It turns out police officers aren’t the ones “putting their lives on the line,” our children are.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, guns kill more school-aged children than they do on-duty police officers in the United States.
The study discovered that in 2017 (the most recent data available at the time of the study), 2,462 children ages 5-18 were killed by guns. In comparison, only 144 police officers died in the line of duty and less than 1,000 active soldiers in the military died that same year.
For perspective, that means 17x more children were killed by guns than on-duty police officers.
The data only gets more sobering, especially when you realize that, of those gun-related deaths, 54.8% were assaults, 29.6% were suicides, and 12.8% were “accidents.”
Unsurprisingly, gun-related deaths were vastly more likely to happen to Black children compared to their peers. Despite only making up 17% of school-aged children, they accounted for 41% of the deaths.
While these numbers are a few years old at this point, gun violence has only increased over the years. So much so that guns have become the leading cause of death for children and teens aged 1-19, surpassing deaths from car accidents.
In case you didn’t already know, the epidemic of gun violence is unique to the United States. Compared to other high-income countries, children in the U.S. are 36x more likely to be killed by a gun.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Stricter gun laws have been proven to work in cities and states across the country time and time again.
The deaths of thousands of children can easily be prevented. The solution is clear. But year after year, politicians refuse to do what is necessary to protect the kids in this country.
To learn more about gun violence in the United States and how it can be prevented, head to the gun safety non-profit organization Everytown.