Gun violence: Now No.1 cause of death for children and teens


Landon Jones, Staff Writer

For as long as history could tell disease was the Number one reason why children and teens died. Then came the creation of motor vehicles, which took the place of disease. Now it has been changed again; to guns that kill so many innocent lives in America. It’s now the gun era of the United States of America.

The trend of gun-death rate started off low in early 2000 and fewer than 3 in 100,000 children would die from gun violence. In 2014, the deaths had increased and kept doing so up into 2020 when guns became the number one reason for teen and child deaths. Now the gun-death rate is about 5 in 100,000 children, and the rate last year was a brutal one: 3,597 children had died to gun related deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The statistics this year are still not completed: it is clear the violence has not slowed.

Last year around two-thirds of gun-deaths involving children-2,279-were homicides. These deaths have risen around 70% since 2018. Suicides including guns have risen as well during the past decade. Last year suicides made up for 30% of gun-deaths for children-1,078. Gun accidents have also risen up in the last decade though they are uncommon.

Researchers who study gun violence say it is difficult to explain exactly why gun-deaths have risen among children so quickly, but most emphasized that it is due to the increase of availability to get them. What is clear though is that the United States is an outlier when it comes to child gun-deaths. Researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation compared many nations and found that the United States accounted for 46% of the children population but 97% of all child gun-deaths. 

Studies were provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and The Kaiser Family Foundation.