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America's relationship with guns


Well, as we have been reporting, Monterey Park is not the only mass shooting America has suffered this month or even this week. Just since the weekend, Monterey Park, Oakland, Half Moon Bay, all mass shootings that took the lives of at least 19 people, collectively. And that is just in California.


If the number of lives lost to guns in this country feels overwhelming and extreme, well, the data back that up. We're going to take a moment now to lay out some numbers that help paint the picture of gun violence in America. It's the only country in the world with more civilian-owned guns than people, with about 120 guns for every 100 Americans.

KELLY: There is still a week left in January, and there have already been 39 mass shootings, from coast to coast.

SHAPIRO: So far, more than 2,800 people have died by gun violence this year, the majority by suicide.

KELLY: Nothing cuts childhood short more than guns in America. It is the leading cause of death for kids here. Recent years have been particularly awful. More than 3,500 children were killed by guns in 2021.

SHAPIRO: No group of people in America is spared, but Black people bear the heaviest burden of gun deaths. Black men and boys, aged 15 to 34, are 21 times more likely than their white counterparts to die because of gun violence based on one recent analysis.

KELLY: And the percentage of people who used guns to defend themselves from violent crimes, less than 1%.

SHAPIRO: Yet more Americans are buying more firearms year after year after year. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jonaki Mehta is a producer for All Things Considered. Before ATC, she worked at Neon Hum Media where she produced a documentary series and talk show. Prior to that, Mehta was a producer at Member station KPCC and director/associate producer at Marketplace Morning Report, where she helped shape the morning's business news.