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Local researchers say gun violence is on the rise

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CARBONDALE (WSIL)---More than 110 Americans are killed with guns every day, that's according to the CDC.

Tammy Kochel is the associate dean of health and human sciences at SIU.

She said gun violence is growing.

"We see variation over time in the level of gun violence in the US and so we're in an uptick. Things are on the rise in terms of the sheer number of gun violence incidents that are happening across the nation," said Kochel. 

The PEW Research Center found in 2020, 54% of all gun related deaths were suicides while 43% were murders.

79% of murders that year included firearms. That's 19,384 deaths.

But that's not the only number that continues to rise.

"And we are see those also on the rise, mass shootings are going up and that's troubling," Kochel said. 

The Gun Violence Archive says there have been 233 mass shootings in 2022, but the risk of mass shootings are still lower than other types of gun violence.

"So it's not that people shouldn't be concerned, but there isn't an equal risk everywhere and there isn't a high risk anywhere of that happening, but it's scary," said Kochel. 

Per capita, there were 13.6 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2020, the highest rate since the mid-1990s, but still well below the peak of 16.3 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 1974.

Kochel also said that gun violence is a complex issue and while gun violence incidents continue to rise, it's an opportunity for change.

"We should be concerned about anything that threatens our safety, of course, right, and I think that when people are concerned they are more likely to take action, and that's a good thing," said Kochel. 

Multimedia Journalist

Madeline Parker is a Multimedia Journalist at News 3 WSIL. Madeline joined the team in 2020 and graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a Bachelor’s in Electronic Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies.

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