According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2022 alone, over 6,000 US kids were injured by guns in some way. Specifically, guns resulted in a total of 6,054 injuries and deaths among children under seventeen. This is a 5.7 percent increase from 2021 (5,708) and an increase of 14.7 percent from 2020 (5,160).
As of December 28, 2022, 307 children under the age of twelve had been murdered, and 670 had been wounded by shootings—intentional or not—in the United States. There were 1,331 deaths and 3,734 injuries reported among teens ages twelve to seventeen.
These numbers include deaths caused by gun attacks, suicide attempts, accidents, and other legal actions that led to gun deaths. Also included are deaths caused by guns that have not yet been figured out.
According to a survey published by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) in October 2022, in that same year, weapons were the biggest cause of mortality among children under the age of nineteen.
Findings of the KFF study show that the rates of death caused by guns were highest among young people of Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native communities.
While school shootings are responsible for a relatively small number of injuries and deaths in kids, the number of youth suicides involving guns has consistently increased since 2011, according to statistics.
Previous insights into injuries and deaths of kids in the US
US Department of Homeland Security data from 2019 indicate that most weapons used by youth are obtained from their own homes or those of relatives.
Only twenty-three states, including the District of Columbia, have rules that require gun owners to safely lock weapons away out of reach of children. It is extremely unusual in the U.S. for parents to be held accountable for crimes committed by their children. This includes the use of guns.
In speaking to NPR, legal authorities reported that officials and adults in general do not always abide by laws intended to deter children from gaining access to guns. This is, therefore, likely a major contributor to these injuries and deaths.
Gun violence in schools in 2022
In 2022, only a small number of the total of kids who were affected by gun violence were actually shot in their schools.
According to Education Week, fifty school shootings in 2022 resulted in death or injury. At Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the lives of nineteen students were tragically cut short as a result of a mass shooting on Tuesday, May 24th.
More people were shot at schools in 2022 than in any other year since 1970, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database, which comprehensively tracks such data and compiles statistics on incidences.
Bipartisan Safer Communities Act
In June 2022, Democratic President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. As a result of this landmark U.S. federal law, background checks for young adults have become more stringent, and those with a history of domestic violence had their access to guns restricted.
Additionally, the law has increased the number of school-based mental health resources available in an aim to provide kids proper trauma care as needed.
However, it remains to be seen whether or not Republicans will adopt more gun control legislation once they take control of the House of Congress in 2023.