Gun violence puts young Americans at risk: study

By Xia Lin

NEW YORK, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Young adult males from zip codes with the most violence in Chicago and Philadelphia had a notably higher risk of firearm-related death than U.S. military personnel who served during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study of 129,826 young adult men living in four cities -- Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and Los Angeles -- in 2020 and 2021 found that men ages 18 to 29 in the most violent zip code of Chicago and Philadelphia faced a higher risk of firearm-related homicide than U.S. soldiers who were deployed to Afghanistan, with risk ratios of 3.23 and 1.91, respectively.

The risk of violent death and injury observed in the zip codes studied was almost entirely borne by individuals from minoritized racial and ethnic groups: Black and Hispanic males represented 96.2 percent of those who were fatally shot and 97.3 percent of those who experienced nonfatal injury across the 4 settings studied.

The study came as firearms surpassed motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death for children, adolescents and young adults in the United States, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. public health agency said 3,597 children died by gunfire in 2021.

Overall, gun violence remained endemic in the United States in 2022, including 648 mass casualty shootings, a near-record, according to Gun Violence Archive, a website that tracks gun violence in the country. The first month of 2023 saw more than 50 mass shootings across the nation, defined as an incident in which four or more people were wounded or killed, not including the shooter.

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