A look at gun violence in America


The U.S. is one of the few countries where the right to bear arms is protected constitutionally, but a rash of mass shootings and gun-related incidents in recent years have created concern around the United State's relationship with guns. Compared to other developed nations, the U.S. stands out as the most violent, which some believe is a result of easy access to firearms.

According to the Small Arms Survey by The Guardian, the U.S. has the most firearm homicides per person, with 29.7 gun-related homicides per every million people in the United States. Australia has the least amount of firearm-related deaths, with only 1.4 per every million people in the country.

While the U.S. only holds 4.4 percent of the global population, the country is responsible for almost half of the world's civilian-owned guns.

Additionally, since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, there have been at least 864 other mass shootings in the U.S., information that came from a Mass Shooting Tracker that serves as a crowdsources database that has tracked shootings since 2013.

Despite these statistics, mass shootings only make up a small portion of the United States' firearm deaths, which came out to be about 32,000 deaths in 2013.

The Washington Post recently highlighted the fact that the U.S. hasn't gone more than eight days without a mass shooting in the U.S. since the start of 2015. As a country, the U.S. has averaged exactly one mass shooting per day since the start of the year.



It's clear, though, that states with more guns have more deaths by guns. Wyoming, for instance, is at the top of the list, with slightly more than 60 percent of households owning guns.

The recent shooting of the reporter and cameraman in Virginia may have seemed like a random act of violence based off of personal interactions, but in reality, between 30 and 40 percent of households in Virginia own guns.

Gun violence and gun control isn't an issue that only needs to be looked at when these shootings occur. It has become a crucial and overarching issue in our country that happens to gain traction and create additional conversation every time one of these tragic shootings occurs.

See the gallery below for photographs of the events surrounding today's tragic shooting in Virginia:

39 PHOTOS
Alison Parker and Adam Ward -- WDBJ on-air shooting
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A look at gun violence in America
ROANOKE, VA - SEPTEMBER 01: A picture of slain WDBJ photojournalists Adam Ward and Alison Parker is seen at a make shift memorial outside the station September 1, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Friends and families gathered at a celebration of life at First Baptist Church earlier to remember Ward, who was shot during a live broadcast reporting, along with reporter Alison Parker. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Roanoke residents Josh Olinger, 27, left, and Frank House hold a sign of support as friends and family gather at First Baptist Church for the funeral of television cameraman Adam Ward in Roanoke, Virginia, September 1, 2015. Ward and Reporter Alison Parker were slain during a live interview August 26 by disgruntled former employee Vester Flanagan, who later shot himself and died. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
WDBJ TV weatherman Leo Hirshbrunner(L) views the makeshift memorial with members of the crew at the gate of WDBJ's television studios August 27, 2015, in Roanoke, Virginia. The former television reporter who shot dead two journalists during a live US broadcast before killing himself warned he had been a 'human powder keg... just waiting to go BOOM.' The gunman -- Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, also known as Bryce Williams --posted chilling footage of Wednesday's shocking double murder online. Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot and killed at close range while conducting an on-air interview for WDBJ, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, about 240 miles (385 kilometers) southwest of Washington. Friends, family and the community at large mourned the tragedy, which renewed calls for tougher gun laws in the United States. Flanagan was said to have bought his gun legally. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Chris Hurst (R), a journalist at the station and boyfriend of slain journalist Alison Parker, speaks with journalists outside of the offices for WDBJ7, where slain journalists Parker and Adam Ward worked in Roanoke, Virginia August 27, 2015. Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, were shot dead on Wednesday during a live segment for the CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, at a local recreation site about 200 miles (320 km) southwest of Washington. Another woman was wounded. The suspected gunman, 41-year-old Vester Flanagan, later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. REUTERS/Chris Keane
People gather outside Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens as the funeral procession approaches for television cameraman Adam Ward in Roanoke, Virginia, September 1, 2015. Ward and Reporter Alison Parker were slain during a live interview August 26 by disgruntled former employee Vester Flanagan, who later shot himself and died. REUTERS/Jason Miczek TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) (L) greets Andy Parker (C), the father of slain WDBJ reporter Alison Parker who was shot and killed on live TV in August, as they arrive to participate in a rally against gun violence, on the U.S. Capitol grounds in Washington September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A picture of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward is seen next to candles at a memorial outside of the offices for WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Virginia August 27, 2015. Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, were shot dead on Wednesday during a live segment for the CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, at a local recreation site about 200 miles (320 km) southwest of Washington. Another woman was wounded. The suspected gunman, 41-year-old Vester Flanagan, later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. REUTERS/Chris Keane
WDBJ 7 President and General Manager Jeffrey A. Marks (R) leads mourners to First Baptist Church for the funeral of television cameraman Adam Ward in Roanoke, Virginia September 1, 2015. Ward and Reporter Alison Parker were slain during a live interview in August 26 by disgruntled former employee Vester Flanagan, who later shot himself and died. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 11: A detailed view of a decal on the rear bumper on the #83 James Madison University Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. The decal remembers the life of Alison Parker, a WDBJ-TV reporter who was killed on air last month in Roanoke, Virginia. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
ROANOKE, VA - SEPTEMBER 01: People embrace each other as they come out from First Baptist Church after a celebration of life for slain WDBJ photojournalist Adam Ward September 1, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Friends and families gathered to remember Ward, who was shot during a live broadcast reporting, along with reporter Alison Parker. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
A cameraman does some close up shots at WDBJ-TV's television studios on August 27, 2015, in Roanoke, Virginia. The former television reporter who shot dead two journalists during a live US broadcast before killing himself warned he had been a 'human powder keg... just waiting to go BOOM.' The gunman -- Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, also known as Bryce Williams --posted chilling footage of Wednesday's shocking double murder online. Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot and killed at close range while conducting an on-air interview at the shopping center for WDBJ, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, about 240 miles (385 kilometers) southwest of Washington. Friends, family and the community at large mourned the tragedy, which renewed calls for tougher gun laws in the United States. Flanagan was said to have bought his gun legally. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Staffers at WDBJ-TV hold hands to comfort each other during a press conference with WDBJ'S General Manager, Jeff Marksa at WDBJ's television studios on August 27, 2015, in Roanoke, Virginia. The former television reporter who shot dead two journalists during a live US broadcast before killing himself warned he had been a 'human powder keg... just waiting to go BOOM.' The gunman -- Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, also known as Bryce Williams --posted chilling footage of Wednesday's shocking double murder online. Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot and killed at close range while conducting an on-air interview at the shopping center for WDBJ, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, about 240 miles (385 kilometers) southwest of Washington. Friends, family and the community at large mourned the tragedy, which renewed calls for tougher gun laws in the United States. Flanagan was said to have bought his gun legally. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 27: Jeff Marks, General Manager for WDBJ TV talks to the press about the two journalists that were killed on August 27, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake on August 26. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and camerman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
A Franklin County Deputy Sheriff uses his cellphone as he guards the shopping center at Smith Mountain Lake and the Regional Chamber of Commerece August 27, 2015, in Moneta, Virginia. The former television reporter who shot dead two journalists during a live US broadcast before killing himself warned he had been a 'human powder keg... just waiting to go BOOM.' The gunman -- Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, also known as Bryce Williams --posted chilling footage of Wednesday's shocking double murder online. Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot and killed at close range while conducting an on-air interview at the shopping center for WDBJ, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, about 240 miles (385 kilometers) southwest of Washington. Friends, family and the community at large mourned the tragedy, which renewed calls for tougher gun laws in the United States. Flanagan was said to have bought his gun legally. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
MONETA, VA - AUGUST 26: Franklin County, Virginia sheriff, Bill Overton speaks to the press on August 26, 2015 in Moneta, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and camerman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
MONETA, VA - AUGUST 26: Police work the crime scene at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake on August 26, 2015 in Moneta, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and camerman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
MONETA, VA - AUGUST 26: The TV truck that journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward drove before they were killed this morning during a live broadcast sits in a parking lot near the scene on August 26, 2015 in Moneta, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - August 26: Virginia State Police, as well as local and federal authorities, investigate the scene on Interstate 66 eastbound where Vester Lee Flanagan II crashed his car after being pursued by state police near Linden, Va., Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Flanagan was being pursued after fatally shooting WDBJ-TV cameraman Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker during an on-air interview in Moneta, Va. Flanagan was a former journalist at the television station, where he appeared on air as Bryce Williams. Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
MONETA, VA - AUGUST 26: Franklin County, Virginia sheriff, Bill Overton speaks to the press on August 26, 2015 in Moneta, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and camerman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
We love you, Alison and Adam. http://t.co/hLSzQi06XE
It is with extreme sadness that we report WDBJ7's Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed in an attack this morning. http://t.co/oC9s4vLJXV
Very sad moment in the newsroom as the WDBJ GM confirms that both the reporter and photographer are dead. Senseless http://t.co/qWvWd55UZh
We didn't share this publicly, but @AParkerWDBJ7 and I were very much in love. We just moved in together. I am numb. http://t.co/tUrHVwAXcN
We were together almost nine months. It was the best nine months of our lives. We wanted to get married.We just celebrated her 24th birthday
Still shots of #WDBJ killer. Please RT. http://t.co/5y3mJLs9nn
#BREAKING #WDBJ shooting suspect Vester Flanagan has shot and killed himself on I-66: http://t.co/3Nx0vOkeIN #WHSV http://t.co/BHVR6QcvTS
The suspect in the #WDBJ shooting is being chased north on I-81
Don't share the video of the shooting Share this link: 12 minutes of the WDBJ crew remembering who these people were http://t.co/m4eWGija1x
Vicki Gardner of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce was hurt in the shooting. We are told she is in surgery. http://t.co/XLx3pS2I5X
Just hanging out in the newsroom with @jdashiell and Photographer Adam Ward! http://t.co/lyW9cCZ99G
Photog Adam @dowork88 playing with little Ralphie this morning at the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection! http://t.co/TcooX5ZKu6
A "rock star" & a "great journalist." Friends remember #WDBJ journalists killed in shooting: http://t.co/V11VsJB7D7 http://t.co/qI8WGKlIJW
Late journalist Alison Parker in her own words. The video was posted to #WDBJ website earlier this year. http://t.co/gFabZwreK6
I am comforted by everyone at @WDBJ7. We are a family. She worked with Adam every day. They were a team. I am heartbroken for his fiancee.
Heartbroken over senseless murders today in Smith Mountain Lake. State Police on scene working w/ local law agencies to capture suspect.
This is a horrific day for our @wdbj family and the community we serve. http://t.co/LYRDFB8C2R
JUST IN: Reporter and photographer killed after gunman opens fire live on TV http://t.co/sHeTmsOhcm @wsls http://t.co/eZ8XnSdHz2
#WDBJ7 http://t.co/vuceViGwpi
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