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 important facts and statistics.  

Every number you see below represents a person, often a child, with hopes, dreams, potential, 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.

1. EACH DAY 8 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. Firearm deaths occur at a rate more than 3 times higher than drownings.3

4. The U.S. has had 1,316 school shootings since 1970 and these numbers are increasing. 18% of school shootings have taken place since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.3 

5. In a comprehensive study of school shootings from 1974 to 2000 conducted by the Secret Service and Department of Education 93% of school shooters planned the attack in advance.4 

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

7. Guns used in about 68% of gun-related incidents at schools were taken from the home, a friend or a relative.4

8. A study found that 77% of active shooters spent a week or longer planning their attack.6 

9. Nearly all mass attackers in 2018 made threatening or concerning communications and more than 75% elicited concern from others prior to carrying out their attacks.5 

10. In almost every documented case of active shooters, warning signs were given shown.6  

11. 2018 had the most school shootings on record, but 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 

12. The majority of individuals with diagnosed mental illness do not engage in violence against others.7 

13. 70% of people who die by suicide tell someone their plans or give some other type of warning signs.8 

14. 39% of parents wrongly believe children don’t know where a gun is stored.9 

15. An estimated 4.6 million American children live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked.10 

16. 17 states have enacted Extreme Risk Laws, the majority being implemented following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.11 

Get Involved and Make A Difference

Real change in how America approaches gun reform and school safety isn’t possible without people like you. Because of our supporters, activists, and volunteers, lives are being saved.


1. CDC, WISQARS accessed on 1/28/19 at https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html 

2. https://efsgv.org/wp-content/uploads/2019CDCdata.pdf, A Public Health Crisis Decades in the Making: A Review of 2019 CDC Gun Mortality Data, Feb. 2021

3. https://www.thetrace.org/2019/08/children-teens-gun-deaths-data/ 

4. Vossekuil, et al, 2002

5. https://www.secretservice.gov/data/press/reports/USSS_FY2019_MAPS.pdf 

6. Silver, J., Simons, A., & Craun, S. (2018). A Study of the Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States Between 2000 – 2013. Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20535 

7. https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Mass-Violence-in-America_8-6-19.pdf

8. Robins, E., Gassner, S., Kayes, J., Wilkinson, R.H. & Murphy, G.E. (1959). The communication of suicidal intent: A study of 134 consecutive cases of successful (completed) suicide. Am J Psychiatry, 115 (8), 724-733.

9. http://www.aappublications.org/news/2017/05/23/Firearms052317

10. Azrael, D., Cohen, J., Salhi, C. et al. J Urban Health (2018) 95: 295. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-018-0261-7 Accessed on 1/29/19&nbsp

11. http://bit.ly/2lPtrcy