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Have More Americans Died From Gunfire Since ’68 Than in All U.S. Wars?

According to PolitiFact, this claim from PBS commentator Mark Shields is not only startling but also true.

On Dec. 21, 2012, Shields told PBS NewsHour host Judy Woodruff, “You know, Judy, the reality is — and it’s a terrible reality — since Robert Kennedy died in the Ambassador Hotel on June 4, 1968, more Americans have died from gunfire than died in … all the wars of this country’s history, from the Revolutionary through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, in those 43 years. ... I mean, guns are a problem. And I think they still have to be confronted.”

The issue is particularly immediate in the aftermath of last month’s Sandy Hook shootings. And in Vermont, Senate majority leader Sen. Phil Baruth, a Burlington Democrat, withdrew a bill earlier this week that would have banned the sale or manufacture of assault weapons.

Click here to examine the math at PolitiFact. Keep in mind, too, that to “have died from gunfire” includes suicides, which accounted for about a quarter of gun deaths in 2011, according to PolitiFact.