America's relationship with guns There have already been 39 mass shootings this year in the U.S., the only country with more guns than people. We take stock of the facts that paint a picture of America's relationship with guns.

America's relationship with guns

America's relationship with guns

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1151160189/1151160190" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

There have already been 39 mass shootings this year in the U.S., the only country with more guns than people. We take stock of the facts that paint a picture of America's relationship with guns.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Well, as we have been reporting, Monterey Park is not the only mass shooting America has suffered this month or even this week. Just since the weekend, Monterey Park, Oakland, Half Moon Bay, all mass shootings that took the lives of at least 19 people, collectively. And that is just in California.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

If the number of lives lost to guns in this country feels overwhelming and extreme, well, the data back that up. We're going to take a moment now to lay out some numbers that help paint the picture of gun violence in America. It's the only country in the world with more civilian-owned guns than people, with about 120 guns for every 100 Americans.

KELLY: There is still a week left in January, and there have already been 39 mass shootings, from coast to coast.

SHAPIRO: So far, more than 2,800 people have died by gun violence this year, the majority by suicide.

KELLY: Nothing cuts childhood short more than guns in America. It is the leading cause of death for kids here. Recent years have been particularly awful. More than 3,500 children were killed by guns in 2021.

SHAPIRO: No group of people in America is spared, but Black people bear the heaviest burden of gun deaths. Black men and boys, aged 15 to 34, are 21 times more likely than their white counterparts to die because of gun violence based on one recent analysis.

KELLY: And the percentage of people who used guns to defend themselves from violent crimes, less than 1%.

SHAPIRO: Yet more Americans are buying more firearms year after year after year.

Copyright © 2023 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.