Almost 700 Teenagers Have Been Killed by Guns This Year

Gun violence is at the center of an American debate about the future of the country. Gun violence has killed 22,716 people this year. The figure increases daily.

Mass shootings in America happen more than once a day. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 322 so far this year. The most visible recent case was the seven people killed in Highland Park, Illinois. Another 46 were injured.

One group of victims that has been particularly affected is teenagers. The Gun Violence Archive shows that 684 people ages 12 to 17 have died from gun violence this year. At the pace the figure is rising, it could easily reach 700 this month.

One theory about gun violence is that it is due to the massive presence of guns in America. It has been estimated that there are 400 million, which is substantially larger than the population. Most of these guns were obtained legally. So are many of the weapons used in gun violence deaths.

Gun sales in America surged when the COVID-19 pandemic began and continued until well into 2021. Several days and weeks in that period set all-time records. Total sales were 28,369,750 in 2019 and 39,659,315 in 2020. The numbers come from the FBI’s NICS Firearms Check, which is often used as a proxy for sales.

During the period of the increase, the number of first-time gun buyers jumped. Sales also rose among women and minorities. First-time buyers have been about 20% of new gun sales nationwide.

Several laws that could decrease gun violence deaths have been suggested. Among the most commonly discussed are better background checks. “Red flag” gun protection laws are meant to shield people from several categories of violent individuals. New York State defines it as “The law prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing any kind of firearm.”

Other laws that have been proposed include ending the sale of assault weapons. This and other laws have been blocked in Congress.

Gun violence across the American population most likely will continue to grow. There is no reason to think the number of teenage gun violence deaths will not increase as well.

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