Rate for gun deaths in US in­creases for sec­ond straight year

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - ByMike Stobbe The As­so­ci­ated Press

NEWYORK » The U. S. rate for gun deaths has in­creased for the sec­ond straight year, fol­low­ing 15 years of no real change, a govern­ment re­port shows.

Roughly two-thirds of gun deaths are sui­cides and those have been in­creas­ing for about 10 years. Un­til re­cently, that has been off­set by a de­cline in peo­ple shot dead by oth­ers.

How­ever, there has been a re­cent up­swing in those gun-re­lated homi­cides, too, some ex­perts said.

Over­all, the firearm death rate rose to 12 deaths per 100,000 peo­ple last year, up from 11 in 2015, ac­cord­ing to the re­port re­leased Fri­day by the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. Be­fore that, the rate had hov­ered just above 10 — a level it had fallen to in the late 1990s.

In the early ’ 90s, it was as high as 15 per 100,000 peo­ple.

In the past two years, sharp homi­cide in­creases in Chicago and other places have been large enough to el­e­vate the na­tional statis­tics.

Ac­cord­ing to the FBI’s raw num­bers, the tally of U. S. homi­cides in­volv­ing guns rose to nearly 11,000 last year, from about 9,600 the year be­fore.

Over­all, there were more than 38,000 gun deaths last year, ac­cord­ing to the CDC. That’s up from about 36,000 in 2015, and around 33,500 each year be­tween 2011 and 2014.

The lat­est CDC re­port means the na­tion is ap­proach­ing two decades since there’s been any sub­stan­tial im­prove­ment in the rate of gun deaths, said Dr. Garen Win­te­mute, a prom­i­nent gun vi­o­lence re­searcher at UC Davis.

The rate for the first three months of this year was about what it was for the same pe­riod last year. Hope­fully, it’s a sign it will level off again, Win­te­mute said.

Most gun deaths tend to hap­pen in warm weather so it’s too early to know what is hap­pen­ing this year, said Bob An­der­son, the CDC’s chief of mor­tal­ity statis­tics.

The CDC also re­ported a con­tin­ued in­crease in the death rate from drug over­doses, which hit 20 per 100,000 last year, up from 16 the year be­fore. Heroin and other opioids are driv­ing the dead­li­est drug epi­demic in U. S. his­tory.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.