Gun-Based Violence In The United States


The weight of gun violence mainly on a country is as great as any other existing pandemic, and indeed the pain it causes to its victims is no different. According to reports, the death toll from gun violence is expected to rise by about 20,000 this year (Muir, 2021). An overall 11% uptick in gun-based assaults between august and November shows the impact of gun violence on families (Muir, 2021). According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, upwards of 5400 kids were murdered by mass shootings in 2020 (Muir, 2021).Gun violence can be prevented by finding out who or what is capable of avoiding it, discovering which groups become more likely to engage with gun violence, and learning how mental health concerns affect gun violence.

An individual’s mental health can be harmed, which can extend to other family members of those who are engaged or witness a fatal shooting. Individuals who have suffered severe trauma are more likely to carry guns in the future because they assume it will keep them protected (Turner et al., 2019). However, the association between gun views and trauma exposures might differ slightly in a country where gun-based violence is widespread. Traumatized parents that lose children because of gun violence is hard to comprehend what happened (Khatib et al., 2022). Parents and caregivers who witness the killing of children suffer the most.

Literature Review

Most Affected Group Through Gun Violence

Some populations are more vulnerable to gun violence than others. Gun violence has a disproportionately large impact on minority children. Statistics show that Alaskan and Indian teenagers and children are in the same group (Mitchell et al., 2019). Homicide and suicide are three times more likely in households with guns than those without guns. A gun owner with mental problems or PTSD is more likely to hurt their family than a gun owner without cognitive problems.

People’s mental health and general well-being suffer in some cultures. In some neighborhoods, gun violence seems ordinary and could occur at any moment. Health disparities, structural disadvantages, and impoverishment are exacerbated in communities where gun-based violence is prevalent (Tracy et al., 2019). Overall, Hispanic men under 34 years and African-American men under 54 years are the two groups most likely to die from gun violence.

Summary and Critique of Sources

Muir (2021) studied teen gun violence witnessed among American-based youth. He calls gun violence an epidemic affecting American kids daily. Muir solely talked about nurses avoiding gun violence and overall involvement. He asserted that gun-based violence impacts all children equally, which may not be accurate as teenagers and older kids are among the most impacted. Rachel et al. (2019) reviewed over 30 articles to determine the link between gun violence trauma and PTSS. The research also included a 495-person poll at a mid-western institution. Early exposure to gun crime might lead children to assume guns can stop crime. It affects gun holding and firearms ownership choices among individuals. This particular cross-sectional research utilized self-report assessments to obtain data. The study might not have been accurate since some respondents did not reveal trauma-based exposure.

Turner et al. (2019) conducted a pilot study on the eastern side of Tennessee, Boston, and Philadelphia with children aged 2 to 17. Respondents were to submit an individual-based report on gun crime exposure. Experiencing gunshots, seeing gun violence, and being exposed to violence caused trauma among youngsters. Bailey et al. (2013) investigate how black moms overcome adversity and found meaning amid their loss after firearm violence. Cognitive reframing and black mothers’ perseverance were linked with the issue of gun-based violence. Individuality growth and meaning-finding were based on spiritual states and impacted by cultural and societal circumstances.

Wu (2020) addresses how gun-based violence is linked to Americans’ trust issues. A general sociological study revealed that people who had been engaged in gun crime found it challenging to trust relatives with someone who had not been part of this incident. Smith et al. (2020) studied the consequences of gun-based violence on urban residents. Individuals subjected to gun violence are more susceptible to committing suicide. He argued that gun violence affects minority communities the greatest.

Cimolai et al. (2021) conducted research that talks about the overall effects of mass shootings on the mental states of adolescents and children. The study revealed that mass shootings negatively impacted children and adolescents’ mental states. Turner et al. (2019) conducted research that sheds explicitly light on gun-based violence exposure and overall PTSS amongst youth and children. These researchers found that there existed a relationship between the two variables.

Richardson et al. (2021) shed light on perspectives of young African -American men survivors or victims of gun crime about digitized non-emergency healthcare transportation, obstacles, and healthcare access. Garbarino et al. (2002) discuss the mitigation of gun-based violence effects among the youth and children. Rajan et al. (2019) discuss violence using a gun among children and adolescents, thus, providing evidence supporting the categorization of adverse childhood-based experiences.

Implications of Gun-based Violence

Around one-third of American families keep a generally loaded gun in the home. The entire victims of gun-based violence suffer the most from the effects of gun crime. It is not just the survivors or victims of gun violence who bear the brunt of its consequences; society is also affected. A person’s mental health suffers if they are a party to a gunshot (Wamser-Nanney et al., 2020). Those affected may not be capable of determining the harm caused by the incident. This injury impacts how these individuals engage with other individuals and how they perform the tasks in the community (Barry et al., 2018). If they have been negatively impacted, the families and children depending on them would be at risk.

Posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression are closely linked to gun-based violence exposure. Victims of gun violence become less prone to complete high school education, have a greater rate of absences, and have lower grades because of their exposure (Garbarino et al., 2002). If there is a lot of gun-based violence throughout the community, families may have trouble losing weight because they are not getting enough exercise. People who are engaged, wounded, and murdered in gun-based violence may not be the ones only affected socially and psychologically (Wu, 2020). Victims of gun-based violence are more inclined to take their own lives because of their trauma (Smith et al., 2020). Most suicides are associated with high degrees of despair and suffering.

Gun Violence Prevention

The efforts of nurses can reduce gun violence by educating individuals on the importance of prevention. Caregivers and parents are observed to seek guidance from nurses and adhere to them. Nurses are in charge of preventing many medical-related ailments that are harmful to individuals (Muir, 2021). Further, safety screenings and gun-based violence should be part of their everyday workflows since they belong at the frontline of this struggle. Nurses may use their influence to get families talking about security and gun crime. Nurses might question a patient’s exposure to gun-based violence and firearms at home while in the hospital.

Strength-based or Wellness Treatment Plan Against Gun Violence

Nurses should help and advise parents to begin discussions with their kids regarding the dangers of violence and firearm safety. Therefore, the nurse’s responsibility is to educate patients and their families on the proper storage of firearms and ammunition. If nurses want to support a ban on guns, they should work with the ANA on this issue. Nurses could also collaborate with local leaders, teachers, social-based workers, and therapists to provide comprehensive care to children. The prevention or reduction of gun-based violence within families could be significantly helped by implementing practices and research that are grounded in scientific knowledge (Turner et al., 2019). Therefore, additional regulations must be put in place to regulate gun use better. Individuals in the United States believe that owning guns renders them feel more secure.

Considerations for Future Research

Due to the large percentage of gun owners in the United States, gun violence has a devastating effect on families. Gun-related violence must be combated as vigorously by the nursing healthcare field. Mental illness is responsible for 31% of all gun violence (Muir, 2021). Posttraumatic stress signs are not connected to gun-based attitudes, but chronic trauma exposure gets associated with gun violence. Gun violence mitigation is the gateway to guaranteeing that guns will not be linked to widespread violence throughout the future.


United States gun-based violence has become a significant problem. The United States is a pioneer in allowing its people to carry firearms and ammunition. Due to this issue, many people have gone on a rampage, committing violent acts. Thus, more individuals are taking measures to protect themselves when they feel endangered. The control of the right or freedom to bear arms has therefore become more problematic. There has been an uptick in gun crime worldwide among the youth of different countries. Suicide, terror attacks and gun crimes, homicide, and catastrophes are all examples of these incidents.


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Cimolai, V., Schmitz, J., &Sood, A. B. (2021). Effects of mass shootings on the mental health of children and adolescents. Current Psychiatry Reports, 23(3). Web.

Garbarino, J., Bradshaw, C. P., &Vorrasi, J. A. (2002). Mitigating the effects of gun violence on children and youth. The Future of Children, 12(2), 72. Web.

Khatib, L., Riegner, G., Dean, J. G., Oliva, V., Cruanes, G., Mulligan, B. A., &Zeidan, F. (2022). The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on trauma in victims of gun violence: A pilot study. Mindfulness, 13(4), 1032–1041. Web.

Muir, M.S.P. (2021). Gun violence: A chronic disease affecting American youth. Pediatric Nursing, 47(4), 200-201. Web.

Rajan, S., Branas, C. C., Myers, D., & Agrawal, N. (2019). Youth exposure to violence involving a gun: Evidence for adverse childhood experience classification. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 42(4), 646–657. Web.

Richardson, J. B., Wical, W., Kottage, N., Galloway, N., & Bullock, C. (2020). Staying out of the way: Perceptions of digital non-emergency medical transportation services, barriers, and access to care among young black male survivors of firearm violence. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 42(1), 43–58.

Smith, M. E., Sharpe, T. L., Richardson, J., Pahwa, R., Smith, D., &DeVylder, J. (2020). The impact of exposure to gun violence fatality on mental health outcomes in four urban U.S. settings. Social Science & Medicine, 246, 112587.

Tracy, B. M., Smith, R. N., Miller, K., Clayton, E., Bailey, K., Gerrin, C., Eversley-Kelso, T., Carney, D., &MacNew, H. (2019). Community distress predicts youth gun violence. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 54(11), 2375–2381. Web.

Turner, H. A., Mitchell, K. J., Jones, L. M., Hamby, S., Wade, R., & Beseler, C. L. (2019). Gun violence exposure and posttraumatic symptoms among children and youth. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32(6), 881–889. Web.

Wamser-Nanney, R., Nanney, J. T., &Constans, J. I. (2020). Trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and attitudes toward guns. Psychology of Violence.

Wu, C. (2020). How does gun violence affect Americans’ trust in each other? Social Science Research, 91, 102449.