16 Facts About Gun Violence And School Shootings

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Gun violence and school shootings are a uniquely American epidemic. Sandy Hook Promise is shining a light on these vital facts and statistics.  

Every number you see stands for a person, often a child, with hopes, dreams, and loved ones who cherished them. Children and families in the U.S. are facing a vast problem, but you can help. Share these facts, know the signs, and act to protect them before it’s too late.

Child-related Gun Violence and School Shooting Facts

1. Each day 12 children die from gun violence in America. Another 32 are shot and injured.1

2. Guns are the leading cause of death among American children and teens. 1 out of 10 gun deaths are age 19 or younger.2 

3. In fact, firearm deaths occur at a rate more than 5 times higher than drownings.3

4. The U.S. has had 2,032 school shootings since 1970 and these numbers are increasing. Alarmingly, 948 school shootings have taken place since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.4 

5. School shootings have returned to pre-COVID levels and by some accounts have even increased. However, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security research shows that if we “know the signs” of gun violence, we can prevent it and reverse the trend.5

6. Since the historic attack at Columbine High School in 1999, nearly 300,000 students have been on campus during a school shooting6. There is help for victims and survivors of gun violence.  

Facts About How to Stop School Shootings and Other Violence

7. An estimated 4.6 million American children live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked.  These improperly stored weapons have contributed to school shootings, suicides and the deaths of family members, including infants and toddlers.7 

8. Nearly half of all parents with a weapon in the home wrongly believe their children don’t know where a gun is stored.8 Safe storage of firearms prevents tragedies.

9. In 4 out of 5 school shootings, at least one other person had knowledge of the attacker’s plan but failed to report it.9

10. In a comprehensive school shooting study, the Secret Service and Department of Education found that 93% of school shooters planned the attack in advance.10  When people see the signs and get help, we can end school shootings.

11. Almost all mass school shooters shared  threatening or concerning messages or images. More than 75% raised concern from others prior to the attacks. Bystanders saw warning signs in most documented active shooter cases. 11 Truly, you can prevent school shootings when you know the signs.

Facts about How Gun Violence Impacts America’s Most Vulnerable

Disparately and disproportionately impacted children and adults face higher risk of being victimized by gun violence. Despite economic factors, gender, racial, mental health conditions or sexual orientation, everyone has the right to be safe in their classrooms and communities.

12. Children living in poverty – urban and rural – are more likely to die due to gun violence than their more affluent peers.12 

13. About 1 out of 5 gay and lesbian youth have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property.13

14. Black youth are four times more likely to be killed with guns than their white peers.14

15. The majority of individuals with diagnosed mental illness do not engage in violence against others.15

16. Lastly, it must be remembered that 90% of teenagers killed in an act of dating violence were girls.16 

You Can Help Stop School Shootings

Real change in how America approaches gun reform and school safety isn’t possible without people like you. Because of our supporters and volunteers, we’ve helped prevent at least 96 incidents involving weapons at schools across the country, including 11 school shooting plots.