Gun violence is increasing. Over the last few years, over six hundred mass shooting incidents were seen annually. Accordingly, the number of people dying in this manner is also likely to have risen.
However, an alarming trend that has been identified recently is that children are increasingly caught up in such events, and gun aggression is the single most common cause of death for youths.
Main Causes of Death for Children in the US
While we all like to hope that young people will live out their lives to the fullest, unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Indeed, a couple of years ago, around seven children in every two thousand will die before the age of five years. This indicates that around 0.35% of young individuals will die early – without even considering younger persons die before they reach adulthood.
Still, although recent trends have shown a decrease in the number of younger individuals dying before adulthood, this isn’t necessarily the same in terms of what’s caused these deaths.
Indeed, among the major reasons for children between the ages of one and eighteen years, vehicle accidents are still one of the significant drivers of youth mortality. However, this has fallen drastically over the last twenty plus years from 26.2% to 16.5%.
Cancer, suffocation, and poisoning have all also changed in recent years. These now represent relatively similar statistics (8.1%, 7.2%, and 6.2% of youth deaths, respectively). Poisoning has jumped the highest of all causes, spiking by 3.1% over two years.
Nonetheless, along with traffic accidents, another major threat has been seen: gun violence. For 2021, around 18.7% of all youth losses occurred due to firearms misuse, up from 11.0% before the turn of the century. This makes gun violence the major reason.
Comparisons with Foreign Countries
KSS analysis demonstrated the significant number of youth mortality cases due to firearms. However, comparisons were also drawn between US mortality and that in foreign countries, with very staggering results.
Indeed, although gun use is the top cause of youth death in the USA, this isn’t the case in other countries. In fact, even in Canada – the closest in terms of percentage – firearm misuse is only the fifth most common cause. In the UK and Japan, it’s the fifteenth most common cause.
In fact, in many foreign countries, the cause of youth death is much more likely to be either motor vehicle accidents or cancer. These figures highlight the extreme difference between childhood trauma and death in the US compared to other nations around the world.
How Gun Deaths Among Youth Have Changed
Presently, guns represent the most common cause of mortality for young people. With that being said, this wasn’t always the case. 2019 was the first time in recent years that firearm use and traffic accidents resulted in similar numbers of deaths. Still, from several years ago onwards, childhood losses due to firearms spiked, jumping by almost three percent in a single year.
The prevalence of mortality due to shootings is evidently on the increase, and this poses a major source of worry for young persons across the country. As such, ensuring young people are equipped with the necessary knowledge to escape and avoid such situations – where possible – is perhaps more integral than ever.