|2013-2 Firearm Violence|
Brief summary of the issue
Fatal and nonfatal injuries from firearms constitute a major health problem in the United States. Firearm-related suicides and homicides were the fourth and fifth leading causes of injury death in the United States during 2006-2007, together accounted for approximately 30,000 fatalities each year. Nationally, the firearm homicide rate among youths aged 10-19 years slightly exceeded the rate for persons of all ages. While motor-vehicle deaths dropped 22 percent from 2005 to 2010, gun fatalities are rising again after a low point in 2000. Based on these trends, gun-related fatalities are on pace to surpass deaths from automobile collisions by 2015.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the direct medical costs of treating fatal gun injuries combined with the economic damages of lost lives totaled $37 billion in 2005 (the most recent year for which data is available). The cost of treating non-fatal gun injuries was an additional $3.7 billion that year.
The American Trauma Society continues to support a number of specific measures to reduce the destructive effects of guns through the implementation of the following recomendations:
Approved by ATS Board of Directors June 2013
Jensen JM, Powell A, Forrest-Bank S. Effective violence prevention approaches in school, family, and community settings. In: Herrenkohl TI, Aisenberg E, Willaims JH, Jensen JM (eds). Violence in context: current evidence on risk, protection, and prevention. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2011