Why We Work

People are using guns to kill, injure, and traumatize New Mexico’s children and families, with costly consequences for entire communities. Gun safety is a particularly acute problem for children in New Mexico.

  • In 2013, the third leading cause of death for New Mexican children ages 1-18 was homicide, with 74% of those deaths occurring by firearm. 
  • In the same year, the second leading cause of death for New Mexican children ages 1-18 was suicide, with 34% of deaths occurring with a firearm. 
  • For every death, there are often hundreds of gun-related injuries that go unreported by private health providers. New Mexico is the 10th worst state for gun deaths. 
  • Between 2001 and 2010, 3.12 children were killed by a firearm every year for every 100,000 residents in New Mexico—a total of 64 – a higher per capita mortality rate than all but 3 states. Moreover, there were more than 87 cases of aggravated assault with a firearm for every 100,000 residents, the 6th highest rate in the country. The state’s largest metropolitan area, Albuquerque, had one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation, with 662 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. 
  • New Mexico was rated the 10th worst state for female victims murdered by males. 60% of these homicides were related to domestic violence, and 56% were the result of gun violence. Source: Violence Policy Center, “When Men Murder Women.”
  • Gun deaths are approaching the number of vehicular deaths in New Mexico. In 2011 there were 317 vehicular deaths compared to 308 gun deaths. Source: Center for Disease Control, 2011.
  • In 2018, 436 people were shot and killed in New Mexico. New Mexico has higher firearms death rates that the United States. For every two firearm death in the United State there are three in New Mexico. Trend over the past two decades show a persistent increase. In 2018, New Mexico experienced its most violent year of firearm deaths in more than a century.
  • Every month in New Mexico we lose over two children to gun violence
  • In 2018 in New Mexico, gun deaths superseded DWI deaths.  There were 385 DWI deaths and 436 gun deaths.
Why We Work Background2

“The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day.”

–  Jason Fagone, HuffPost

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