According to the FBI, 2015 was a record year for background checks on guns. Some have pointed out the requests for background checks have gone up after mass shootings, the idea being that shootings cause people to worry about their safety and buy a gun to protect themselves. The month after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, for example, saw a surge in requests for background checks. The terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, had a similar effect.
Most U.S. gun deaths are suicides
Of the more than 400,000 people who died as a result of gun violence from 2001 to 2013, about three in five were from suicide. Just under two in five — or about 156,000 people — died of homicide.