The Virginia Center for Public Safety distributed some fliers at the state capitol in Richmond, Virginia, on Jan. 18 that made a stunning claim.
According to The Huffington Post, the fliers stated: "Since John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, more Americans have died by gunfire within our own country than American servicemen and women who were killed in all our wars.”
The Virginia Center for Public Safety is a gun control advocacy group, so Politifact checked to see if the numbers were true.
Politifact checked the latest numbers (Jan. 2015) supplied by the Congressional Research Service regarding Americans killed in wars - from the Revolutionary War to Operation Inherent Resolve (current U.S. military operation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria).
Those numbers totaled up to almost 1.2 million, but Politifact notes that the research service counts 525,000 to 530,000 being killed in the Civil War, while a Binghamton University historian found in a 2012 study that the number was closer to 750,000, which brought Politifact's total number of Americans killed in all wars closer to 1.4 million.
Politfact cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) numbers for Americans killed by guns (suicides, homicides, accidents, legal interventions, undetermined cause) from 1968 to 2014, which totaled to about 1.5 million gun deaths.
To account for the time period going back to November 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated, Politifact notes the CDC's gun deaths number for 1968 was about 24,000. So the fact-checking organization used that number to fill in the missing time and came to about 1.6 million gun deaths.
Politifact compared the 1.4 million estimate of all Americans killed in wars to the 1.6 million estimate of all Americans killed by guns since JFK's death, and found the Virginia Center for Public Safety's claim to be "true."