. They are defined as “FOUR or more killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location not including the shooter.”
Gun death figures by August 10 have been heavy in a few cities. Detroit accounts for 10. Chicago had six and Washington had four. Louisville has three. There were also multiple shootings in Houston and Atlanta.
Vox recently ran an article on gun deaths. George Floyd protests where mentioned. So was a poor economy. However, no single explanation was sufficient. The only certain fact is that gun deaths are increasing at an extraordinary rate.