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Gun Death Risk 10 Times Higher for Americans

Gun Death Risk 10 Times Higher for AmericansGun Death Risk 10 Times Higher for Americans

The likelihood of dying from a firearm is 10 times higher in the US than in other high-income countries, according to a new study published in The American Journal of Medicine.

Additionally, the study reveals that Americans are significantly more likely to be accidentally or violently killed by a gun and or to commit suicide using a gun, compared with individuals in other developed countries.

Study coauthors Erin Grinshteyn, PhD, of the University of Nevada-Reno, and David Hemenway, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, say their findings “support the hypothesis that our firearms are killing us rather than protecting us.”

There were more than 33,000 gun deaths in the US in 2014, including more than 21,000 gun-related suicides, medicalnewstoday.com reported.

Early last month, President Barack Obama vowed to step up gun control in the US, proposing stricter and more efficient background checks for the purchase of firearms, with the aim of “keeping guns out of the wrong hands.”

For their study, Grinshteyn and Hemenway aimed to “help put America’s relationship with guns into perspective” by gaining a better understanding of how much violence in the country is related to firearms, compared with other high-income countries.

Around 270-310 million guns are held by US civilians. In 2014, there were around 10 gun-related deaths for every 100,000 Americans and 586 unintentional gun deaths.

Researchers analyzed 2010 mortality data from the World Health Organization (WHO), looking at death rates per 100,000 people and the causes of death across 23 developed countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Spain, Switzerland and Finland.

The team found that while the US has a similar rate of non-lethal crimes as other high-income countries, the rate of lethal crimes is significantly higher, primarily driven by higher levels of gun-related homicide.

  Homicide

The study revealed that Americans are seven times more likely to be violently killed overall and 25 times more likely to be violently killed with a gun, compared with individuals in other developed countries.

Among Americans aged 15-24, homicide is the second leading cause of death. This group is 49 times more likely to die from gun-related homicide than their counterparts in other developed countries.

What is more, Americans aged 25-34 - for whom homicide is the third leading cause of death - are 32 times more likely to die from gun-related homicide than their counterparts from other high-income nations.

Additionally, while the overall suicide rate in the US is similar to that of other high-income countries, researchers found that Americans are eight times more likely to commit suicide using a gun than people in other developed nations.

“Many suicides are impulsive, and the urge to die fades away. Firearms are a swift and lethal method of suicide with a high case-fatality rate,” Hemenway says.

Financialtribune.com