Latinos are Far More Likely to Be Killed in Gun Violence Than Whites


More than 50 thousand U.S. Latinos have been killed by firearms since 1999, almost double that of whites, a recent study found.

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According to the report by the Violence Policy Center, 50, 456 Latinos died of gun wounds between the years 1999 and 2014. Two-thirds of these deaths were classified as homicides, and 29 percent are believed to have been suicides. Two percent, or 944 of the deaths, were called unintentional, while another 3 percent, or 1,549, have an "undetermined intent."

While the "homicide victimization rate" is almost double that for whites, researchers believe the number could be even higher. It's difficult to determine the exact number of gun-related deaths for Latinos because ethnicity isn't always collected in public agency data.

“The lethal toll of gun violence on Hispanics, especially young Hispanics, is clear. Yet because of vast gaps in the way data is collected, our ability to fully understand this ongoing crisis and effectively address it is limited,” VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann said in a statement.

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The study also found that a majority of Latinos killed by firearms are young men. In fact, homicide is the second-leading cause of death for Latinos between the ages of 15 and 24. In contrast, it is the fourth-leading cause of death for whites in that age group.

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About this author

Raquel Reichard, Politics & Culture Editor

Raquel is the Politics & Culture Editor and Latina magazine, writing on all things policy, social justice, cultura and health. Formerly at millennial news site Mic, Raquel's work can also be found at the New York TimesCosmo for Latinas, the Washington Post, the Independent and more. A proud NuyoFloRican chonga, when Raquel's not talking Latina feminism, racial justice, the "x" in Latinx or the prison industrial complex, she's going on and on about the Puerto Rican diaspora in Orlando, Fla. Follow her on TwitterInstagram and Snapchat at @RaquelReichard.


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