Beyond the recent mass shooting at a school in Connecticut, the fear of gun violence is felt nationwide as nearly three dozen Americans are killed by firearms every day, Newark Mayor Cory Booker said.
The Democratic mayor offered that statistic on Sunday during a roundtable discussion on ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." The guests were discussing the prospect of increased gun control in the wake of the school shooting that left 20 children and seven adults dead, including the shooter himself.
Grover Norquist, an anti-tax activist and a member of the National Rifle Association’s board, argued that Democrats are "politicizing a tragedy," but Booker quickly cut him off.
"One point is very important," the mayor said. "What happened in Connecticut was a grievous tragedy, but every single day in America, every single day, people in communities like mine go to bed fearing violence. You see 34 people (are) murdered every single day."
PolitiFact New Jersey found that Booker slightly overstated the number of gun-related homicides that occur on a daily basis, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC tracks the causes of deaths for residents of the United States.
The mayor’s claim about 34 murders per day refers to CDC figures showing the average number of Americans killed with guns every day between 2005 and 2009, according to a statement released by the mayor’s office in response to this fact-check.
But the statement acknowledges that, with the CDC’s final numbers for 2010, the five-year rolling average drops slightly to roughly 33 gun-related homicides per day between 2006 and 2010. The 2010 figures represent the most recent final data available.
"Whether we are losing 34 Americans a day, or 33 Americans a day, the point stands that this is an unacceptable and largely correctable epidemic, and the Mayor believes that we must immediately and intensely focus on common-sense, achievable measures that will save lives in Newark and in communities across the country," the statement reads.
The number of gun-related murders per day drops even further when you only consider deaths recently recorded in individual years.
In 2010, there were 11,078 gun-related homicides, or roughly 30 per day. According to preliminary figures for 2011, there were 11,101 homicides last year, which also is roughly 30 murders per day.
Both figures represent a roughly 13 percent decrease since there were 12,791 gun-related murders in 2006, or about 35 homicides every day. That statistic represented the highest amount for any year in the last decade.
In fact, the annual number of gun-related homicides dropped every year from 2007 to 2010.
It’s also worth noting that homicides represent only part of all gun-related deaths.
In 2010, for example, there were a total of 31,672 gun-related deaths, including 19,392 suicides and 11,078 homicides. The remaining deaths were classified as unintentional (606); undetermined (252); and legal intervention/war (344).
In a TV appearance, Booker claimed, "You see 34 people (are) murdered every single day" by gunfire in America.
The mayor’s statistic isn’t far off. According to the most recent data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a five-year rolling average of final CDC figures puts the number of gun-related murders at about 33 per day.
In terms of individual years, there were about 30 gun-related homicides on a daily basis in 2010 and 2011. That figure marks a reduction since the roughly 35 murders per day recorded in 2006, which was the highest amount for any year in the last decade.
We rate the statement Mostly True.
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