In 2017, more U. S. children were gunned down than on-duty police and active-duty military combined

This study led by researchers at Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt College of Medicine should be appalling to any American who hasn't been socialized into a state of numbness and apathy by the unrelenting torrent of gun violence in this country, with its idiotic “gun culture,” but, hey, it’ll probably disappear, just like any other study of the matter.

The number of children killed by guns has risen at an alarming rate and to epidemic proportions in the past two decades, according to researchers. 

More children were shot dead in 2017 than on-duty police officers and active duty military, a study published in The American Journal of Medicine showed.

The study’s researchers reviewed data obtained by the National Center for Health Statistics. Between 1999 and 2017, the data revealed, 38,940 children between the ages of 5 and 18 were killed by firearms. By contrast, the total number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War, which lasted two years longer than the period studied, was 58,220.

Of the nearly 39,000 firearm deaths, 32% were suicides. A total of 61% of the children were killed in an assault involving a firearm. Black children accounted for 41% of those gun-related deaths, and of those black children, 86% were boys. Although the circumstances of each death were not specifically examined in the study, researchers believe that many of these children were caught in the line of fire of domestic violence situations that involved guns.

What a country! Not.

“It is sobering that in 2017, there were 144 police officers who died in the line of duty and about 1,000 active duty military throughout the world who died, whereas 2,462 school-age children were killed by firearms," the authors wrote of their findings based on children in the U.S.

According to the study, homicide rates in the U.S. are six to nine times higher than they are in other developed countries. But since the deaths of black children don’t seem to particularly matter to the American media—or to the large number of Americans who pledge their fealty to the Republican Party—we don’t hear much about those deaths, beyond the “leads if it bleeds” reports on our nightly local news broadcasts.

The research is the latest in a string of studies to shed light on how children are victims of gun violence in the U.S. Last year, a study revealed firearms are the second biggest cause of death among young people after car crashes, with as many as eight children being killed by guns each day in the U.S. The research based on the latest figures from 2016 was published in TheNew England Journal of Medicine.

Twice as many children are killed in states with lenient gun laws as are killed in those with stricter regulations (such as requirements for locking or storage mechanisms for handguns), according to another study, this one conducted by the Stanford School of Medicine.

The authors of the Florida Atlantic University study also remarked upon the the implications of their findings.

[The study’s authors] believe that combatting the epidemic of mortality due to firearms among U.S. schoolchildren without addressing firearms is analogous to combatting the epidemic of mortality from lung cancer due to cigarettes without addressing cigarettes.

We have far more than a serious gun problem in this country. Maybe one day we’ll elect some politicians who will actually do something about it

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