08 June 2022

What if We Treated Gun Deaths as a Serious Rather Than an Ideological Problem to Solve

What if gun deaths were not ideological?

Every day more than 300 Americans are shot. 123 are killed.

In 2020, 45,000 people were killed by guns in the US. If we define a generation as 30 years, 45,000 a year over the next generation means 1.4 million killed by guns.

If we were to stop treating this as an ideological issue and instead treated it like we do issues like death in childbirth or deaths from auto accidents and simply, methodically, systematically found ways to reduce gun deaths by 5% a year, every year, this could make a dramatic difference as the next generation comes of age.

If there is no change in annual gun deaths over the next 30 years, this will mean 1.4 million dead. If gun deaths rise by 5% a year for 30 years, it will mean 3.4 million dead during that time. If deaths drop by 5% a year, it will mean 700,000 dead.

The difference it would make over the next generation if gun deaths rise by 5% a year vs. fall by 5% a year?
2.7 million lives. That is greater than the population of 14 states.

(If you think a steady rise of 5% is high, consider this. Between 2019 and 2020, gun deaths rose 14%. The difference over a generation of a rise or fall of 14% a year in gun deaths is a difference of 20 million.)

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