What Do We Actually Know About Gun Violence?

Gun Ownership

Since the pandemic, gun ownership is more prolific, which is driving the increasing in gun-related homicides. An estimated one in five people purchased firearms from March 2020 to March 2022, increasing the percentage of U.S. people who own a gun to 46 percent.

According to the FBI, an average of 13 million guns were sold legally in the U.S. each year between 2010 and 2019, increasing to about 20 million annual gun sales in both 2020 and 2021. 

Misunderstanding of Loner Gunmen

From The Conversation: The vast majority of far-right extremists are otherwise ordinary men and women. They live in rural areas, suburbs and cities. They are students and working professionals. And they believe their extremist cause is justified. This point was illustrated by the spectrum of participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. … Instead of focusing on movements like white nationalism that have sympathizers in the various levels of government, from sheriffs to senators, they focus on individuals. The lone wolf extremist myth diverts from what should be the focus of deterrence efforts: understanding how far-right extremists network, organize and, as the Jan. 6 insurrection showed, build coalitions across diverse groups, especially through the use of social media.

National School Shootings

In 2022, more than 6,000 children and teens were injured or killed in shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

It has been a decade since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that galvanized new national attention. In 2022, there were 50 shootings on school grounds, according to Education Week, including 19 elementary school children in Uvalde, Texas, and one in Richfield, Minnesota.

According to the K-12 School Shooting Database, there were more shootings on U.S. school grounds in 2022 than any other year since 1970.

EveryStat.org* on Minnesota Gun Deaths

In an average year, 442 people die and 680 are wounded by guns in Minnesota, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

The rate of gun deaths overall in Minnesota increased 20 percent from 2010 to 2019, compared to 17 percent nationwide. The rate of gun suicides in Minnesota increased 15 percent (compared to 13 percent nationwide) and the rate of gun homicides increased 51 percent (compared to 26 percent nationally).

Every year an average of 341 people in Minnesota die by suicides. The gun suicide rate in most Minnesota rural counties is more than two times higher than in urban areas.

Guns are the second leading cause of death among children and teens in Minnesota; 57 percent of them are suicides.

Each year an average of 94 people in Minnesota die by gun homicides, and 331 are wounded by gun assaults; 64 percent of all homicides in Minnesota involve a gun.

  • This data is from January 2021 and includes individuals who die by guns or visit a hospital due to gunshot; it largely is based on data collected by the Center for Disease Control

Intimate Partner Homicides

In Minnesota, 53 percent of female intimate partner homicide victims from 2015 to 2019 were killed with a gun.

More details to come on how limited the state government is in tracking whether gun owners include domestic violence abusers.

Source: Violence Free Minnesota