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Guns - the numbers.

The proportion of homicides from gunfire in the United States jumped 18% in 10 years, making firearms the cause of almost three-quarters of all homicides. Of the 19,893 homicides in the United States in 1985, 12,078 were committed with guns -- about 61% of all homicides. In 1994, 17,190 of the 23,720 homicides were pegged to gunfire, or 72%.

In the United States, gunfire is the second leading cause of death, after motor vehicle accidents, among people aged 10 to 19; every 92 minutes an American in that age group dies after being hit.

Firearm deaths are increasing faster among young people than any other age group. The gunfire-death rate among Americans below the age of 20 increased 7% in 1993 over 1992's rate, from 5,379 deaths to 5,751. That compares to a 4.8% increase in gun deaths among all age groups, from 37,776 victims to 39,594.

In the United States, an estimated 135,000 juveniles carry guns to school.

Gunfire has become so common around Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School in San Francisco that children attending classes are instructed on how to duck and take cover, a skill that is taught in dozens of classrooms across the U.S.

Many schools, mostly in inner cities, have started to treat their own corridors as potential crime scenes. Some are tearing out lockers to deny hiding places for handguns or banning carry-alls and bookbags for the same reason.

The Miami-based company that makes the TEC-9 machine gun has produced a brochure to sell the weapon. The gun, which can be easily concealed under a coat, also has a finish that the company boasts offers "excellent resistance to fingerprints."
COPYRIGHT 1996 Canada & the World
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:United States - Gun Culture; statistics on the proliferation of guns in the U.S. and crimes committed with guns
Publication:Canada and the World Backgrounder
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Sep 1, 1996
Previous Article:Response to fear.
Next Article:Legal shootout.

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