California has the 44th highest rate of gun deaths in the United States.
Here in California, slightly more than half of all gun deaths (51 percent) are suicides, while 44 percent are homicides.
The rate of gun deaths has dropped eight percent in the last decade, while it has increased 17 percent nationwide.
The gun death rate in Orange County is 4.6 per 100,000 people, slightly more than Santa Clara County (4.2) and slightly less than San Diego County (6.2).
About 1,583 people (on average) use a gun to kill themselves in California each year. The gun suicide rate is 3.9 per 100,000 people, which is 43rd highest in the nation.
White people are three times as likely as Black people to die by gun suicide in California.
The rate of gun homicides in California is 3.7 per 100,000 people, which is the 28th highest in the nation.
Black people are 10 times as likely as white people to die by gun homicide in California (which is the same nationwide).
In California, guns are the second leading cause of death among children and teens. An average of 246 children and teens are killed by guns every year in California–76 percent of those deaths are homicides (nationwide, 58 percent of gun deaths involving children and teens are homicides).
Between 2013 and 2017, 289 women were shot by an intimate partner in California, which represents 89 percent of all intimate partner gun homicides in the state.
“Whether they happen in a hearing room, a newsroom, or a living room, conversations about gun violence should start from an accurate understanding of what it looks like in a particular community,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, director of research for Everytown for Gun Safety, the organization that compiled all of the above stats for every state in the U.S. “Across the country, people are talking about how to reduce gun violence. You shouldn’t have to be a professional researcher to learn basic facts about this public health crisis. ”
Click here to access the Everytown research and examine gun violence stats in any state.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.