Skip to content
This page includes data about different facets of gun violence in America, as well as valuable resources Everytown can provide for showrunners, producers, directors and other media content creators during all stages of production—from early writing and development through post-production and final promotion. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out directly to [email protected].

Introduction

Since our founding, Everytown for Gun Safety has worked closely with the creative community to harness its power to take the message of gun safety and responsibility to bigger audiences and bring even more people in the United States into the gun violence prevention movement.

The data and resources gathered here are intended to be used by showrunners, writers, directors, producers and other creators to inform storytelling work, calls to action and media appearances. 

Members of the Everytown Cultural and Entertainment Advocacy team are available to collaborate at each stage of project development, from research and scriptwriting to production, post-production and final promotion.


Services

Everytown’s Cultural and Entertainment Advocacy team can provide:

Story Development Consultation

Collaborate with producers, directors, and writers to advise on incorporating gun safety messages into television and film scripts.

Education

Offer legislative information, guidance on gun laws in all 50 states and Washington D.C. and other relevant background briefings.

Research

Answer specific questions about and provide briefing books on a full range of current and historical gun violence-related topics.

Location Consultation

Educate production teams on local gun laws and concealed carry states for aid in selecting and operating in specific locations.

Script Review

Review concepts and scripts for accuracy in depictions of gun violence, its causes and impacts.

Trauma-Informed Guidance

Guide projects to become trauma-informed (acknowledging the impact of trauma from gun violence, promoting healing and support and avoiding re-traumatization).

Networking Opportunities

Connect content creators and artists to key movement leaders, organizational experts, activists and survivors of gun violence.

Media Training

Furnish talking points and context on gun safety issues.

Engagement Opportunities

Offer public and social media engagement opportunities.


A Snapshot

Who Does Gun Violence Affect?

The majority of people in the United States have been impacted by gun violence. An astonishing 59% of adults in the United States or someone they care about have experienced gun violence in their lifetime.1SurveyUSA, “Results of SurveyUSA Market Research Study #26602,” October 24, 2022, https://bit.ly/3JJuwLY. See question 29. See also Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Gun Violence Survivors in America,” February 1, 2023, https://everytownresearch.org/report/gun-violence-survivors-america/.

>120

Every day, more than 120 people in the United States are killed with guns, twice as many are shot and wounded and countless others are impacted by acts of gun violence.

Everytown Research analysis of CDC, WONDER, Underlying Cause of Death, 2018–2022; Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) nonfatal firearm injury data, 2020; and SurveyUSA Market Research Study #26602, 2022.

Last updated: 5.7.2024

>44,000

Every year, more than 44,000 people in the United States are killed with guns. More than four out of every 10 gun deaths are homicides.

Everytown Research analysis of CDC. WONDER, Underlying Cause of Death. Average: 2018 to 2022. Homicides include shootings by police. Everytown For Gun Safety Support Fund, “EveryStat: United States,” https://everystat.org/.

Last updated: 6.25.2024

>4,000

More than 4,000 children and teens (0-19) are shot and killed every year and over 17,000 more are shot and wounded.

Everytown Research analysis of CDC, WONDER, Underlying Cause of Death, 2018 to 2022 fatal injury data and 2020 HCUP nonfatal injury data. Ages: 0–19. 

Last updated: 6.25.2024

Black People in the United States

12x

Black people are 12 times more likely than white people to die by gun homicide.

Everytown Research analysis of CDC, WONDER, Underlying Cause of Death, 2018–2022. Black and white defined as non-Latinx origin. Homicide includes shootings by police.

3x

Black people are nearly 3 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white people.

Everytown Research analysis of 2019 to 2023 Mapping Police Violence (accessed February 21, 2024) and population data from the US Census.

Last updated: 5.10.2024

Women in the United States

4.5M

Over 4.5 million women have reported being threatened with a gun by an intimate partner.

Everytown analysis of the National Violence Against Women Survey (Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes, “Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” November 2000, https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183781.pdf) and US Census 2020.

3x

Black women are three times more likely to be fatally shot by an intimate partner compared to white women.

Everytown analysis of CDC, National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), 2019. Ages 18–85+. Black and white defined as non-Latinx origin.

2/3

Two-thirds of female victims of intimate partner homicide in the US are killed with a gun.

Everytown Research analysis of CDC, National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), 2020. Analysis includes firearm homicides involving an intimate partner and women 18 years and older. Everytown For Gun Safety Support Fund, “EveryStat: United States,” https://everystat.org/.

Children and Teens in the United States

3M

Approximately three million American children witness gun violence every year.

Everytown Research analysis of Finkelhor et al., “Prevalence of Childhood Exposure to Violence, Crime, and Abuse: Results From the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence,” JAMA Pediatrics 169, no. 8 (2015): 746–54, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0676.

140

Nearly 140 children and teens die by unintentional shootings every year.

Everytown Research analysis of CDC, WONDER, Underlying Cause of Death. Average: 2018–2022. Ages: 0–19

Last updated: 6.25.2024

>17x

Black children and teens are more than 17 times more likely than white children and teens of the same age to die by gun homicide.

Everytown Research analysis of CDC, WONDER, Underlying Cause of Death, 2018 to 2022. Ages 0 to 19. Black and white defined as non-Latinx origin. Homicide includes shootings by police.

Last updated: 5.9.2024

Gun Suicide in the United States

3x

Access to a gun triples the risk of death by suicide.

Anglemyer A., Horvath T., & Rutherford G. “The accessibility of firearms and risk for suicide and homicide victimization among household members: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. Annals of internal medicine, (2014). https://doi.org/10.7326/M13-1301

12x

The U.S. gun suicide rate is nearly 12 times higher than that of other high-income countries.

Everytown analysis of gun deaths by country (2015 to 2019), GunPolicy.org (accessed January 7, 2022).

53%

The rate of firearm suicide among young people (10-24) has increased 53 percent from 2011 to 2020.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, WONDER Online Database, Underlying Cause of Death. A percent change was developed using 2011 and 2020 crude rates for young people ages 10–24.

LGBTQ+ People in the United States

25k+

In an average year, more than 25,000 hate crimes in the US involve a firearm—69 a day.  

Everytown Research analysis of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). A yearly average was developed using 12 years of the most recently available data: 2010 to 2021.

3/4

3 out of 4 homicides of transgender or gender expansive people are with a gun.

Everytown for Gun Safety Transgender Homicide Tracker, 2017–2023. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “EveryStat: United States,” https://everystat.org/.

Last updated: 3.4.2024

Where Does Gun Violence Happen?

In Cities

127

In 2015, half of all U.S. gun homicides took place in just 127 cities, which contain less than 25 percent of the country’s population.

Aufrichtig A, Beckett L, Diehm J, Lartey J. “Want to fix gun violence in America? Go local”. The Guardian. (2017). https://bit.ly/2i6kaKw.

54%

Roughly a third of the US population lives in large cities, yet over half (54 percent) of people who have survived a firearm assault live in them.

Last updated: 2.22.2022

Segregated

Within cities, gun homicides are most prevalent in racially segregated neighborhoods characterized by high rates of poverty and low educational attainment.

Aliza Aufrichtig et al., “Want to Fix Gun Violence in America? Go Local,” The Guardian, January 9, 2017, https://bit.ly/2i6kaKw.

In the Home

4.6M

4.6 million children in the United States live in homes with at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked.

5x

Access to a gun makes it five times more likely that an abusive partner will kill his female victim.

Campbell, J. C. et al. “Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: results from a multisite case control study”. American Journal of Public Health. (2003). https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.93.7.1089

On School Grounds

76%

In instances of targeted school violence, roughly three-quarters of shooters obtained the gun(s) they used from their home or the homes of relatives or friends.

National Threat Assessment Center, “Protecting America’s Schools: A US Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence,” US Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, 2019, https://bit.ly/2U7vnwa.

30%

Gunfire on school grounds occurs most often at schools with a majority of students of color—disproportionately affecting Black students. Although Black students represent approximately 15 percent of the total K–12 school population in America, they make up 30 percent of the average population at schools that have been impacted by a fatal shooting.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, American Federation of Teachers, and National Education Association, “How To Stop Shootings and Gun Violence in Schools: A Plan to Keep Students Safe,” August 19, 2022, https://everytownresearch.org/report/how-to-stop-shootings-and-gun-violence-in-schools/.

Last updated: 8.19.2022

128

In 2023, there were at least 128 incidents of gunfire on the grounds of K–12 schools, resulting in 101 people shot, 29 fatally.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Gunfire on School Grounds,” https://everytownresearch.org/maps/gunfire-on-school-grounds/.

Last updated: 6.25.2024

In Public Places

  • In recent years, the gun lobby has promoted a legislative agenda that would ultimately allow anyone to carry a gun anywhere at any time, no questions asked. As a result, legislators across all levels of government have considered bills that remove any and all limitation on gun carrying, which would allow guns in spaces like schools, public parks, bars, government buildings and polling places, and would let anyone carry a concealed handgun in public without a permit even if they have a violent criminal record and haven’t undergone any training.
  • In fact, many states that have passed legislation that allows people to carry concealed guns without a permit or safety training have seen a substantial increase in firearm violence.

How Does Gun Violence Manifest?

Suicide

6/10

Nearly six out of every 10 gun deaths in the US are suicides.

Everytown Research analysis of CDC, WONDER, Underlying Cause of Death. Average: 2018–2022.

Last updated: 5.9.2024

12x

The US gun suicide rate is nearly 12 times that of other high-income countries.

Everytown analysis of the most recent year of gun deaths by country (2015 to 2019), GunPolicy.org (accessed January 7, 2022).

Homicide

26x

The US gun homicide rate is 26 times higher than that of other high-income countries.

Everytown analysis of the most recent year of gun deaths by country (2015 to 2019), GunPolicy.org (accessed January 7, 2022).

Last updated: 1.7.2022

Domestic Violence

28x

Women in the U.S. are 28 times more likely to be killed by guns than women in other high-income countries.

Everytown analysis of the most recent year of gun deaths by country (2015 to 2019), GunPolicy.org (accessed January 7, 2022).

1M

Nearly 1 million women alive today have had a gun used against them by intimate partners.

Everytown Research analysis of the National Violence Against Women Survey (Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes, “Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” November 2000, https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183781.pdf) and US Census 2020.

Mass Shootings

  • Everytown defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people were shot and killed or wounded, not including the shooter. 
  • Between 2015 and 2022, over 19,000 people have been shot and wounded or killed in a mass shooting. In 2022 alone, over 600 people were killed, with over 2,700 wounded.2Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Mass Shootings in the United States,” March 2023, https://everytownresearch.org/mass-shootings-in-america/. Mass shooting defined as 4 or more people shot and wounded or killed.
  • While mass shootings dominate media coverage and public interest, they represent a small minority of shooting incidents. Under no definition of a mass shooting would one count the 99% of gun violence that occurs in non-mass shootings.

    Gun Violence by Police

    1.1k

    Every year, police in the US shoot and kill nearly 1,100 people.

    Everytown Research analysis of 2019 to 2023 Mapping Police Violence data (accessed February 21, 2024).

    Last updated: 5.10.2024

    15x

    The United States’ rate of fatal police shootings is at least 15 times higher than other countries’ like Australia, England and Wales, Germany, and New Zealand.

    Shooting deaths from Australian Institute of Criminology; population from World Population Review; Independent Office for Police Conduct; Shooting deaths from Gagnon, 2017. Additional information on injuries at Pearson, 2018; Shooting deaths from Independent Police Conduct Authority; population from World Population Review; Everytown analysis of Mapping Police Violence 2013-2019 (accessed June 4, 2020) & US Census datasets.


    Solutions

    Learn more about these solutions on our Research & Policy site.

    • Alert Local Law Enforcement of Failed Background Checks 
    • Background Checks on All Gun Sales
    • Block Concealed Carry Reciprocity
    • Block Silencer Deregulation
    • Close the Charleston Loophole
    • Disarm Hate
    • Educate Gun Owners of Risks
    • Extreme Risk Laws
    • Gun Dealer Reform
    • Gun Owner Safety Training
    • Keep Guns off Campus
    • Prevent Gun Trafficking
    • Prohibit Assault Weapons
    • Prohibit Bump Stocks and Other Conversion Devices
    • Prohibit Guns in Sensitive Areas
    • Prohibit High-Capacity Magazines
    • Prohibit Open Carry
    • Prohibit People With Dangerous Histories From Having Guns
    • Reconsider Active Shooter Drills
    • Repeal Gun Industry Immunity
    • Repeal Restrictions on Gun Trace Data
    • Repeal Stand Your Ground Laws
    • Report Lost and Stolen Guns
    • Require Permits to Carry Concealed Guns in Public
    • Require Prohibited People to Turn in Their Guns
    • Secure Gun Storage
    • Smart Guns and Gun Safety Features
    • Stop Arming Teachers
    • Stop Downloadable Guns
    • Strong Standards for Carrying Concealed Guns in Public
    • Threat Identification and Assessment Programs in Schools
    • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Assistance Funding
    • Violence Intervention Programs
    • Waiting Periods


    Myths and Facts

    Over the last four decades, the leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA) have steered the organization away from advocating on behalf of sportsmen and hunters and towards lobbying for the most extreme policies and opposing virtually all gun safety legislation. They’ve also successfully propagated a mythology around guns and gun violence in the U.S. that supports their radical agenda.

    Myth

    Criminals will always find a way to get their hands on guns.

    Fact

    This claim is unsubstantiated by any legitimate evidence. In fact, scientific research—and basic common sense—show the opposite is true: more guns make us less safe. A growing body of research shows that when it is easier for people to carry guns in public, violent crime rates go up. When states passed laws allowing concealed carry for the first time or limiting law enforcement discretion in issuing carry permits, violent crime rates rose by 13 to 15%. No law can stop all dangerous behavior, but laws such as background checks on all gun sales stem the easy flow of guns to prohibited people.

    Myth

    It’s about mental health, not guns.

    Fact

    Suggesting that mental health is a driving factor of this country’s gun violence crisis is inaccurate and ignores existing research that points to other root causes. Research has shown that most people with mental illness are not violent; in fact, they are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence.

    Myth

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

    Fact

    In addition to the chaos it creates for law enforcement, the scenario rarely plays out in reality. Successful defensive gun use by private citizens is EXTREMELY rare. Research shows that unarmed civilians are far more likely to stop active shooters as compared to armed civilians. And one study of personal contact crimes showed that victims using a gun were just as likely to be wounded after taking protective action than victims using other forms of protective action.

    Myth

    Guns make women safer from sexual assault and domestic violence.

    Fact

    Domestic violence and sexual assault affect millions of women across the country, and guns in the hands of domestic abusers can turn abuse into murder. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation—regardless of whose gun it is—makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed. Indeed, if guns made women safer, we’d be the safest country in the world. But when it comes to gun violence against women, research shows that the United States is the most dangerous country among other high-income countries.

    Myth

    Suicide by gun is not a form of gun violence.

    Fact

    Six out of every 10 gun deaths are suicides, and having access to a firearm triples someone’s risk of death by suicide. Most people who attempt suicide do not die — unless they use a gun. Dismissing these tragedies prevents us from finding solutions to help prevent nearly 25,000 firearm suicides each year.


    Writers’ Room Considerations

    When developing a storyline that involves gun violence, consider investigating these questions:

    • If a gun is present on screen or in a plotline, where did it come from? Was it obtained legally or illegally, and why is it accessible?
    • Is the depiction of gun violence divorced from its physical and emotional consequences? That is, does the shooter feel the impact of pulling the trigger? Is the physical impact of a gunshot realistic? 
    • Is there room in the plotline for the experiences of survivors—those who have been impacted, shot and have survived, or those friends and loved ones who lost someone to gun violence?
    • If the content is intended to be reflective of current U.S. laws, is the action taken with the gun possible in that location? (For instance, open and concealed carry laws vary significantly from state to state.)
    • Does the storyline promote inaccurate tropes (i.e. “good guy with a gun” and other myths)?
    • Is there an opportunity to include a content warning for audience members?
    • Are firearms depicted as being stored securely (by responsible characters)?

    Content Warning

    In our nation where 59% of adults report they or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime,3SurveyUSA, “Results of SurveyUSA Market Research Study #26602,” October 24, 2022, https://bit.ly/3JJuwLY. See question 29. See also Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Gun Violence Survivors in America,” February 1, 2023, https://everytownresearch.org/report/gun-violence-survivors-america/. it is important that we seek to actively resist re-traumatizing people who have been personally affected by an incident of gun violence. Although individual responses to a traumatic incident may vary widely, for some people, viewing and/or hearing graphic depictions of gun violence (, e.g. shooting footage, images of bodies, depictions of blood or gunshot wounds, and firearms held in a threatening way) may cause harm through re-traumatization. Exposure to graphic images and depictions may activate a posttraumatic stress response such as negative and distressing changes in thoughts, emotions, and behaviors for the individual who has a lived experience of gun violence.

    If gun violence, an image of a firearm or component of a firearm is being depicted, it is important to provide a content warning so audience members understand what they are about to view and make the choice for themselves if they want to continue participating. A content warning may sound or read as the following:

    During this [episode, film, video, performance] there will be images of a firearm and/or depictions of the reality of gun violence in order to illustrate [reason the images are included]. If this will be upsetting to you for any reason, please feel free to step away and take care of yourself.

    How to Depict Secure Storage of Firearms

    Best Practices

    • It is always the gun owner’s responsibility to prevent unauthorized access to guns. 
    • Hiding a gun in a closet, under a bed, on top of the refrigerator or anywhere else is not responsibly storing a gun. At a minimum, firearms should be depicted as being stored in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case. The storage location should be inaccessible to children and unauthorized users.
    • Gun locking devices render firearms inoperable and can be used in addition to locked storage. If firearms are disassembled, parts should be securely stored in separate locations.
    • Ideally, guns should also be depicted as being stored separately from ammunition, with the ammunition locked in a separate location.
    • Thoroughly double check firearms to confirm that they are unloaded when you remove them from storage. Unintentional shootings could occur if a family member borrows a gun and returns it to storage while still loaded.

    Hold the Gun Industry Accountable

    The role of the gun industry in perpetuating America’s gun violence crisis is another story waiting to be told. The gun industry hasn’t just capitalized on gun violence in America, they’ve enabled it — stoking fear, innovating to make their products deadlier, and marketing their products to young people. As communities around the country continue to suffer, the gun industry has refused to take responsibility for its role in the carnage, because at the end of the day, its dangerous business model runs on selling more guns to more people. When told, these stories can help hold the gun industry accountable for its role in this public health crisis.

    Report: Gun Safety Depiction on Television

    In collaboration with USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project, Everytown commissioned a report to study how gun safety and prevention measures are currently being depicted on television. The report also examined how different storylines about gun safety can impact viewers and highlights the importance of depicting gun violence prevention measures and gun safety practices.

    Recommendations for Content Creators

    The research described in this report highlights several strategies for content creators and other storytellers who wish to illuminate the realities of gun safety, gun violence prevention, and use of force in the criminal justice system:

    A Trauma-Informed Approach to Sharing Images

    1. Avoid portraying law enforcement use-of-force as heroic. Beyond canceling police dramas, content creators can complicate the narrative around use-of-force by avoiding portraying such actions as heroic and unproblematic. Consider showing law enforcement characters facing consequences or, at minimum, scrutiny, for such actions, which are rarely depicted.
    2. Humanize depictions of those affected by gun violence. Nuanced depictions of gun violence survivors can help audiences understand the pervasive impacts of the gun violence crisis. These depictions can be broadened to include the effects on those who are shot and wounded and survive, as well as witnesses, those who are threatened with firearms, or friends and loved ones of those shot and killed.
    3. Diversify depictions of those affected by gun violence. Consider that calling attention to the very real racial disparities in gun violence is a delicate balance. “Colorblind” depictions of victims may give audiences the impression that such disparities do not exist, but at the same time, constant media images of dead Black and brown men can be retraumatizing to members of these communities.
    4. Include discussions of gun safety and common-sense gun laws. Gun violence, including shootouts between cops and criminals, is overplayed on TV. Gun safety represents a largely untapped story opportunity. When told, these stories can change hearts and minds and even shift policy support. For example: if choosing to depict or discuss a school shooting, content creators might consider explicitly drawing a connection to unsecure gun storage or gun laws in the show’s geographic setting.
    5. Appeal to common values. Heavy-handed stories can be alienating to gun owners who feel their freedoms are being threatened or their beliefs mocked. Gun owners often support stronger gun laws and can be powerful voices in the gun safety movement. Instead of making gun owners the antagonist, appeal to the common values shared by parents and others who care about keeping children and communities safe.

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) concept of a trauma-informed approach requires the following of an organization committed to a trauma-informed framework:

    1. Realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand potential paths for recovery;
    2. Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in survivors, staff, volunteers, community partners and others involved with the system;
    3. Respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and
    4. Seek to actively resist re-traumatization.

    Although individual responses to a traumatic incident may vary widely, for some people, viewing and/or hearing graphic depictions of gun violence, e.g. shooting footage, images of bodies, depictions of blood or gunshot wounds, and firearms held in a threatening way, may cause harm through re-traumatization. Exposure to graphic images and depictions may activate a posttraumatic stress response such as negative and distressing changes in thoughts, emotions, and behaviors for the individual who has a lived experience of gun violence. One way to mitigate the effects of re-traumatization is to include a content warning at the beginning of your story. See a full set of Writers’ Room Considerations above.


    About Us

    Everytown for Gun Safety

    Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in America with more than 10 million supporters including moms, dads, mayors, students, gun owners, faith leaders, educators, artists and more. Our work is focused on fighting for gun safety policies everywhere from city councils to corporate boardrooms to Congress, and working to beat back the agendas of the gun lobby, the gun industry and far-right extremists at every turn. Under the Everytown umbrella are its grassroots volunteer networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, and the nonpartisan coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The Everytown Survivor Network supports survivors on their paths to healing and advocacy, and Everytown Law is dedicated to advancing gun safety in the courts and through the civil and criminal justice systems. Learn more at everytown.org and follow us @Everytown on social media.

    Cultural and Entertainment Advocacy

    The Everytown Cultural and Entertainment Advocacy team works alongside actors, musicians, storytellers, athletes, sports teams, authors, and other cultural figures to amplify the voices and work of the gun violence prevention movement. By harnessing the power of this community, we are able to collaboratively use the power of culture to galvanize other people in America and help erase the scourge of gun violence, which kills more than 120 people in America every day, wounds hundreds more, and traumatizes countless others. See more of their work here.

    The Everytown Creative Council

    Partnership with the creative community is a critical driver of Everytown’s ongoing success, particularly in the arena of cultural change. By joining forces with a wide range of artists, we enhance our power to amplify the movement to end gun violence in our country, drive recruitment of volunteers and supporters and achieve victories that will save lives. In 2015, Julianne Moore founded the Everytown Creative Council, and continues to chair it. It has grown to comprise hundreds of actors, musicians, writers, fashion designers and artists who pledge to help create more awareness through their creative platforms. In turn, this helps engage new supporters and fuel Everytown’s mission of reducing and preventing gun violence. The Council partners with Everytown on an ongoing basis. See more of their work here.

    Glossary

    Some of the terminology that is deployed when talking or writing about gun violence is imbued with weighted political or cultural meaning. For this reason, Everytown recommends alternatives for these commonly encountered terms:

    AVOIDUSE
    Avoid: “Gun controlUse: “Gun violence prevention” or “Gun safety” 
    That term is a conversation-stopper for many gun owners who support gun safety laws but bristle at “control.” Many audience members may be gun owners themselves, so it’s critical to build a story that is inclusive of gun owners and non-gun owners alike.
    Avoid: “Lost to gun violence”Use: “Shot and killed”
    Speak factually and directly about these terrible tragedies.
    Avoid: “Committed suicide”Use: “Died by suicide”
    “Committed suicide” is a stigmatizing and silencing term to suicide survivors, as “committed” is a word commonly used to describe crimes. Using it in this context can be shaming to those whose loved one died by suicide. Someone who died by gun suicide or shot and killed himself/herself/themself is a victim of gun violence too.
    Avoid: “Anniversaries of shootingsUse: A phrase that indicates the passage of time, i.e. “one-year mark
    While many call the date of a particular tragedy its “anniversary,” these are very difficult days for survivors and it’s important to recognize that by keeping language solemn and factual. Thus, commemorate these occasions as the one/two/three etc. “year mark” of the shooting. That said, don’t correct survivors who choose to reference the day differently.
    Avoid: “Gun-free zonesUse: “Keeping guns out of places that should be safe”
    There are places where people should never be allowed to carry guns because they put lives in danger or are used for armed intimidation. These include schools and places where children gather, entertainment venues and other places where alcohol is served, in state houses and government buildings, and at polling places and demonstrations, which are vital to our democratic process.

    The gun lobby claims that people in areas where guns are prohibited are “sitting ducks” in so-called “gun-free zones,” but that isn’t true. In fact, research shows the exact opposite: when more people are allowed to carry guns in public, violent crime rates rise.
    Avoid: “Accidental shooting” (by children)Use: “Unintentional shooting
    When a child accesses a gun and shoots themselves or someone else, it’s not an accident, because it’s a preventable tragedy. Child access to firearms often occurs because an adult gun owner didn’t store their gun responsibly. It is always an adult’s responsibility to prevent unauthorized access to guns, not a curious child’s responsibility to avoid guns.

    Partner Organizations


    Additional Resources

    Storyline Partners

    Storyline Partners is a diverse collection of organizations that collaborate with the entertainment industry to promote authentic, accurate and equitable cultural narratives in television and film. Everytown for Gun Safety is a founding member of Storyline Partners, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Domestic Workers Alliance, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), Caring Across Generations, Define American, Harness, Color of Change, Illuminative, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) Hollywood Bureau. Connect with Storyline Partners at storylinepartners.com.

    EveryStat 

    EveryStat brings the most recent available data on gun deaths within instant reach. EveryStat breaks down gun deaths by state, county, intent, gender, race and ethnicity, and it includes key statistics on:

    • Homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings
    • Domestic violence
    • Gun deaths among children and teenagers 
    • Shootings by law enforcement
    • Shootings of transgender and gender-expansive people in America
    Gun Law Rankings

    Everytown Gun Law Rankings compares gun policy across the country, scoring every state on the strength of its gun laws and comparing it with its rate of gun violence. In states where elected officials have taken action to pass gun safety laws, fewer people die by gun violence. Choose a state to see how it stacks up on 50 key policies, or explore a policy to see how much of the country has adopted it. This tool has a direct application for location scouts and managers, production planners, security coordinators, and writers.

    Contact Us

    Sophie Yan

    Sr. Director of Cultural and Entertainment Advocacy

    Karen Scott

    Deputy Director of Cultural and Entertainment Advocacy

    Tukio Machini

    Manager of Cultural and Entertainment Advocacy

    Christian James Potterton

    Sr. Associate of Cultural and Entertainment Advocacy


    Key Dates

    These dates correspond to year marks of highly public shootings, significant awareness-raising campaigns and cultural touchstones. Please note that this list is not comprehensive, and consult the Everytown team with questions about any specific timeframes.

    • January

      • National Stalking Awareness Month  
      • January 8: Year mark of the 2011 mass shooting involving Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona
    • February

      • Black History Month
      • Dating Violence Awareness Month
      • February 1-7: Gun Violence Survivors Week
      • February 14: Year mark of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
      • February 23: Ahmaud Arbery shot and killed in Brunswick, Georgia (2020)
      • February 26: Trayvon Martin shot and killed in Sanford, Florida (2012)
    • March

      • Women’s History Month
      • March 13: Breonna Taylor shot and killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky (2020)
      • March 16: Year mark of the 2021 mass shooting at spas in Atlanta, GA
      • March 31: Nipsey Hussle shot and killed in Los Angeles, California (2019)
    • April

      • Sexual Assault Awareness Month
      • April 16: Year mark of the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia
      • April 20: Year mark of the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colorado
       
    • May

      • May 14: Year mark of the 2022 mass shooting at the Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, New York
      • May 18: Year mark of the 2018 mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas
      • May 23: Year mark of the 2014 mass shooting in Isla Vista, California near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara
      • May 24: Year mark of the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas
      • May 25: George Floyd killed by police by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota (2020)
       
    • June

      • LGBTQ Pride Month
      • Gun Violence Awareness Month 
      • June 2: Birthday of Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed in Chicago in 2013; Hadiya’s friends and family created the Wear Orange movement in Hadiya’s honor
      • June 2: National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend (June 2-4, 2023)
      • June 12: Year mark of the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida
      • June 17: Year mark of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina
    • July

      • July 4: Year mark of the 2022 mass shooting at the Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois
      • July 20: Year mark of the 2012 mass shooting at the film “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado 
      • July 23: Year mark of the 2015 shooting at the film “Trainwreck” in Lafayette, Louisiana
    • August

      • August 3: Year mark of the 2019 mass shooting at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas
      • August 4: Year mark of the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio
      • August 5: Year mark of the 2012 mass shooting at the gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
      • August 9: Michael Brown shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri (2014)
      • August 23: Jacob Blake shot and wounded by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin (2020)
      • August 25: Two protestors shot and killed and one wounded during protests following shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin (2020)
      • August 26: Year mark of the 2015 on-air shooting of correspondent Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward in Moneta, Virginia 
    • September

      • Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
    • October

      • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
      • October 1: Year mark of the 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada
      • October 27: Year mark of the 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • November

      • November 5: Year mark of the 2017 mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas
      • November 5: Year mark of the 2009 mass shooting at the military base in Fort Hood, Texas 
      • November 7: Year mark of the 2018 shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California
      • November 19-20: Year mark of the 2022 mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado
      • November 22: Year mark of the mass shooting at the Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake, Virginia (2022)
      • November 22: Tamir Rice shot and killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio (2014)
      • November 23: Jordan Davis shot and killed at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida (2012)
    • December

      • December 2: Year mark of the 2015 mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California
      • December 14: Year mark of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut