FIGURE 3-5 Rates of robbery by firearm involvement.

SOURCES: Calculated from Zawitz (2001); Maguire and Pastore (2002: Table 3.120); U.S. Census Bureau (2001a, 2001b, 2002).

Rape and Sexual Assaults

According to the NCVS, 84 percent of the rapes and sexual assaults reported in 2000 were committed without a weapon. There were an estimated 6,550 firearm-related rapes or sexual assaults in 2000; these constituted less than 3 percent of NCVS-reported rapes.

Firearms and Self-Harm

Historically, the number of successful suicides in the United States has far exceeded the number of homicides. In 1999, the number of suicides was nearly double the number of murders. In contrast, nonfatal injuries resulting from suicide attempts are much less common than injuries caused by violent assaults, regardless of weapons used. In this section, we describe the patterns and trends for death and nonlethal injuries resulting from self-inflicted, firearm-related harm.


In 1999, there were 29,199 suicides in the United States—57 percent of them involving the use of a firearm. Males of all ages are at higher risk of

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