Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that gun deaths in the United States have reached a record high in almost 40 years.
The analysis of the data shows that last year alone nearly 40,000 people in America died by guns, marking the highest number of gun deaths in decades. CNN replicated that analysis and found that 39,773 people died by guns in 2017, a considerable increase of over 10,000 deaths from the 28,874 in 1999.
CNN’s findings were confirmed by CDC statisticians, who said gun-related deaths reached a record high going back to 1979 when they were first coded in mortality data.
The analysis conducted by the network also showed that 2017 saw 23,854 deaths by suicide by guns, or over 7,000 more than in 1999. Last year’s figure was the highest in 18 years, CNN adds. The age-adjusted rate of suicide deaths by firearm rose from 6.0 in 1999 to 6.9 in 2017.
Gun-related deaths analyzed in the data include deaths by homicide and suicide, unintentional deaths, deaths in war or legal interventions, and deaths that are undetermined. White men made up the majority of firearm deaths in 2017, the data also indicates.
Last year, the age-adjusted rate of suicide deaths by firearm was highest among white men at 14 per 100,000 compared with both men and women of other races. That same year, the age-adjusted rate of homicide deaths by firearm was highest among black men at 33 per 100,000 compared to black women and white, Asian and American Indian men and women.
“In 2017, nearly 109 people died every single day from gun violence. Gun violence is a public health epidemic that requires a public health solution, which is why we must immediately enact and implement evidence-based interventions — like permit-to-purchase policies and extreme risk laws,” said Adelyn Allchin, the director of public health research for the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.
She added that it was high time that political leaders started working together to put an end to gun violence.
The National Rifle Association quickly reacted to her statement, saying that “gun control laws are not the answer.”
“If we want to prevent more horrific acts of violence our leaders need to stop demonizing the men and women of the @NRA and find solutions that will save lives.”