Posted By Levi
September 17th, 2013 6:23am
On a recent broadcast of PBS NewsHour, commentator Mark Shields said this to host Judy Woodruff:
“You know, Judy, the reality is — and it’s a terrible reality — since Robert Kennedy died in the Ambassador Hotel on June 4, 1968, more Americans have died from gunfire than died in … all the wars of this country’s history, from the Revolutionary through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, in those 43 years. … I mean, guns are a problem. And I think they still have to be confronted.”
More people killed by guns since 1968 than those killed in all the wars in US history! That’s a bold claim – could that be true?
Over at Politifact, they decided to check out the claim and pronounced it to be true. To back it up they produced these two charts.
Total Deaths by Firearms
Note that these figures refer to all gun-fire related deaths — not just homicides, but also suicides and accidental deaths. In 2011, about one-quarter of firearm-related deaths were homicides, according to FBI and CDC data. Using total firearm-related deaths makes the case against guns more dramatic than just using homicides alone.