Over the past year, the U.S. has experienced some of the worst mass shootings in its history, many of which took place at schools. The Parkland shooting, the Santa Fe shooting, and the Thousand Oaks shooting are a few examples of the tragic incidents in 2018 that continue to push conversations about gun control.
But two years ago, back in 2016, death by gunshot was already the second-highest cause of death in the United States among children and adolescents ages 1 to 19, according to a study released Thursday through the New England Journal of Medicine.
As CNN reports, the study showed the U.S. leading the world in rate of youth deaths by firearms. The rate in 2016 was 36.5 times higher than countries with similar GDPs around the globe. The country experienced a 32 percent increase in firearm homicides of children from 2013, and a 26 percent increase in firearm suicide. The rate of accidental firearm deaths among youth remained about the same.
The study comes from the University of Michigan, and shows motor vehicle incidents as the leading cause of death among children, with 4,074 deaths, with firearms not far behind at 3,143. That means in 2016, 15 percent of child deaths, 20,360 in total, were caused by firearms.
The statistics are from 2016 because that's the most recent available data, but it will likely be shocking and sad to see how the rates grow in the following years as mass shootings persist. The study concludes that reducing child deaths by firearm will require a "shift in public perceptions so that injury deaths are viewed not as 'accidents,'" and arguably, some common sense gun control.