Americans are certainly no strangers to gun violence. Every month it seems we add a new city to the communities that will be forever marred by a madman's act: Las Vegas. Orlando. Sandy Hook. Littleton. Paducah. Aurora. And now Sutherland Springs.
But those mass shootings sometimes eclipse the fact that gun violence is a problem Americans face every day — and our children are paying a dire price. In the United States, 23 children are shot dead on average every day, according to a 2015 Washington Post report.
That is the average of one classroom of children gone forever, each day.
Of the approximately 8,400 shootings the Post tracked, 1,458 resulted in deaths. This toll exceeds the number of U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan in 10 years.
To put the huge number of gun deaths in perspective, according to a 2015 stats, among high-income countries, 91 percent of children between the ages of 0 to 14 killed by firearms belonged to the United States. For Americans ages 1-17, gun deaths are the third leading cause of death.
However, this epidemic is largely swept under the rug — and the reason is racial disparity.
Black children have the highest rate of firearm mortality at 4.1 per 100,000. In comparison, white children have a firearm mortality of 1.5 per 100,000. While white and Native American children have higher rates of death by firearm suicide, African American children have higher rates of death by firearm homicide.
So, it is extremely important to address the issue of black boys being disproportionately killed while talking about gun violence.
Earlier this week, more than a dozen children were killed during the mass shooting of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. This tragedy is faced by families every single day in the United States.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS, Lucy Nicholson