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This article is about global gun violence. For gun violence in the United States, see Gun violence in the United States. Gun violence defined literally means the use of a firearm to threaten or inflict violence or harm. Gun violence may be broadly defined as a category of violence and crime committed with the use of a firearm; it may[1] or may not[2][3] include actions ruled as self-defense, actions for law enforcement, or the safe lawful use of firearms for sport, hunting, and target practice. Gun violence encompasses intentional crime characterized as homicide (although not all homicide is automatically a crime) and assault with a deadly weapon, as well as unintentional injury and death resulting from the misuse of firearms, sometimes by children and adolescents.[4] Gun violence statistics also may include self-inflicted gunshot wounds (both suicide, attempted suicide and suicide/homicide combinations sometimes seen within families).[5] The phrase "gun crime" is consistently used by both gun-control and gun-rights policy advocates, with differing emphases: the former group advocates reducing gun violence by enacting and enforcing "sensible regulations" on guns, while the latter group advocates controlling criminals via increased prison terms or other methods.[6][7] Levels of gun violence vary greatly across the world, with very high rates in South Africa and Colombia, as well as high levels in Thailand, Guatemala, and some other developing countries.[8] Levels of gun violence are low in Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and many other countries.[8] The United States has the highest rate of gun related injuries (not deaths per capita) among developed countries, though they also have the highest rate of gun ownership and highest rate of officers.[9] Contents 1 Suicide 2 Homicide 3 Robbery and assault 4 Costs of gun violence 5 See also 6 References Suicide Main article: Suicide methods Some research shows an association between household firearm ownership and gun suicide rates.[10][11] For example, it was found that individuals in a firearm owning home are close to five times more likely to commit suicide than those individuals who do not own firearms.[12] However, other research found a statistical association among a group of fourteen developed nations but that statistical association was lost when additional countries were included.[13] During the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a strong upward trend in adolescent suicides with a gun,[14] as well as a sharp overall increase in a suicides among those age 75 and over.[15] In the United States, firearms remain the most common method of suicide, accounting for 52.1% of all suicides committed during 2005.[16] Unlike in the U.S., suicides committed with guns in countries where firearms are uncommon are similarly uncommon (an obvious statistic, since guns are not as available). Research also indicates no association vis-à-vis safe-storage laws of guns that are owned, and gun suicide rates, and studies that attempt to link gun ownership to likely victimology often fail to account for the presence of guns owned by other people leading to a conclusion that safe-storage laws do not appear to affect gun suicide rates or juvenile accidental gun death.[17][18] Homicide Homicide is defined as the intentional and illegal death caused by one individual on another and in this case with a firearm.[19] In a recent study by the UN, it was found that firearms cause an average 60% of all homicides.[20] The homicide statistics listed below are for "intentional homicide", which is "death deliberately inflicted on a person by another person",[21] including justifiable homicide and criminal homicide. Caution is advised in reading the table. The statistics cannot take into account the differences that exist between the legal definitions of offences in various countries, of the different methods of tallying, etc.[22][23][24][25] In particular, to use the figures as a basis for comparison between different countries is highly problematic[26] as is comparing data from different years among different countries. Intentional homicides by country Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2000[8] Country % homicides with firearms Firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop. Non-firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop. Overall homicide rate per 100,000 pop. Australia 16 0.31 1.26 1.57 Azerbaijan 8 0.22 2.59 2.81 Barbados 40 3.00 4.49 7.49 Belarus 33 3.31 6.82 10.13 Bulgaria 19 0.77 3.3 4.07 Canada[27] 34 0.54 1.04 1.58 Chile 11 0.18 1.37 1.55 Colombia 85 51.77 10.9 62.7 Costa Rica[27] 51 3.38 3.19 6.57 Denmark 24 0.26 0.83 1.09 England & Wales[27] 8 0.12 1.33 1.45 Estonia 13 1.53 8.92 10.45 Finland[28] 19 0.43 1.94 2.19 Germany 40 0.47 0.70 1.17 Guatemala 75 18.50 25.5 25.47 Hungary 21 0.44 1.61 2.05 India[27] 25 0.93 2.04 2.97 Ireland[27] 24 0.32 1.01 1.33 Latvia 11 1.26 10 11.3 Lithuania 18 2.25 10 12.3 Macedonia 36 1.28 2.31 3.59 Mexico 21 3.66 14.1 17.8 Moldova, Republic of 5 0.47 8.13 8.59 New Zealand 13 0.18 1.17 1.36 Paraguay 38 7.35 12 19.4 Poland 7 0.43 5.61 6.04 Portugal 25 0.84 2.45 3.31 Qatar[27] 25 0.18 0.53 0.71 Singapore 3 0.02 0.92 0.95 Slovakia 45 2.17 2.65 4.81 Slovenia 25 0.6 1.81 2.41 Spain 16 0.25 1.25 1.5 Switzerland 37 0.56 0.96 1.52 Ukraine 4 0.35 8.93 9.27 United States[27] 46 2.97 4.58 8.55 Uruguay 35 2.52 4.61 7.13 Zimbabwe 40 4.75 7.24 12 Robbery and assault The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines robbery as the theft of property by force or threat of force. Assault is defined as a physical attack against the body of another person resulting in serious bodily injury. In the case of gun violence, the definitions become more specific and include only robbery and assault committed with the use of a firearm.[29] Firearms are used in this threatening capacity four to six times more than firearms used as a seems of protection in fighting crime.[30] In terms of occurrence, developed countries have similar rates of assaults and robberies with firearms, which is a different trend than homicides by firearms.[31][32] Costs of gun violence Gun violence leads to significant monetary costs. Phillip J. Cook estimated that gun violence costs Americans alone $100 billion annually.[33] Emergency medical care is a major contributor to the monetary costs of gun violence. It was determined in a cost estimate analysis, that for every one firearm death there are an average of three firearm related injuries that require emergency medical care.[34] Psychological costs of gun violence are also clearly documented. James Garbarino found that individuals who experience violence are prone to mental and health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep deprivation. These problems increase for those who experience gun violence as children.[35] See also Gun culture References ^ Carter, Gregg Lee (2002). Guns in American society: an encyclopedia of history, politics, culture, and the law. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO. pp. 262. ISBN 1-57607-268-1.  ^ Theodore, Larissa (2008-03-29). "GUNS: A RIGHT OR A SOCIETAL ILL?". Beaver County Times and Allegheny Times. "Gun violence by definition is people breaking the law, and drugs are a huge part of it in inner cities...It's not the gun that is causing them to commit the act."  ^ Courtesy link to copy of Michigan Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence: Statistics ^ Encyclopedia of Public Health: Gun Control ^ Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence: Kids and Gun Violence ^ "About us," Brady Center to Prevent Violence, undated ^ "Targeting Criminals, not Gun Owners," NRA-ILA; 8/17/06 ^ a b c "The Seventh United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (1998 - 2000)". United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Retrieved 2006-11-08.  ^ Cook, Philip J., Gun Violence: The Real Cost, Page 29. Oxford University Press, 2002 ^ Committee on Law and Justice (2004). "Executive Summary". Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. National Academy of Science. ISBN 0309091241.  ^ Kellermann, A.L., F.P. Rivara, G. Somes, et al. (1992). "Suicide in the home in relation to gun ownership". New England Journal of Medicine 327 (7): pp. 467–472. doi:10.1056/NEJM199208133270705. PMID 1308093.  ^ Kellermann, AL, Rivara FP, et al. "Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun Ownership." NEJM 327:7 (1992):467-472. ^ Miller, Matthew and Hemenway, David (2001). Firearm Prevalence and the Risk of Suicide: A Review. Harvard Health Policy Review. p. 2. "One study found a statistically significant relationship between gun ownership levels and suicide rate across 14 developed nations (e.g. where survey data on gun ownership levels were available), but the association lost its statistical significance when additional countries were included."  ^ Cook, Philip J., Jens Ludwig (2000). "Chapter 2". Gun Violence: The Real Costs. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513793-0.  ^ Ikeda, Robin M., Rachel Gorwitz, Stephen P. James, Kenneth E. Powell, James A. Mercy (1997). Fatal Firearm Injuries in the United States, 1962-1994: Violence Surveillance Summary Series, No. 3. National Center for Injury and Prevention Control.  ^ "Suicide in the U.S.A.". American Association of Suicidology.  ^ Kleck, Gary (2004). "Measures of Gun Ownership Levels of Macro-Level Crime and Violence Research". Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 41 (1): pp. 3–36. doi:10.1177/0022427803256229. NCJ 203876. "Studies that attempt to link the gun ownership of individuals to their experiences as victims (e.g., Kellermann, et al. 1993) do not effectively determine how an individual's risk of victimization is affected by gun ownership by other people, especially those not living in the gun owner's own household.".  ^ Lott, John, John E. Whitley (2001). "Safe-Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides, and Crime". Journal of Law and Economics 44 (2): pp. 659–689. doi:10.1086/338346. "It is frequently assumed that safe-storage laws reduce accidental gun deaths and total suicides. We find no support that safe-storage laws reduce either juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides.".  ^ United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. "Global Burden of Armed Violence".  ^ United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. "Global Burden of Armed Violence".  ^ "Questionnaire for the Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000". United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  ^ The Seventh United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (1998 - 2000) ^ WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 1999 - 2005, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ^ Henry E. Schaffer, Don Kates and William B. Waters IV: Public Health Pot Shots--How the CDC succumbed to the Gun "Epidemic." Reason Magazine ^ Pro-Gun Groups & Anti-Gun Groups--Does Anti-Gun Researcher David Hemenway Have Something To Hide? NRA-ILA, 3/24/06 ^ "The Seventh United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (1998 - 2000)". United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Retrieved 2008-06-19.  ^ a b c d e f g 1999 figures; 2000 figures not available ^ 1998 figures; 1999 and 2000 figures not available ^ "United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime".  ^ "The Relative Frequency of Offensive and Defensive Gun Uses: Results from a National Survey". Violence and Victims 15 (3): 257–272. 2000.  ^ Cook, Philip J. (2000). Gun Violence: The Real Costs. Oxford University Press. ISBN ISBN 0-19-513793-0..  ^ Crime Is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America. Oxford University Press. 1997. ISBN 0195131053.  ^ Cook, Philip J. (2000). Gun Violence: The Real Costs. Oxford University Press. ISBN ISBN 0-19-513793-0..  ^ Annest JL, Mercy JA, et al. "National Estimates of Nonfatal Firearm-Related Injuries: Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg." JAMA 273:22 (1995):1749-1754. ^ Garbarino, James. "Children, Youth, and Gun Violence: Analysis and Recommendations". Princeton-Brookings.