A pistol is fired at a US gun show

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A pistol is fired at a US gun show

Between 2014 and 2017, shootings claimed the lives of 2,710 children under the age of 12

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Thursday, February 15, 2018 – 3:15pm

Of the 49 months since January 2014, only six have passed without at least one instance of gun violence in a US school.

That is just one of the takeaways from the chilling statistics compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, a charity that tracks shooting incidents in the US.

The group started monitoring gun violence a year after the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, in which a gunman mowed down more than 20 children at a Connecticut elementary school.

Their figures lay bare the fatal toll of gun violence in the US. Between 2014 and 2017, 56,755 Americans were killed by guns, including 2,710 children under the age of 12.

In that time, there have been 1,333 mass shootings – defined as incidents in which at least four people are injured or killed – eight of them at elementary or high schools.

In 2015 and 2016, at least one school shooting took place every month, while in 2017 only February passed by without a gun casualty in an elementary or high school.

The 17 victims shot dead yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, brings the total number of fatalities in American schools in the first six weeks of 2018 to 23.

So far this year, the US has racked up 30 mass shootings and 1,827 gun-inflicted deaths.

The figures compiled by the GVA include both intentional and accidental shootings, but do not include suicides, which account for an additional 22,000 gun deaths every year.

Americans are more likely to die from a gunshot than from skin cancer or stomach cancer.

The latest classroom massacre in Florida, committed by a disgruntled 19-year-old former student, has re-focused attention not only on the wider debate about gun control, but also the availability of deadly weapons to children and teenagers.

Pew Research data reveals that 46% of gun owners who live with children do not keep their firearms locked. Around 30% said their weapons were kept loaded at all times and stored in an easily accessible location.

The Pew data also lays bare the difficulties facing lawmakers looking to curb gun violence in a bitterly partisan politics environment.

While half of all Americans polled in 2017 agreed that gun violence was a “very big problem” in US society, gun owners and non-gun owners are deeply divided on how to tackle it.

For instance, 80% of non-gun owners were in a favour of a federal registry to track gun sales, a proposal supported by only 54% of gun owners. Meanwhile, the majority of gun owners believe that stricter regulations will not lead to fewer mass shootings.

Gun control advocates also have to contend with a deep-rooted cultural attachment to personal firearms.

Half of all gun owners – who skew white, rural and Republican – said that owning a firearm was part of their identity and nearly three-quarters said they could not imagine life without a gun.

Infographic by www.statista.com/chartoftheday for TheWeek.co.uk

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