How are Guns Affecting Americans? The Stats Give Us Some Insight

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Whether you are a gun enthusiast or hate guns, guns are here to stay. And while the Second Amendment pretty much guarantees guns will remain in America in perpetuity, it is unlikely the founding fathers would agree with the mayhem that is going on today.

As reported in the Washington Post and elsewhere, “of course, semiautomatic firearms technology didn't exist in any meaningful sense in the era of the founding fathers. They had something much different in mind when they drafted the Second Amendment. The typical firearms of the day were muskets and flintlock pistols. They could hold a single round at a time, and a skilled shooter could hope to get off three or possibly four rounds in a minute of firing. By all accounts, they were not particularly accurate either.”

Let’s take a look at some basic gun statistics in America:

  • There are 393 million guns out there
  • In 2020, 40 million guns were purchased – the highest number ever
  • 45,222 people died in the US from gun injuries in 2020
  • Between 2000 and 2020, there was a 40% increase in active shooter incidents
  • From 1998-2019 the USA had 109 Mass Shootings. Second in place for “wealthy nations” was France with 8 Mass Shootings.
  • Guns are now the leading cause of death for American children. 4,368 children and adolescents up to the age of 19 died from firearms in 2020, there were 4,036 deaths linked to motor vehicles.
  • From the New York Times “Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths. Studies have found this to be true at the state and national level. It is true for homicides, suicides, mass shootings and even police shootings.
  • And: Stricter gun laws appear to help. They are associated with fewer gun deaths, in both a domestic and global context, while looser gun laws are linked with more gun deaths.
  • And: Over the past decade, the Anti-Defamation League has counted about 450 U.S. murders committed by political extremists.
  • And: As this data shows, the American political right has a violence problem that has no equivalent on the left. And the 10 victims in Buffalo this past weekend are now part of this toll. “Right-wing extremist violence is our biggest threat,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the ADL, has written. “The numbers don’t lie.””

Many believe that people are becoming numb to the instances of gun violence, and it’s interesting to consider if there is a mass shooting in small town, would it affect a person in a high-rise in a big city. A group of researchers at Evolv and Equation Research surveyed over 2000 Americans to find out the answers.

Gun Violence is Everywhere

One of the most shocking things the researchers found...or perhaps not so the fact that guns and shootings are truly everywhere.

According to the researchers and Security Magazine, 29% of people who responded said that they were in a location where a person unexpectedly shot off a gun. About 38% of those who replied also reported that they knew someone else who had experienced gunfire unexpectedly.

In both of these scenarios, the gunfire occurred either at a large gathering of people or in a nightclub/bar.

Why is this type of violence on the rise? There could be a few explanations. First, we have the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns, which disrupted all of our lives. This includes the social services that people have access to that can lower violence and crime. The next could be the high-profile police killings in 2020, which spurred protests and put a damper on police-community relationship. Finally, of course, we have the rise in gun purchases.

However, there is also a growing feeling of distrust and discord, and Americans have greatly lost faith in the American institution. The country is deeply divided politically, and it is believed that all of this has led to an increased murder rate, more mental health issues, and even problems with more confrontations between strangers.

Americans are Nervous

The American Psychological Association has reported that Americans, overall, have a lot of anxiety and stress since March of 2020. Research shows that people are anxious about things like terrorism, shootings, and other forms of gun violence. In fact, about 81% of the people who replied to the study are anxious specifically about guns and 62% feel anxiety about going to a public place, especially a movie theater, nightclub/bar, or large gatherings.

For those who have plans to go to a live event in the next six months, around 46.2% of people reported that they were feelings anxiety about COVID-19, but 31% of them also say they have anxiety about shootings and 21% have concerns about terrorism.

The Threat of Gun Violence is Also Impacting Business

In addition to general anxiety about gun violence, this research has shown that businesses are also impacted by gun violence.

Almost 40% of people who were studied report that they have not gone somewhere because they had a fear or anxiety about guns. A lot of people also report that they have a plan in place or look for a way out when they go to a place where a mass shooting could occur. For instance, almost 63% of people report that they have a mental escape plan and check exits when they go to a movie theater. Almost 50% report that they do the same thing in a grocery store. More than 60% report that they have anxiety about going to a public place.

People are Willing to Change Their Habits

Just as it is important for people to understand how Americans feel about the rates of gun violence rising, it is also so important to understand what steps they may take in order to feel safe. Around 78% of people said that they would be okay to take extra steps at places where there is potential for gun violence. For instance, 57% of people said they would comply with weapons detection screening. Around 46% of people say they would be willing to have their bags checked, and 44% would be fine to check their guns at the door. It's also important to note that 22% of respondents say they would not be willing to do anything.

Businesses across the board have to keep all of this in mind and take some steps to create a plan to keep their patrons safe. This is a unique time in history, and as people around the world start to come back from the pandemic and enjoy life again, there is a lot of anxiety around what will happen as we go “back to normal.” The best thing to do is to make some new plans and protocols in order to keep up with any threats.

There are many solutions on the table geared toward preventing gun violence. Is it more rules and regulations? Stricter access to firearms? Will background checks solve the problem or only just a small part of it? Is the solution for every single person to have a gun? Smaller magazine capacities? The list goes on and on. At this point, the worst thing we can do, is nothing.

Peter Warmka, my cohost and retired CIA Spy and I discuss all of this in our podcast The Security Guy and CIA Spy.

What do you think? And whatever you put in the comment section, please be respectful.

Written by Robert Siciliano, CEO of Credit Parent, Head of Training & Security Awareness Expert at Protect Now, #1 Best Selling Amazon author, Media Personality & Architect of CSI Protection Certification.

Comments (6)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Robert - unintended consequences are a part of life.  They (along with much else) can be "found" throughout our day.  

Jun 03, 2022 06:28 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

One of the reasons we are leaving CA is that our politicians allow violence and crime to occur without any consequences.  We went to a basketball game and were assaulted while the police were told to stand down.  They actually had to watch as the violence unfolded.  The headlines the next day, "Protests Mostly Peaceful." (BS) Stores have thousands of dollars of merchandise stolen every, single month.  Violent criminals are released from jail without serving their sentences.  And our police have taken major critisicm over the last few years.  It is scary.

When our politicians decide to abdicate their responsibility to protect their constituency or, even worse, pick and choose who they are going to protect, it is time to protect yourself. 

I am a part of the political right.  I have never been a gun owner, but my wife and I have been taking classes and are definitely considering making our first purchase.  It is a mistake to point a finger at either party.  There is plenty of blame to go around.

Why is it  that we send our precious children into closed schoolyards with little or no protection?  My dad was one of the first responders at the schoolyard shooting in Stockton (1989).  There were few events (and there were many bad ones) that affected my dad, but that day marked him and has weighed heavy on his heart since.  He did not own a gun until after that day.  He would not even allow me to have a toy gun as a kid.

The Founding Fathers meant for us to be able to protect ourselves. 

What did politicians do in CA after Stockton?  They did pass some gun control measures  and a Republican signed the bill, but then we locked our kids in fenced areas and advertised that schools were "gun free zones." Our politicians actually passed gun free zone laws. 

Here is the question.  How do we protect ourselves from a guy, like the guy in Stockton; a racist, addict, mentally ill man with a very long record, willing to shoot himself in the head?  For me and my family, it means protecting ourselves.  Otherwise, there is the possibility that an evil man will walk into your kids school, it will take over 10 minutes for the police to show up and then they will form a perimeter around the school allowing no one to go in and help your children.  To me, that was truly unbelievable. 


Jun 03, 2022 07:47 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Robert- I was born in Texas, have policemen in the family, and never want to be in a situation where the only weapon I have is how loud I can scream. During the 2020 riots, my police/family members had to stand there and have bricks thrown at them because they were told to stand down.  Large pallets of brick were brought into the city just for the purpose of being thrown at the police or into business windows.

We have seen people murdered by someone already out on bond or no bond at all because DA's or judges were more interested in seeming to be PC or WOKE (I hate that word) 

Those who want to use guns for the wrong reasons will always find a way to get them no matter what because there will always be someone out there to supply them. 

I am one of those people who check out all entrances and anyone that looks like they are not there to shop when I go out.  I wear my Ripple Button when I'm out and have my tactical pen with me as well. 

There is not just one answer to the gun question. Video games, the economy, Covid, parents who aren't there for their children, offenders knowing that they can do the crime because they will not have to do the many factors. 

All people who are employed to protect our schools and other public buildings have to be more than wanna-be cops. And they need to be trained whether they are in a small town or large city. 

Jun 03, 2022 07:43 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Jun 25, 2022 06:33 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Robert Siciliano - Annie Oakley, I am not. But I can vouch for the fact I am alive today because of guns in the responsible hands of people where I was in immediate danger that saved my life. I lived in Chicago and didn't move out to the suburbs until my 30s before moving to TX more than 20 years ago. I can list countless examples, but you will just have to trust me. FYI... I know that in Japan guns are not legal but I also know the dark side of how violence there can still occur without guns. 

Jun 30, 2022 01:46 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

I've been in law enforcement for 40 years.  

My thoughts from a few years ago on the second amendment haven't changed a bit.

There are many different opinions on how we should accomplish making our children, our selves, and our country safer in the wake of the horrific crime in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Some support banning guns altogether while some would like to just register all the guns. I’m sure there are those who say ‘Let’s do stricter background checks and close the Gun Show Loophole.’ While reading up before writing this, I saw where one person referred to Chicago as the ‘Wild, Wild West.’ It is clear that everyone has an opinion and everyone else’s stinks. Put all that aside and listen to the voice of history.
First, I want to examine the reason for the 2nd Amendment. People believe that the ‘Militia’ clause takes this right away from the individual and gives it to the States. The Supreme Court nixed that. The right to bear Arms is an individual right. George Mason, co-writer of this Amendment, clarified on the floor of the Virginia House of Burgesses, that the Militia is ‘All of the People.’ Why would ‘All of the People’ need to have arms? And to be specific, Arms defined, in legal terms are:
State v. Buzzard,66 an 1842 Arkansas case,
“… the term “arms,” in its most comprehensive signification, probably includes every description of weapon or thing which may be used offensively or defensively, and in the most restricted sense, includes guns or firearms of every description, as well as powder, lead and flints, and such other things as are necessarily used in loading and discharging them, so as to render them effective as instruments of offense or defense, and without which their efficiency for these purposes would be greatly diminished, if not destroyed. [emphasis added]”
Would we, the people, need Arms as protection? Against what? Why, each other, of course. But there’s the rub. In 1783, using a gun as protection against a criminal act by another person was a given. There was no debate about and individual’s use of a firearm in an incident of that type. Why would I make that statement? Because, if your town had a police force (and most didn’t), or your county had a sheriff, response times were measured in hours. Or days. If for some reason you were murdered, the only question that would be asked about you would be, ‘Why didn’t he use his gun?’ Even in this modern age, police and sheriff’s deputies are far from being close enough to protect us. Police forces are ‘reactive’ in nature. Any reference to them as proactive is a farce. Patrolling officers do not deter crime, they merely postpone it or relocate it. They show up after the fact and take names and statements. They may recover stolen items and arrest criminals who have already committed a crime, but they do not prevent anyone from becoming a victim. I have been a law enforcement professional for twenty years and I recognize this fact instinctively.
So, first and foremost, we, the people, need Arms to protect ourselves from criminals. What else? The Government? Why would we need to protect ourselves from the government? Would the government ever seek to hurt me (or you or our children’s children’s children)? Ever is a big word and it encompasses all the future time until I die or Jesus call’s me home.
Let’s look at history to tell us the answer. How many country’s governments have sought to harm their own citizens? How many times has that happened? Nazi Germany? Obviously. Fascist Italy? Definitely. But those are so easy.
What about Vischy France? WHAT? France collaborated with the Nazi’s? Yea, they did.
Viet Nam killed a million teachers and tribal leaders after the U.S. withdrawl. Cambodia did the same under Pol Pot. Mao killed a whole bunch of his countrymen as did Stalin. These are not speculation. The facts can be found if you choose to see. Governments exist only to perpetuate themselves. This example is living itself in Syria right now. Assad does not want to give up ruling his country. Neither did King George III.
Make no mistake, the colonies were British in 1776 and the founding fathers thought of themselves as British subjects, not Americans, right up until the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Some regretted having to break from England. But they recognized that only through the possession of Arms could they even try to stand and say ‘No more,’ and they recognized also that only through the possession of Arms could an American people prevent their government from becoming the same oppressive monarchy they fought to separate from. Oh no, we don’t have a monarchy, do we? I say we do. I say the Kennedy’s have been ruling Massachusetts for a hundred years. I say that the current crop of ‘public servants’ have built for themselves a ruling class and the only way that they can insure that they keep it is to pretend that they are working for ‘us’ and for the ‘greater good.’ Hence, we must stop shooting ourselves. Notice I did not say ‘hurting’ or ‘killing,’ I said shooting on purpose because guns are the only thing that the ruling class fears. Or rather, Arms are. Everyone saw Braveheart when the big Redhead told the young Wallace, “The English won’t let us train with weapons, so we train with stones.” Could it be that Edward Longshanks didn’t want his subject Scots to have the means of effective defense against his abuses? So when the redcoats marched on Lexington and Concord, they met a force of local men who were armed with rifles of the same type that they themselves were carrying. Those redcoats came to confiscate Arms. To take away the only means of effective resistance against their tyranny.
Advance some time. Now, through the effective application of Capitalism, there are more than three hundred million guns in the U.S.A. Could the government effectively confiscate all those guns? Right now, at this time, no. It would be impossible. But if they (the government) were to institute universal registration, they could then find out where all the guns were. What was G.I. Joe’s motto ‘Knowing is half the battle?’ Once you know where they are you can go and get them. Not today, though, we have to wait until the time is right. Until something else happens that causes uproar and public outcry for it. How to institute registration, though? Take baby steps. Come up with a ‘reasonable’ excuse. ‘It’s for your own safety.’ ‘It will keep the children safe.’ ‘Don’t you want to do the right thing?’
Wow, that sounds so reasonable. I would be a heartless bastard if I didn’t want to keep children safe, wouldn’t I?
Insidious-adj-slowly and subtly harmful or destructive.
Slowly and subtly because that is what governments think about. It appears that our government isn’t thinking about the future. They postpone the fiscal cliff only a few months keeping it ever in the forefront of the public’s thinking, keeping the public’s thoughts on the here and now and the immediacy of action. But they have not even mentioned Gun Control for four years while the ‘anti-gun’ liberals have been in power. Why is this? Because the last time they did it, they lost the Congress entirely and hence were denied the chance to take over health care in the ‘90’s. So this time, they secure the ‘Affordable Care Act’ and now, after several highly public shootings, they start to shout about ‘safety’ and ‘reasonable’ so that no one can say no without seeming anti-child.
And so it falls to the people to protect themselves from government. Why would we need to? This is America, for crying out loud. That can’t happen here!
The rest of the world is seething in chaos and we, alone, stand as the bastion of freedom. We stand atop that hill as the shining city that all look too and admire. All except those that envy that they do not have what we have. Freedom. How do we keep that? We have to take responsibility for ourselves and our choices. The entire continent of Africa is a quagmire of political and social turmoil. Three quarters of the world’s population lives in squalor even though their governments control vast wealth in the form of oil, natural gas, and minerals. Is this because those poor people don’t want to be helped? No, it is because those governments don’t want the people to have any extra time to think about what a bad situation they are in. If they weren’t spending all their time collecting food and concerning themselves with the basics of existence, they would be thinking that they could have it a little better if their leaders weren’t so greedy. But the government keeps them busy trying to live so they don’t have the chance to try living.
Not here in America. We have all kinds of free time. We have more time than we know what to do with. So we have what I like to call ‘Bread and Circuses.’ There was once upon a time, a great nation. This nation was so vast and strong that no other nation could challenge it. The capital of this nation was a huge city with great marketplaces and civic buildings of surpassing beauty. But after so long at success, the people started to get restless. They saw the ruling people on the hill and envied them. “We must find something to occupy the people’s time so they do not revolt,” said the ruler of the land and he built a great stadium and held games where he gave away food for nothing and charged it to the rich people. He told the rich that it would keep them safe. It didn’t. That great nation fell into ruin after only a few hundred years. A simple history of the fall of the Roman Empire, but accurate nonetheless. Here we have American Idol and the Superbowl, food stamps and welfare. Seven hundred channels and nothing on. Seven out of ten people on the street cannot correctly identify the political leaders in Washington D.C. and Jay Leno thinks it’s funny. I think it’s sad.
Know what I think is reasonable? A simple test to see if you’re smart enough to understand the consequences of your vote. A picture ID with a current address that proves you’re an American citizen. One appeal to the State Supreme Court and a one year and one day wait from conviction to gallows for murderers and rapists. Don’t like that one do you? What are there not enough lawyers? I think there are and I think they make too much money for too little work. I’m just a working man like a hundred million others.
But I am not going to register anything except my truck and my complaints. Oh, and if the term ‘cold dead hand’ doesn’t mean anything to you, come and try to take my guns.
Jul 15, 2022 11:22 AM