From Children's Safety Network
Firearm-related suicides and homicides pose a continuing public health problem in the United States. In a study released today, CDC researchers found that firearm-related suicides increased in a majority of the 50 most populated metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the country. However, firearm-related homicides rates decreased in the majority of these areas. In addition, the study found that young people between the ages of 10 and 19 are still substantially impacted by gun violence.
- Focusing on the period 2009-2010, this report updates an earlier MMWR which provided statistics on firearm homicides and suicides in major metropolitan areas for 2006-2007.
- The firearm homicide rate for large MSAs remained above the national average for 2009-2010. However, over three-fourths of MSAs showed a decreased rate since 2006-2007, largely accounting for a national decrease.
- The firearm homicide rate for those aged 10 to 19 years exceeded the all-ages rate in many of the MSAs during 2009-2010, similar to the earlier reporting period.
- The firearm suicide rate for large MSAs remained below the national average during 2009-2010. However, nearly three-fourths of these MSAs showed an increase from 2006-2007, paralleling the national trend.
- Firearm suicide rates for those aged 10 to 19 years were low compared with all-ages rates during both periods.
While the study identifies potential prevention strategies to prevent firearm-related suicides and homicides, further research is needed to assess the effectiveness of these strategies. Other studies have noted effective strategies for preventing youth violence. These include:
- School-based programs addressing social, emotional, and behavioral competencies,
- Parent and family-based programs that promote positive relationships, communication, support, and proper supervision, and
- Efforts to improve school, neighborhood, and community environments to reduce the likelihood of violence.