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U.S. on pace to easily surpass last year's gun violence toll on children

By Don Jacobson
U.S. on pace to easily surpass last year's gun violence toll on children
Thousands of pairs of shoes were placed on the U.S. Capitol lawn on March 13, 2018, to memorialize the children who lost their lives to gun violence following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shootings. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The United States is well on its way to surpassing last year's total for deaths and injuries among children and teens due to gun violence, updated figures showed Monday.

Some 4,472 children aged 17 and younger have been killed or injured across the country so far during 2021, according to the nonprofit research group Gun Violence Archive.

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Those figures put the United States on pace for a year-end total of more than 5,700 deaths and injuries -- a mark that would easily surpass last year's total of 5,141, a UPI analysis found.

This year's grim toll includes the deaths of 940 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 and 239 children of 11 and under. Some 2,686 teens and 607 younger children have been injured from gun violence so far this year, the group reported.

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The updated figures came just days after the release of an FBI report showing that overall homicide in the United States rates were up a record 29.4% in 2020 over 2019.

There were more than 21,500 reported homicides last year, according to the figures, including around 1,600 in which the victims were 19 or younger.

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Still, the homicide rate at 6.5 per 100,000 people was about 40% below the peak in the 1980s and the 1990s, the FBI's data showed.

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Meanwhile, data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics last week showed the homicide rate for the United States rose 30% between 2019 and 2020 -- the biggest increase in modern history.

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A young woman shouts with "Don't Shoot" written on her palms as students from the Washington, D.C., area protest gun violence. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

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