While terrorism acts and mass shootings dominate the media, a new study reveals that the majority of gun-related deaths are actually linked to suicides and homicides. In fact, more firearm fatalities occur outside of war, versus in it, within 195 nations and territories, according to research that was conducted from 1990 to 2016.
About 251 individuals died at the hands of guns in 2016, across the globe. Meanwhile, there were 209,000 gun-related fatalities in 1990; reflecting an annual decrease of 0.9 percent, when population growth is taken into account.
Gun deaths concentrated predominantly within six nations, which also account for about less than ten percent of the population worldwide. The countries that make up close to over half of the gun deaths across the world during the study time period include: Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Mexico, and the United States of America.
A majority of the worldwide gun-related deaths in 2016 were homicides, which reflects 64 percent of firearm fatalities that year; with suicides at 27 percent; and only nine percent of gun-related deaths simply accidental.
When looking at a map, the highest numbers around homicides and guns seem to sit on the stretch from Brazil to the Caribbean, and through to Mexico. The research team suggests that there may be an issue with illegal gun trade and organized crime in these regions.
In 2016, El Salvador saw the biggest concentration of firearm-related homicides, at 38.9 percent, while Singapore hit the lowest with 0.1 per 100,000 homicides due to guns.
CNN revealed that the study reported males aged 20 to 24 were the demographic most vulnerable to gun violence, and the biggest perpetrators.
When it came to gun rates and suicide, the good news is that rates decreased worldwide between 1990 to 2016. The bad news? Some specific nations struggled with this as an issue. For example, the United States had the second-highest rate with 6.4 fatalities per 100,00 in 2016, while Greenland hit number one when it came to gun suicides with 22 death per 100,000.
Overall, the biggest increase for firearm-related suicide during the study was Jamaica, while Singapore had the lowest gun suicide death rate.