More Kids Than Cops and the Military Are Killed by Guns

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The alarming results of a study led by researchers at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton are sobering: More than 2,400 school-aged U.S. children were killed by firearms in 2017; in the same year, 144 police officers and about 1,000 active military personnel died in the line of duty. The data for this study came from the Multiple Cause of Death Files of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, and the study was published in the American Journal of Medicine.

From 1999 to 2017 there were 38,942 firearm-related deaths in 5- to 18-year-olds; 6,464 of those deaths involved kids 5 to 14 (an average of 340 per year) and 32,478 involved teens 15 to 18 (an average of 2,050 per year). African-American kids and teens accounted for 41 percent of the firearm deaths, and 86 percent of those killed were boys and young men.

Among 5- to 14-year-olds:

  • 12.8 percent of firearm deaths were classified as accidental
  • 29.6 percent were classified as suicide
  • 54.8 percent were classified as assault
  • 2.7 percent were undetermined

In 15- to 18-year-olds, deaths were classified this way:

  • 3.5 percent - accidental
  • 32.9 percent - suicide
  • 62.3 percent - assault
  • 1.3 percent - undetermined