America's Youth Under Fire: The Devastating Impact of Gun Violence on Young People

America's Youth Under Fire: The Devastating Impact of Gun Violence on Young People

Youth in the United States are disproportionately affected by gun violence, which has surpassed motor vehicle accidents as a leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 29 and is second only to drug overdose, a report from the Center for American Progress finds. The report, America's Youth Under Fire: The Devastating Impact of Gun Violence on Young People, found that while individuals between the ages of 15 and 29 accounted for only 2.2 percent of deaths in 2016, they accounted for 31 percent of all gun deaths and nearly half of all gun-related homicides; in the first five months of 2018, eight hundred and twenty youth between the ages of 12 and 17 were killed or injured with a gun. The study also found that African Americans between the ages of 15 and 29 are eighteen times more likely than their white peers to be the victim of a gun homicide, while gun suicides disproportionately impact white and Native American youth. In addition, 36 percent of murders of young women between the ages of 15 and 29 were committed by an intimate partner or family member, and 54 percent of those murders were committed with a gun. The report highlights the central role of young people in advancing solutions to gun violence, including policy solutions such as requiring background checks for all gun sales, enabling the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence as a public health issue, and supporting local violence prevention and intervention programs, as well as community reinvestment strategies such as youth job programs, high-quality trauma-informed education programs, and criminal justice reform.