Gun-related deaths in the U.S. last year reached their highest point in 40 years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database.
In 2017, nearly 40,000 people were killed from gun-related incidents in the U.S., according to the data. By contrast, gun-related incidents accounted for less than 29,000 deaths in 1999.
Last year marked some of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. In October 2017, a gunman opened fire on a Las Vegas crowd of 22,000 concertgoers, killing 58 and injuring nearly 500. The following month, a gunman killed 25 people and unborn child at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Of the 40,000 recorded gun-related deaths in 2017, more than a third were homicides while more than half were suicides, according to the CDC data. At 14 deaths per 100,000 people, white men accounted for the highest percentage of suicide deaths by firearm. Black men accounted for the most firearm homicide deaths.
Nearly 500 gun deaths were unintentional, according to the CDC, while 553 “contributed to legal intervention and operations of war.”
The National Rifle Association responded to the CDC's data, demurring on the merits of more gun control, in a Twitter message.
"The facts are clear," the NRA wrote. "Gun control laws are not the answer. If we want to prevent more horrific acts of violence our leaders need to stop demonizing the men and women of the @NRA and find solutions that will save lives.”
"The facts are clear: Gun control laws are not the answer. If we want to prevent more horrific acts of violence our leaders need to stop demonizing the men and women of the @NRA and find solutions that will save lives.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also weighed in on the report, retorting: "What is wrong with us? This is not a problem we should have at all, let alone one that's getting worse."
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who has been an outspoken proponent of gun control since being shot in her head and nearly losing her life in 2011, said the CDC’s data, “reminds us how many lives our gun violence crisis alters every year – and why so many Americans are rising up to demand action.”
In a statement, Giffords lambasted Congress for refusing to “debate policies we know would help save lives,” while shooting-related deaths keep escalating.
The New York Daily News on Sunday cited a study from the BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine that concluded gun deaths accounted for a 2.48-year overall decrease in life expectancy from 2000 to 2016.