Point Blank: The Truth About Gun Violence in America

“When someone tells you that you can’t support responsible gun ownership AND gun reform, take a breath, find your courage, and speak truth to bullshit. Both are possible. At the exact same time.” 

– Brené Brown

In the United States, 48,830 people died from firearm-related injuries in 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports. That translates to nearly 134 people dying every day, making 2021 the deadliest year on record for gun-related deaths in America. In a particularly alarming revelation from the CDC’s data, the Pew Research Center found that gun-related fatalities in children under 18 rose by 50% between 2019 and 2021.

Even as the body count increases, the debate over gun reform rages on in America. At heart are the competing interests of protecting individual freedom versus public safety, government control versus lawlessness, and the right to bear arms versus the right to life. Money. Power. Individualism. The debate runs deep. 

While the gun debate is violently polarized in the United States, one thing remains clear: the law firm of Carpenter & Zuckerman stands ready to fight on behalf of gun violence victims. Though we know there are powerful entities with deep pockets and far-reaching political ties in the gun debate, we will NOT back down from advocating for gun violence victims. Standing up to those in power and challenging the status quo are the guiding principles CZ Law was founded on, and we’re not about to back down from the fight for justice now – no matter WHO we’re up against.

Firearm Violence Injuries & Trends in the U.S.

Most of us associate “gun violence” with intentional homicide or assault. In reality, there are many scenarios in which firearm-related injuries and fatalities occur. The CDC breaks these firearm incidents down into the following categories:

  • Intentional Self-Infliction  – Including suicide and attempted suicide

  • Unintentional – Such as an accidental shooting while cleaning a firearm

  • Legal Intervention – Such as firearm use by law enforcement personnel acting in the line of duty

  • Interpersonal Violence – Including homicide and non-fatal firearm injuries inflicted during an assault

  • Undetermined Intent – Firearm injuries for which there is not enough information to determine intent

The Deadly Toll of Gun Violence in America

Annual gun violence fatalities in the United States have ranged from 37,155 to 48,830 between 1990 to 2021. During that time, the lowest number of annual gun-related fatalities was 28,663 people in 2000. As of 2020, firearm-related injuries outnumbered car accidents as the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 19 in the United States.

The United States carries the dubious distinction of having more mass shootings than any other country. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines mass shootings as “any incident in which at least four people are murdered with a gun.” Mass shootings include school shootings and other events.

  • School Shootings: In the deadliest school shooting in American history, 33 people died, and another 23 were injured in the Virginia Tech Massacre in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 2007.

  • Other Mass Shootings: According to Statista.com, 1,122 people have been killed in mass shootings in the United States since 1982. In the deadliest mass shooting in American history, 58 people were killed, and another 850 were injured at Jason Aldean’s performance at Route 91, a Las Vegas country music festival, on October 1, 2017.

Dueling Sides: The Right to Bear Arms Versus Gun Reform

With each new mass shooting in America, national news coverage and our social media feeds are inevitably inundated with a fresh wave of calls for gun reform and the predictable response of gun control opponents, consisting of prayers for the dead and fingers pointed at the individual perpetrator(s).

Like a toddler distracted by a shiny new toy, our nation’s attention shifts to the next sensational news story in our social feeds, and the gun debate fades from the public eye…until the next mass shooting.

Proponents of gun reform in the United States believe that tightening restrictions on who can have guns and what type of guns they can have will reduce gun-related fatalities and injuries.

Opponents of gun reform believe it is vitally necessary to protect Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms, as guaranteed in the second amendment, to preserve personal freedom, and prevent the government from gaining too much power.

At Carpenter & Zuckerman, we reject the assertion that you must be squarely on one side of the issue or the other. Instead, we propose that the key to justice lies hidden in acknowledging the cold, hard truth about gun violence in America, empathically listening to the heart of the concerns on each side of the issue, and implementing common-sense laws that neither strip citizens of their second amendment rights, nor allow gun violence to continue unabated.

In the words of internationally recognized researcher and native Texan Brené Brown, “When someone tells you that you can’t support responsible gun ownership AND gun reform, take a breath, find your courage, and speak truth to bullshit. Both are possible. At the exact same time.”

What To Do in an Active Shooter Situation

In the past, Americans gathered in event venues across the country to communally enjoy concerts, sporting events, conventions, and more without fear. With the steadily increasing rate of gun violence in the U.S., including mass shootings in public venues, we can no longer afford to assume that any public setting is safe. Instead, we need to educate ourselves and prepare for the possibility of a deadly active shooter situation. The FBI defines an active shooter as “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.”

Always scan your environment for potential dangers when entering an entertainment venue or large facility such as a shopping mall or convention center. Once at your seat or destination, mentally note the two nearest exits and plan an escape route. If you encounter an active shooter, take the following steps recommended by the Department of Homeland Security:


  • Attempt to evacuate & help others escape

  • Hide or take cover if escape is not possible

  • Silence cell phones; stay as quiet & calm as possible

  • As a last resort, attempt to incapacitate the shooter

  • Call 911 & follow the instructions of law enforcement

  • Exit the venue toward the direction police are entering from


  • Evacuate with your belongings – leave them behind

  • Wait for people who disagree with evacuating

  • Try to move injury victims

  • Scream or panic; try to remain calm

  • Expect medical aid from the first wave of law enforcement at the scene

  • Stop police to ask for directions out of the venue

Gunshot Wounds & How to Treat Them

The primary factors affecting the severity of a gunshot wound include the type of bullet used, the speed of the bullet, and the location of the wound on the victim’s body. Gunshot wounds, even those that do not result in an immediate fatality, are associated with severe health complications, including:

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Shock

  • Organ and tissue damage

  • Bone Fractures

  • Wound Infections

  • Paralysis

If you are a gun violence victim or are assisting a victim at the scene, follow these important tips for treating gunshot wounds before emergency services arrive:

  • Call 911 immediately

  • Ensure the victim is safe from further harm

  • Assess the victim in place; avoid moving them unless necessary for physical safety

  • Ensure the victim’s airway is clear & they are breathing; begin CPR if they are not

  • Control the bleeding by applying direct pressure to the source(s) of bleeding with a cloth, gauze, or bandage

  • Cover the victim with a blanket to treat signs of shock due to blood loss

  • Remain with the victim, providing emotional support until emergency help arrives

A gunshot wound victim can bleed out in a matter of five minutes. To learn how to handle a severely bleeding victim, take the free online course, STOP THE BLEED, offered by the American College of Surgeons.

In the Fight for Justice, CZ Law Aims To Win: For Our Clients

The law firm of Carpenter & Zuckerman has been passionately litigating assault, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and other personal injury cases for more than 28 years. During that time, we have won over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our injured clients.

With extensive courtroom experience and advanced negotiation skills, the veteran attorneys at CZ Law are true trial lawyers positioned to secure justice on your behalf. We have the knowledge and resources to fight for you. We won’t stop until we secure the maximum compensation possible in your case, including reimbursement for your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The firm maintains offices throughout California and Washington state to serve all our clients’ personal injury law needs. With offices in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Orange County (Garden Grove), San Diego, Bakersfield, and Seattle, our steadfast legal teams stand ready to take on your case.

Take a moment to review the checklists of do’s and don’ts above before you head to a large event venue, and remember that our experienced personal injury lawyers are just a phone call away should you need assistance from a seasoned personal injury attorney.

Call CZ Law today at (310) 273-1230 or contact us online for a FREE consultation. You won’t pay any legal fees unless we win your case!

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