The epidemic of U.S. gun violence has reached another gruesome milestone.
2017 was the deadliest year on record for firearms, as nearly 40,000 Americans were killed by a gun last year — an average of 109 per day — according to a CNN analysis that was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The totals for 2017 were a three percent increase over 2016, and mark a 38 percent rise over the past two decades.
Suicide deaths by firearm have also risen by 44 percent in recent decades. The rate of gun suicides in the U.S. “is eight times that of other high-income countries,” per Everytown for Gun Safety.
Americans are 25 times more likely to die by a gun than any other advanced nation.
The CDC has tracked firearm fatalities since 1979, but Congress bans it from researching the epidemic of gun violence.
Medical professionals, law enforcement officials, and military veterans have advocated for more gun control, but President Donald Trump’s White House and the Republican-led Congress have opposed additional regulations.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), which is facing increasing legal and financial pressure over its ties to Russia, has blamed recent mass shootings on “progressive culture,” video games, and Ritalin.
U.S. mass shootings in 2018 have included 12 people killed at a California bar last month, 11 people killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October, two people killed at a Jacksonville video game tournament in August, five people killed at a Maryland newspaper in June, 10 people killed at a Texas school in May, and 17 people killed at a Florida school in February — and hundreds of similar incidents.
Around 350,000 Americans have been killed by guns over the past decade, a total that exceeds the populations of St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Orlando.