Gun violence has become the leading killer of youth in the United States, rising by nearly 30% between 2019 and 2020.
In 2020, 4357 children aged 1-19, or approximately six in 100,000, died from a gun-related injury, the researchers report, modestly exceeding the number for auto accidents (3913) and greatly exceeding deaths caused by suffocation (1411) or drowning (966).
To observers of gun violence in this country, the grim statistical marker has been all but inevitable. Gunshots were the second leading cause of death in 2016 among children aged 1-19, the researchers report. But sharp rises in such fatalities since then, especially in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic began, pushed the death toll above all other causes among Americans in this age group.
Guns accounted for more than 45,000 deaths among all age groups in 2020, also a record, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
William Lawson MD, PhD, DLFAPA
Founder and Director Institute for Reducing Disparities LLC