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Firearms-Related Injuries

There are many people who are actively involved in the debate about gun control. There are arguments made for and against the availability and regular use of firearms based primarily on the fact that there is a high propensity for firearms-related injuries. Guns have taken the equivalent of 85 lives every day in homicides as well as suicides and in unintentional shootings. In 2010 alone there were over seventy three thousand people who were treated in an emergency room for non-fatal gunshot wounds. Firearms are actually ranked as the third leading cause of deaths from injury just behind car crashes and poisoning.

Guns were used in sixty eight percent of all homicides in the year 2010 alone and homicide-related firearm injuries and subsequent deaths comprised thirty five percent of all deaths by firearms. On average there were thirty three homicides committed every day via guns between the years 2005 and 2010. States that have higher rates of gun ownership coincidentally have higher rates of homicide via firearms as well.

Firearms used for suicides account for sixty two percent of all gun deaths and in 2010 alone accounted for over nineteen thousand deaths. In fact over half of all suicides are done with a firearm. Between 2005 and 2010 there were an average of forty nine firearm suicides each day. Among purchasers the leading cause of suicide within the first year of buying a firearm was fatal gunshot wounds. Studies also indicate that having a loaded gun in the home increases the risk of firearm related suicide or injury.

Unintentional firearm injuries have caused an average of six hundred deaths each year. Between 2005 and 2010 there were thirty eight hundred deaths in America from unintentional shootings. People who lived in states that had higher amounts of gun ownership were coincidentally more likely to die from or be injured by a firearm compared to states where gun ownership was lower. In fact a federal study indicated that eight percent of unintentional shootings and subsequent unintentional deaths were at the hands of children under the age of six who accidentally fired a gun.

Today the debate around gun control is thriving. Many people find the number of firearms-related injuries to be a terrifying reason for more control and fewer guns. While these statistics are startling it is also safe to say that many laws over protection and proper use of firearms could alleviate a handful of the risks.