When a gunman in Oregon shot and killed six people and wounded four others on a campus in a predominantly Black community, the nation’s largest state saw its gun laws change.
But as the nation grapples with a mass shooting spree, a new report suggests that gun ownership may be at an all-time low among the most vulnerable Americans.
The report, from the nonprofit Center for American Progress, found that a record number of Americans have been killed by guns in 2017, including nearly one-third of those aged 65 or older.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that gun deaths have been on the rise in the US for years.
“Our data show that in 2017 there were more than 14,000 unintentional deaths from firearms, including those from homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings,” the agency said.
“These numbers are far above what was the case a decade ago.
Gun deaths are the leading cause of death among Americans aged 65 and older.”
This is the first time the center has tracked deaths caused by firearms, but the organization has collected data on gun-related deaths for the past 15 years.
The gun violence crisis was not just a one-time event.
In the past five years, more than 70% of the nation has experienced an increase in gun violence.
The study found that the number of deaths caused primarily by gun violence rose by an average of 9% per year.
The average annual increase in firearm deaths among people aged 65 to 74 was about 3% a year.
While the numbers of gun deaths overall in 2017 are still below the peak reached in 1999, the increase has been so fast that the group is already close to the end of the line, the report found.
“It’s clear that the pace of the increase is staggering, and it’s also clear that more Americans are now dying in gun- and firearm-related violence than ever before,” said Sarah Dutton, an associate professor of public health at the University of Maryland and one of the report’s authors.
“This is the moment when we need to take decisive action.”
The gun death rate has increased faster than the number on average for the entire population over the past 50 years, the study found.
And while the increase in the number and rate of gun-Related Deaths has slowed down over the last few years, it still tops the rates seen in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
It is also the highest annual increase seen since the early 1990s, when gun- Related Deaths were more frequent.
But it is important to note that there are other factors at play here.
In 2017, the number was almost as high as in 2016, when there were nearly 2.3 million more people aged 18 to 64 than in 2017.
The increase in older Americans is likely related to the rising prevalence of opioid addiction.
The CDC reported in May that the nation had a record-high opioid overdose death rate of 6,846 in 2016.
And in a separate study released in April, the CDC found that one-quarter of the nearly 50,000 Americans over 65 were living with mental illness, a significant increase from the previous study.
There were also more deaths in 2017 due to suicide than in any year since 1993.
There are also a variety of other causes of death for older Americans.
A higher rate of prescription drug misuse was one of them.
The suicide rate among people 65 and over was almost double that of people age 50 to 64, while the rates for heroin, carfentanil, prescription opioids and fentanyl are more than twice as high.
The new report comes as the Republican Party grapples to find a strategy to fight back against Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.
Trump has suggested that gun rights activists, including people like former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., should be prosecuted for crimes related to gun violence because they should have taken their guns away.
“People should not be allowed to own guns,” Trump told a rally in Las Vegas last month.
“If you have a gun, you shouldn’t be allowed into a country that allows people to carry a gun.
You should be arrested and charged.”
The GOP has faced growing calls for stricter gun control laws in recent years, particularly after a gunman killed 49 people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
The NRA responded by urging its members to take the NRA’s gun safety training and gun-safety courses and to take a leadership role in electing gun-control activists.
“When the NRA is in a position where it can’t get to the front lines and protect the American people, we have to be in a leadership position,” NRA President Wayne LaPierre said.
And with a growing number of young people turning to guns for self-protection, the NRA will be the first to call for the party to act.
“The NRA will not be silenced,” LaPierre told reporters at