The recent horrific shooting of a news reporter and photographer during a live broadcast has reignited the debate around gun control in the United States. A Tampa Bay Times’ blog Punditfact, recently published an article that fact checks and supports the claim that more Americans have died from gun violence than every US war.
The original claim was made by political commentator Mark Shields, who stated in 2013: “Since 1968, more Americans have died from gunfire than died in … all the wars of this country's history." (Shields used the year 1968 because it was the year presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by gunman Sirhan Sirhan.)
The blog verified the claim as true.
In light of recent events the blog decided to revisit this claim with revised statistics from both the conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the Civil War (which itself saw a jump in estimated casualties from 525,000 to about 750,000).
With the revised numbers the blog found that the total number of casuaulties from every US war was a whopping 1,396,733.
The total number of Americans killed from gun violence? A near tie of 1,516,863.
An astonishing statistic to say the least.
However, Metro would like to note that according to publicly available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between the years 1968 and 2013 more than 2 milion people in the United States alone have died from car accidents.
That’s a little over 500,00 more deaths than those from gun violence and roughly 600,000 more deaths than all of the US wars combined.