Do you know someone who’s been shot? If you don’t, your neighbor probably does. Or even your best friend. You may be surprised at how many people know a victim of gun violence. Since over 300 people are shot every day, it makes sense just how many people personally know a victim. Nearly 80 percent of murders and more than 50 percent of suicides involve a gun, so gun violence is not hard to find.
A recent survey conducted by Mickelsen Dalton LLC investigated exactly how many Americans know a gunshot victim, and analyzed the data. Here’s what they found.
Let’s examine the general findings of the survey, such as how many people know a victim and whether that victim perished:
- A reported 57 percent of Americans personally know at least one gunshot victim
- A reported 17 percent of Americans personally know more than one gunshot victim
- Of the 57 percent who know a victim, 27 percent reported that the victim was fatally shot
Who Was Shot?
One of the questions addressed in the survey was who the person shot was – in other words, what was the survey respondent’s relationship to the victim. The results were as follows:
- 62 percent of respondents know a friend who has been shot
- 42 percent of respondents know a family member who has been shot. This includes blood relatives, spouses, and significant others.
- 28 percent reported knowing an acquaintance
- 17.5 percent know a classmate who has been shot
And finally, 9 percent of respondents reported being shot themselves.
When questioned on who did the shooting, most victims unsurprisingly knew the shooter. The FBI reports that the majority of gun violence victims know their shooter, either as a friend, family member, or acquaintance. The survey results reflected this, with 52.2 percent of respondents saying that the victim knew their attacker.
Where Did it Happen?
Gun violence can happen anywhere, but where does it happen most? When it comes to the United States, the data shows that gun violence happens most in some of the Southern states, like Mississippi and Louisiana. Interestingly, this data correlates with which states have the overall highest rates of death in the United States.
But what about the type of location? Here’s what the survey respondents reported:
- 65.5 percent reported knowing a victim who was shot at a residence, either their own or someone else’s
- 41.8 percent know a victim who was shot in a public place
- 17 percent of reported shootings happened at work
- 11.8 percent occurred at a business, and
- 7 percent occurred at a school
Although school shootings are certainly increasing and seem to be in the news frequently, they still make up a small percentage of all shooting locations. A more detailed breakdown of types of locations can be found on the survey report.
How Did it Happen?
When it comes to how a shooting happens, there are three main categories: Gun violence (in other words, a purposeful shooting), accidental, and self-inflicted (suicide attempts).
- 63 percent happened from gun violence
- 36 percent happened accidentally
- 23.5 percent were self inflicted
One final metric not yet mentioned is whether the survey respondents themselves were gun owners. The data shows that gun owners were much more more likely to know a gunshot victim who had been shot by a family member – specifically, they were 130 percent likely to know a victim who was shot by an intimate partner. Non-gun owners were more likely to know someone who was shot by a stranger. Additionally, gun owners were also found to more frequently know a victim of self-inflicted gun violence, and to have been shot themselves.
This data can be used to better understand gun violence in America. If you or someone you know is a gun owner, remember to also follow the rules of gun safety.