Impact of Guns on Communities

Gun violence has changed the way many Americans live their lives. 

  • Exposure to gun violence can create a cycle of violence. Psychological effects may include anger and disassociation, desensitization to violence, and an increased likelihood that violence will be used to resolve problems or express emotions.Impact of Guns on Communities
  • Routine gun violence is more concentrated in African American communities and disproportionately affects young men, particularly young African Americans. 
  • The US is average among developed countries on urban crime rate, mental illness, use of violent media, and non-firearm homicide rates.  But our gun homicide rate is 20% higher because of easy access to guns. Guns don’t kill people; they just make it really easy.
  • 60% of all gun deaths are suicides.  A gun in the home makes a suicide 3x more likely because many suicide attempts are impulsive; 85-91% of firearm suicide attempts are successful.
  • The community pays a significant price for gun violence.  A 2019 study by Force Detroit showed that one gun homicide in Detroit costs local and state governments $1.6M; for a gunshot injury, it’s $1.1M, click here for a cost breakdown.  Crime and gun violence encourage urban flight, thus reducing housing values, community investment, and business growth.  

For More Information: 

Impact of Gun Violence on Children, Families and Communities,” Child Welfare League of America, vol. 23, no. 1.

“Detroit homicide prosecutions cost society $1.6M per shooting, report says,” The Detroit News, June 29, 2019.

View our analysis of local violent crime, domestic violence, and suicide rates and check out the facts below on the impact of guns on communities.