Report: U.S. Gun Murder Rate 19.5 Times Higher Than Other Developed Countries


A new report from Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center says that the United States' firearm murder rate is relatively high among Western countries.

The report, which compares numerous studies that have taken place over time, said that despite falling murder rates in the United States since 1991, there are still 15,000 murders—approximately half of them committed with guns—every year.

That puts the U.S. at a relatively high homicide rate compared with other developed countries but still lower than Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a United Nations report.

The Shorenstein Center quoted the Journal of Trauma as finding in 2003 that the U.S. gun homicide rates were: “6.9 times higher than rates in the other high-income countries, driven by firearm homicide rates that were 19.5 times higher.

For 15-year-olds to 24-year-olds, firearm homicide rates in the United States were 42.7 times higher than in the other countries.”

The report also points to a recent study that found that violent video games do increase feelings of aggression in children but cannot be directly linked with murder.

Researchers in the journal Psychological Bulletin wrote:

"The evidence strongly suggests that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect and for decreased empathy and prosocial behavior."