"American Nightmare": Death by Firearms

"American Nightmare": Death by Firearms
Fecha de publicación: 
10 December 2022
Imagen principal: 

This is not the first nor the last time that this issue of violent death has been addressed in the United States, and firearms freely sold as the main protagonist, without hesitation, in a nation where its main predators are only interested in profit, the desire for profit at the cost of the death of others.

And it will not be the final chapter of a drama in the richest nation of the world, with the greatest military power and where a democracy is displayed that will never be participatory, exhibiting high rates and numbers of deaths with firearms, more than half by suicide.

Nine out of 10 citizens in the United States are armed and more than a hundred people die every day from firearms, which represents levels of violence higher than those of other developed countries.

In the United States, tens of thousands of people die each year, not counting the huge number of wounded, crippled, other figures that grow in hospitals for mental illnesses and those who wander the streets, homeless or jobless, candidates to join the list of drug dealers, something extremely abundant in the North American country, whose victims often enter this maelstrom of violence.


Last year there were 48,953 deaths from firearms, the highest mortality rate in three decades, and in the first half of 2022 there are more than 17,000, half by suicide.

Since the beginning of this year, there have been 213 mass shootings, with four or more people shot or killed, not counting the perpetrator, and ten mass murders, with a higher number of casualties.

A study published in JAMA Network Open and conducted by researchers at Amor University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Brown University analyzed more than one million fatalities by firearms (1,110,421), and discovered that rates increased by 45.5% in 2021 compared to 2004, when the minimum was recorded.

Although recent data shows some similar patterns, the sheer scale of the problem brings the United States to a "new moment in the history of gun deaths," said Dr. Eric Flagler, a pediatric emergency physician and investigator for the Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and co-author of the study.

Firearm homicide rates for both men and women nearly doubled between 2014 and 2021, but men were still more than five times more likely to die than women. Firearm suicide rates were also seven times higher among men than among women in 2021, even though suicide rates among women were increasing over time.


Racial disparities are even starker. The homicide rate among black youth — 142 homicide deaths per 100,000 black men ages 20-24 — was nearly 10 times the overall rate for gun deaths in the United States in 2021.

Homicide rates among black and Hispanic men were highest in the 20-24 age group. But for white men, the rate was highest in the 30-34 age group. Comparing these groups, the homicide rate was nearly four times higher among young Hispanic men compared to white men, and the homicide rate among young black men was a staggering 22 times higher than among white men.

"When we think of disparities, we often think of a 20% or 50% increase. In the case of infant mortality in the United States, if you compare black babies to white babies, the death rate doubles. This is a huge figure," Flagler said, and added: "And here we're talking more than 20 times the difference. These are differences of magnitude that are getting worse. And they demand attention."


The high levels of violence and massacres in the United States do not provoke any reaction from politicians, especially Republicans; and neither in the time of President Trump, like that of Biden now, who limits himself to flimsy proposals to avoid harm interests. In other words, the discourse in general minimizes the problem.

In the U.S. Congress, the arms lobbies that defend gun industry have great power. They proclaim as a sacred principle of individual freedom, possessing the weapons you desire.

The battles of citizen organizations and politicians who fight to ban the indiscriminate purchase of assault rifles always fail. The gun industry asserts its power.

There’s nothing on the horizon that suggests that this situation will vary. And although some may differ, despite the stress, anguish, depression and even fear, American society is already used to living those levels of murder and massacre that are part of its daily reality. That’s what can be seen until the end of 2022.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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