S5E2: Deaths by Firearm Violence: How Attention to Safety Can Make a Big Difference

In 2020, firearms became the leading cause of death for American children and teens in the United States, overtaking motor vehicle accidents. Firearm violence – which includes accidental death related to firearms, suicide, mass shootings, and homicides – has become a health crisis. Many of these deaths are preventable with a few safety steps…learn what you can do in this episode.

In this Episode:

  • 00:00 – Our Sponsor: Tree of Life Memorials and Digital & Stone
  • 00:20 – Intro
  • 03:48 – Recipe of the Week, Jimmy Carter Cake
  • 05:50 – The Crisis of Firearm Violence
  • 19:47 – Tips to Promote Firearm Safety
  • 24:42 – Shakespeare’s 29th Sonnet
  • 26:08 – Outro

Understanding the Firearm Death Crisis

How many people died from firearm-related deaths last year?

In 2023 more than 40,000 Americans were killed in firearm-related deaths, resulting in over 110 people dying each day. These data work out to one gun death every 5 minutes. Firearms are also the leading cause of death for American children and teens.

Is there a difference in firearm ownership across the USA?

Yes. Firearm ownership in rural communities is twice the rate of ownership in urban communities. Firearm-related suicides are highest amongst older adults and people that live in rural America.

A graph from Your Local Epidemiologist showing how rates of death from firearms differ in rural vs urban environments
Urban/ruralThe overall rate of firearm deaths in children is about the same in both urban and rural areas. However, the most common reasons are completely switched. In urban areas, children are more likely to die from homicides, while in non-metro areas, children are more likely to die from suicide. (Source: YLE)

Are people required to have secure firearm storage?

While Federal law requires firearm dealers to provide a secure firearm storage or safety device with the sale of every firearm, it does not require firearm owners to use them.

Are there differences in firearm homicides among racial and ethnic minorities?

There have been alarming increases of gun homicides among racial and ethnic minorities. From 2019 to 2021, the gun homicide rate increased by 49% for African Americans and 44% for Hispanics/Latinos. That figure rose by 55% among American Indians/Alaska Natives.

How To Keep Kids Safe on a Playdate

Marianne talked about how she always asked about guns before her children played at someone’s house. It may seem like an awkward conversation, but more than a third of all unintentional shootings of children take place in the homes of their friends, neighbors or relatives. Below is a great way to approach the conversation.

An example conversation to ask about firearms before a playdate. "Jimmy is so curious, and always getting into things. How are your firearms stored?"
More than a third of all unintentional shootings of children take place in the homes of their friends, neighbors or relatives. That’s why it is also important to make sure your kids are safe when they spend time where other people live.

Learn Firearm Safety

We talk about several measures to prevent accidental deaths, especially from curious children. But many accidents are from inappropriately handling a firearm. Training can impart knowledge of both safety and situational awareness. Why not make it part of your prevention measures?

Here’s a link to browse the complete catalog of NRA firearm training courses by topic or type of firearm: Find Firearm Training Near Me.



Shakespeare’s 29th Sonnet

This poem is about the power of love to positively affect one’s mindset; it argues that love offers compensation for the injuries and setbacks we endure in life. The poem begins with the speaker expressing his despair and loss of reputation and status, but ends on a positive note, with the speaker being restored to happiness by love. The poem is traditionally believed to have been written for a young man.

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Recipe of the Week

Try this Jimmy Carter Cake from Southern Living.

This week we bring you Jimmy Carter Cake from Southern Living. It isn’t really a cake, but its rich peanut-butter embedded crust certainly earns the name of our 39th president. Give it a try for your next event!

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