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The amount of gunfire in the U.S. is staggering and it’s toxic for our children

August 11, 2015



Richmond and Oakland, California, use companies like ShotSpotter

Click to watch the video.

Al Jazeera America logged a report yesterday titled Sounds of gunfire causing invisible wounds to children. We cover gun-related homicides and gun-related violence statistics in the United States and how disturbing those statistics are. We cover Republican and other conservative efforts to stymie research into gun violence in our country. But one thing not often covered is the sound of guns and how many gunshots there might actually be going off in our country. More importantly, what effect does this have on children? The statistics in this section come from the link below while the quotes in this section are all from the Al Jazeera report that you can watch below the fold.

The level of gunfire is so prevalent in our cities that cities such as Richmond, California, use companies like Shotspotter to set up microphones and audio-tracking devices that allow law enforcement to figure out where gunfire is going off—because most of the time people don't report it unless there are bodies.

We reviewed and published 33,975 separate gunfire incidents in 2014. That’s 1051 gunfire incidents per day, or 4.4 incidents every hour in just the portions of the 47 cities that contributed ShotSpotter data to this analysis. That compares to more than 11,000 homicides committed with a firearm each year in the entire United States of America—30 per day, or 1.3 homicides every hour.

According to James Beldock, CEO of Shotspotter and also a board member of Center to Prevent Youth Violence. Unfortunately when somebody fires a gun people call 911 only 20% of the time.  I think if the American population knew just how many shooting incidents there are in which bullets are flying through the air and little kids are listening to gunfire 5, 10, 15 times a night, I think the reaction about the gun debate would be a little different.

What is it doing to children? Terence Beau, a therapist at the Center for Juvenile Justice, says children are psychologically impaired by gun violence and the trauma becomes cyclical. Because of the trauma that they face, self actualization, self-esteem, transcendence, all of these things that are higher up on Maslow's hierarchy of needs are just not even in the realm of consciousness or possibility. It's down, it's around physical and biological needs. Safety and security.

The story also talks about the fact that trauma is also now shown to have lasting physical effects on an individual's life expectancy and their all-around health.

Daily Kos