More Children Have Been Killed By Guns In Last Five Years Than Service Members Killed In Combat Since Vietnam

David J. PhillipAP Images

In the last five years, close to 7,300 children have been killed by guns in the United States. That is more than the number of active duty service members killed dating back to the Vietnam War.

Friday’s shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, has drawn a renewed focus on gun violence in the United States. The shooting reportedly left 10 people dead and came just three months after another school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead. As advocates for gun reform have grown increasingly organized, a number of outlets have pointed out the stark statistics when it comes to young people killed by gun violence.

According to The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, an average of four children or teens are killed by guns each day. By those statistics, close to 7,300 children have been killed by guns in just the last five years (when adding in children killed by gun suicides, that number nearly doubles). That surpasses the total number of service members killed in combat dating all the way back to the Vietnam War — which, by various government statistics, is 6,296.

The statistics showing children killed by gun violence has been rehashed a number of times amid high-profile shooting events and has come to light again after the Santa Fe school shooting. In March, Newsweek pointed out that more children had been killed since the Sandy Hook school shooting than soldiers who died since 9/11 — though the total of children killed is actually still much higher.


The last 94 days have been particularly deadly for school children. Since the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, more children have been killed inside of schools than service members who have been killed in all of 2018, the Washington Post pointed out.

Friday’s shooting in Santa Fe has brought renewed calls for gun reform, and many who have taken aim at politicians who they believe to be standing in the way of these reforms. The Parkland, Florida, shooting created a groundswell of support for measures like universal background checks, prompting demonstrations across the world and walkouts at tens of thousands of schools — including the high school in Santa Fe, Time noted.