A new study released by JAMA Network Online shows there have been approximately 1.1 million firearm fatalities in the U.S. from 1990 to 2021.
Among these deaths, the research further analyzes there are differing demographic trends in the people who are dying from it, between men and women and by racial and ethnic group.
The study analyzed how the rise of gun deaths has increased within the past few years in particular, with a 20% jump from 2019 to 2021.
Further information provided by the National Library of Medicine (NIH) found that firearm sales rose during the COVID-19 pandemic, “with an estimated 7.5 million new firearm owners and 5.4 million homes previously without firearms now contain firearms.”
By using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the study explains how among these 1.1 million people affected by firearms over the last three decades, men were more likely harmed. Males made up 85.8% of the people who were affected, while only 14.2% were female.
On a demographic scale, the research found the racial groups with the highest risk for firearm homicide fatalities are Black and Hispanic men between the ages of 20-24. Moreover, suicide by firearm rates was highest among white men between the ages of 80-84.
Among these disparities and rising fatality rates, it has also exhibited how public shootings have become more prominent in society over the last three decades.
In 2021 the highest number of firearm deaths was recorded since the CDC began tracking injury fatalities in 1981, a number of them due to public mass shootings.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit that tracks gun violence incidents across the country, there have been 17 mass shootings in the U.S. in the past two weeks alone as of Dec. 4.
Disturbance has been instilled in many individuals’ minds when it comes to being in public anymore, like those who attend public settings on a daily basis as students do.
“Sometimes I feel worried about being in big crowds, like concerts and various open places, but I feel like security to these types of situations has improved over the years,” said third-year communications student Evan Osterkamp.
Education Week’s 2022 School Shooting Tracker shows that there have been 46 school shootings this year in the U.S. as of Nov. 22.
“You never think, ‘oh, it could happen to me’ when you see it on the news and in the media, but you realize that it could happen anywhere these days,” said second-year pre-psychology student Lauren Calvario.
“Initially, I felt more safe in a public campus because there’s a lot of people around if something were to happen, but then school shootings and mass shootings have become more prominent in society. So there’s that type of scared feeling,” Calvario said. “It’s sad, but it makes me think, at least there are places to run because it’s such a big campus.”
CSULB takes these possibilities seriously by providing training for active shooter response. According to the 2022 Campus Safety Plan, active shooter response has been put into action in the last 18 months to increase safety, along with multiple other safety factors.
The University Police provides active shooter response training available by request to any student or employee group, club, or department on campus. All training is facilitated by UPD officers with the intent to teach how to keep one another safe in case of firearm violence, which has unfortunately become more common in today’s society.