A lot of the focus of the latest round of the gun control debate in the US has been on the desire to prevent mass shootings. However, mass shootings make up only a tiny fraction (considerably less than 1%) of the yearly death toll due to guns in America. Close to two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides and almost one-third are homicides that are not mass shootings. About 4% of gun deaths each year are accidental ('unintentional') or due to 'other causes'. These statistics, repeated below, are taken from the following article in The Guardian, 21 June 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/21/gun-control-debate-mass-shootings-gun-violence The firearm death rate in the USA has remained approximately constant since 1999, at about 10.4 per 100,000 people per year. About 33,500 lives are lost each year. That's roughly one every 15 minutes – about the same number of people as are killed on America's roads. About 4% of deaths are categorised by the CDC as being 'unintentional', the result of 'legal intervention' (i.e. police acting in the line of duty), or of undetermined causes. Almost two-thirds of gun deaths - about 20,000 people per year - are suicides. The rest – about 11,000 a year – are homicides. Of the homicides, approximately half of the victims are black, despite African Americans making up only 13% of the population. Mass shootings, defined as 'seemingly indiscriminate rampages in public places' in which three or more victims were killed, account for the tiny proportion of overall deaths - of the order of 100 deaths per year out of the 33,500 total gun deaths. In addition to gun deaths, there are also about 70,000 gun-related injuries each year, some very serious. A common argument put forward by opponents of gun control is that 'criminals' will find ways to get guns even if controls are strengthened. They also point out that mass shooters often purchase their guns legally. These arguments miss the point. Expanding background checks on private sales of guns would help to decrease the market for illicit firearms used not in mass shootings but in everyday gun violence - particularly the homicides and suicides that make up the vast majority of gun deaths every year. Americans who buy guns often say they own then for 'protection'. However, those Americans are far more likely to die as a result of suicide using their guns, or to be killed or seriously injured by a gun, than they are to successfully 'protect' themselves against somebody else. Gun violence is a national trajedy for the United States. So what have other countries done about gun control? If you're interested in a brief overview, read this: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/15/so-america-this-is-how-you-do-gun-control Today, about 90 people will die in the United States by a bullet from a gun. The American homicide rate is about 25 times higher than that of comparable high-income nations. How long will The United States continue to do nothing about guns?