Guns Kill More School-Aged Kids Than Cops

When it comes to gun deaths, school- and college-aged kids are 1.8 times more likely to be murdered than police

Oct 05, 2015 at 6:22 PM ET

Talk of gun control is in the news once again following the shooting deaths of 9 college students in Oregon last week. Regardless of which side of the debate you fall on, there is no denying the alarming rate of school- and college-aged children who are killed by firearms each year—which greatly outnumber police officers who are killed by guns while in the line of duty.

This sobering fact was pointed out by the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof, who wrote that more preschoolers were shot dead in a single year than cops. However, when we look at all school-aged children the figures become even bleaker. A total of 3,911 people between the ages of one and 24 were murdered in the U.S. by a gun in 2013, according to data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the same period, 26 police officers were killed by guns. Taking into account the estimated population of both groups, this means that school- and college-aged children and young adults are 1.8 times more likely than law enforcement to die from a gun-related homicide.

The numbers above only include intentional homicides. If we are to tally all gun-related deaths of those in this age group that year, the number skyrockets to 2,348 children and young adults who died from suicide by firearm, 156 from accidental discharge, and 72 from discharge with “undetermined intent.”