The number of gun deaths in the United States since 1989 is greater than the number of American combat fatalities in wars and military conflicts throughout all of US history, a new report shows.
According to a Center for American Progress report published Monday, there were 836,290 gun-related deaths in the United States between 1989 and 2014.
In the 239 years since the United States declared its independence, 656,397 American military members have been killed in battle, the report states – from the Revolutionary War to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But, according to estimates from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the total number of US military killed in wartime – on or off the battlefield – since 1776 is actually higher, at more than 1.1 million.
The report uses former President Ronald Reagan – who left office in 1989 – to gauge the positions of many of the 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls on issues such as immigration, climate science, taxes, and gun control.
It notes that while Reagan opposed the National Rifle Association on several issues, including background checks and an assault weapons ban, many of the current GOP candidates have been highly rated by the NRA for staunchly opposing gun control.
Most GOP candidates oppose closing loopholes in the background check system – loopholes that “enable criminals to evade the system and purchase guns online, at gun shows, in parking lots, and just about anywhere else,” the report states.
Donald Trump, the current GOP front-runner, this summer said he opposes expanding background checks, although in his 2000 book Trump said he supports an assault weapons ban and longer waiting periods for gun purchases.
Siding with the NRA is a common strategy among the candidates, the report notes, as the powerful gun lobby group is one “that many Republicans dare not cross.”