Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The myth of lax gun Laws.

States With Higher Gun Ownership and Weak Gun Laws Lead Nation in Gun Death

Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, Alabama, and Wyoming Have Highest Gun Death Rates
Washington, DC--States with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun death according to a new analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) of 2010 national data (the most recent available) from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
The analysis reveals that the five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, Alabama, and Wyoming. Each of these states had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national per capita gun death rate for the 50 states of 10.25 per 100,000 for 2010. Each state has lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates. By contrast, states with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Ranking last in the nation for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York. (See rankings below for top and bottom five states. See http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart13.htm for a ranking of all 50 states.)
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “The equation is simple. More guns lead to more gun death, but limiting exposure to firearms saves lives.” The total number of Americans killed by gunfire rose to 31,672 in 2010 from 31,347 in 2009.
States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates
States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates
Household Gun OwnershipGun Death Rate per 100,000RankStateHousehold Gun OwnershipGun Death Rate per 100,000
1Alaska60.6 percent20.2850Hawaii9.7 percent3.31
2Louisiana45.6 percent 19.0649Massachusetts 12.8 percent4.12
3Montana61.4 percent 16.5848Rhode Island 13.3 percent4.66
4Alabama57.2 percent16.3647New Jersey 11.3 percent5.19
5Wyoming62.8 percent16.3246New York 18.1 percent5.22
The VPC defined states with “weak” gun laws as those that add little or nothing to federal restrictions and have permissive laws governing the open or concealed carrying of firearms in public. States with “strong” gun laws were defined as those that add significant state regulation in addition to federal law, such as restricting access to particularly hazardous types of firearms (for example, assault weapons), setting minimum safety standards for firearms and/or requiring a permit to purchase a firearm, and restrictive laws governing the open and concealed carrying of firearms in public. State gun ownership rates were obtained from the September 2005 Pediatrics article “Prevalence of Household Firearms and Firearm-Storage Practices in the 50 States and the District of Columbia: Findings From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002,” which is the most recent comprehensive data available on state gun ownership.

The myth is that the more guns in an area the safer it is? Well here are the most current figures on gun violence in America. It appears that the myth is busted.

10. Tennessee
2013 firearm death rate: 15.4 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 9,568 (11th highest)
Violent crime rate: 590.6 (4th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
There were more than 1,000 gun-related deaths — including homicide, suicide, and accidents — in Tennessee in 2013, or 15.4 deaths per 100,000 residents, the 10th highest rate in the country. Overall crime rates were also quite high, with 590.6 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people, far more than the nearly 368 reported crimes for every 100,000 Americans. Additionally, less than 25% of adults in the state had at least a bachelor’s degree, less than the 29.6% of adults with a bachelor’s degree across the nation.

9. New Mexico
2013 firearm death rate: 15.4 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 2,983 (19th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 613.0 (2nd highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Like most states across the country, the largest proportion of gun-related deaths in New Mexico was attributable to suicide. The age-adjusted firearm suicide rate of 10.3 per 100,000 was the ninth highest rate in the country. New Mexico also had the highest death rate by legal intervention — deaths caused by police or other law-enforcement officials — in the country. In general, New Mexico residents were exposed to a large number of crimes. The state reported 613 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, the second highest rate in the country. Low education levels and widespread poverty may partly explain the high gun violence and deaths. Nearly 22% of New Mexico’s population lived in poverty, substantially higher than the national poverty rate of 15.8%. Additionally, only 84.3% of adults had at least a high school diploma, the sixth lowest rate in the country.
8. Oklahoma
2013 firearm death rate: 16.5 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 5,352 (23rd highest)
Violent crime rate: 441.2 (12th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Gun-related homicides and suicides were both relatively high in Oklahoma. At least 433 Oklahomans, or 11.1 per 100,000, took their own life with a gun, the sixth highest rate in the country. There were 4.8 gun-related homicides per 100,000 residents, the 10th highest rate nationwide. Like all of the states with the most gun violence, Oklahoma also does not require a permit to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. Additionally, Oklahoma households were among the poorest in the country with an annual median income of $45,690.

7. Wyoming
2013 firearm death rate: 16.5 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 879 (7th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 205.1 (4th lowest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
With the second highest firearm-related suicide rate, Wyoming residents were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as residents across the nation. More than 87% of firearm deaths in Wyoming were due to suicide, considerably higher than the 63% of all gun-related fatalities across the country. Unlike other states with high rates of gun-violence, however, Wyoming residents were well-educated. Roughly 94% of adults 25 and older had at least graduated from high school, the highest rate in the country. Despite the high rate of gun-violence, other types of crimes were relatively uncommon. Just over 205 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 residents, one of the lowest rates in the country.

6. Arkansas
2013 firearm death rate: 16.7 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 4,478 (24th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 460.3 (10th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
A typical household in Arkansas earned $40,511 in 2013, nearly the lowest such figure in the country. Additionally, just 20.6% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, the third lowest rate nationwide. The low incomes and education levels may have contributed to Arkansas’ high gun-related deaths. There were 501 deaths by firearm in Arkansas, or 16.7 per 100,000, the sixth highest rate. Like other states in the country, nearly two-thirds of gun-related deaths were due to suicide. Like every state on this list, Arkansas’ gun laws are relatively permissive. Currently, no laws require that gun owners have permits for the purchase of shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Additionally, gun owners are not obligated to register their weapons.

5. Montana
2013 firearm death rate: 16.8 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 1,540 (12th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 252.9 (11th lowest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Montana had the fifth highest rate of firearm deaths, at nearly 17 per 100,000 residents. Further, gun-related deaths have been steadily increasing since 2006. In fact, Montana registered the highest firearm death rate in the decade ending in 2013. Other types of crime — including rape, robbery, and motor vehicle theft — were relatively less common in the state. There were roughly 253 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, significantly lower than the violent crime rate across the nation of nearly 368 per 100,000. As in many of the states with high rates of gun deaths, suicides made up the vast majority of deaths. More than 85% of gun-deaths were due to suicide, the 10th highest such share in the country.

4. Alabama
2013 firearm death rate: 17.5 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 7,915 (16th highest)
Violent crime rate: 430.8 (14th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Nearly 19% of Alabama residents lived below the poverty line, the seventh highest rate in the country. Additionally, the state had among the worst educational attainment rates nationwide, which may have contributed to the high gun-death rate. Between 2004 and 2013, an annual average of 16.6 people were killed by firearms, the fourth highest rate in the country. Despite a drop in 2011, the firearm death rate increased to the state’s 10-year high in 2013. Other types of crime in Alabama were also prevalent. There were 430.8 violent crimes reported per 100,000, a higher rate than the 367.9 violent crimes across the nation.

3. Mississippi
2013 firearm death rate: 17.7 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 5,056 (24th highest)
Violent crime rate: 274.6 (18th lowest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
With 24% of its residents living in poverty, Mississippi had the highest poverty rate in the country. Poverty and low educational attainment rates may contribute to higher rates of gun-related deaths. Mississippi had the second highest gun-related homicide rate in the country at 7.4 homicides per 100,000 residents. In general, crime was not particularly prevalent. There were just 274.6 violent crimes reported per 100,000, compared with 367.9 such crimes per 100,000 across the country. Mississippi also led the country in unintentional deaths by a firearm, with 0.6 deaths occurring for every 100,000 people, three-times more frequent than across the country.
Above, the state flag of Mississippi, which incorporates the flag of the Confederate States of America, is displayed with the flags of the other 49 states and territories in the tunnel connecting the senate office building and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

2. Louisiana
2013 firearm death rate: 19.1 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 8,552 (13th highest)
Violent crime rate: 518.5 (5th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Louisiana was the only state with the most gun violence where firearm-related suicides accounted for less than half of all gun deaths. In fact, homicides accounted for roughly 51% of all gun deaths in the state. As a result, Louisiana had the highest gun-related homicide rate in the country, at 9.7 murders per 100,000 residents. Louisiana also had the highest average firearm death rate in the country over the 10 years ending in 2013, when there were 18.8 firearm deaths per 100,000 in the state, compared with 10.2 across the country. The high number of gun deaths may be tied to gun policy. Louisiana, like many of the states on this list, does not require gun owners to have a permit to purchase a firearm, nor must they register their weapons. Above, community members respond to a shooting during a Mother's Day parade on May 13, 2013 in New Orleans. 19 people were injured during the shooting, including two children.

1. Alaska
2013 firearm death rate: 19.6 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 1,256 (10th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 640.4 (the highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
There were roughly 20 firearm deaths per 100,000 residents in Alaska, nearly double the national rate. As in many other states with high gun-death rates, the vast majority of deaths were the result of suicide. Unlike most states on this list, however, Alaskan households were relatively wealthy. A typical household earned $72,237, roughly $20,000 more than a typical household across the nation. Other types of crime were also more common in the state. In fact, Alaska had the highest violent crime rate in the country at more than 640 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Above, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Houston.


  1. Listen to the fourth arm of government, the third house on the Hill. The NRA has a strangle hold on the genetalia of the politicians. The NRA proclaim” The best defense against a bad man with a gun, is a good man with a gun”. The NRA will no doubt rubbish the figure posted by Rick and nothing will change. I have many American friends but almost all of them support the second even though few of them can demonstrate its effectiveness or need in the present time. William one posted "We live in a revolutionary nation" I agree but the revolution was over and done with over two centuries ago. The end result of people having guns is that those same or other people get killed..

    Cheers from Aussie

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  3. Barack Obama is a firmer board member of the Chicago based Joyce Foundation that supports The Violence Prevention Center.

    Which begs the question, why can't they clean up the black on black gun carnage in the city of Chicago? Clean up your own back yard, then come and preach.


  4. William.
    I try to be apolitical on such a major problem but what are you on about?. The NRA controlled Repubs have effectively stymied gun law reform in your country and only a week or so ago your Pres pleaded for understanding and action following the latest mass killing in a church. Of course, the Pres was rebuffed and the NRA lot went home to Sunday lunch and no doubt gave thanks to the glory of God and the sanctity of Samuel Colt. All this from the party who want to lead the nation after the next election. William, the attitude of the NRA and its political servants is enough to cause me to vote Democrat. This from a life long Republican ( in your terms)!

    Cheers from Aussie

  5. King, the reason the NRA wields the power it does, imaginary or actual, is because so many Americans support their position. Our history is vastly different from yours, for that matter different from almost any other place on earth.

    We have over three hundred million people here of every persuasion. We have regional cultures to numerous to catagoize or even list. We have natural experimental social laboritories that produce all sorts of ideas that advance mankind. Our national needle remains stuck in overdrive.

    Why you ask does it all happen here? Because of those documents. For thousands of years prior that needle remained stuck in neutral. Not since, not after those documents showed the way.

    We are not going to change the basis of those documents, protecting life and property, everytime a singular mentally ill person stirs up our Marxist elements. We are big boys with wide shoulders and we realize that once we cede our basic human rights we are done. We won't let it happen. Period.

    Get another issue to harp on King.

  6. In King's Australia and many other democracies gun rights are limited. does that mean William that they are not "Human" since you feel that gun ownership is a "basic " human right. Well friend that is not a god given right it was given by our government. It was given by our government at the time out of necessity, Necessity to provide food and protection for ones family in a very backward land. Not to mention the cost savings to the government who could call on the already armed citizens for national protection at a great cost savings, notwithstanding that the possession of a "standing Army" by the government was very much out of favor at the time. Times change William. We now have a six branch military that is the most powerful in the world to look after and protect you.

  7. It is pointless trying to talk sense to William on the subject of Gun Control. The second, in common with Williams revolutionary hat, his flintlock rifle and the sourdough bread are part of a glorious history. The NRA and their lackeys in the Republican party are so obsessed with the second they manage to ignore the consequences of the amendment first inserted into the constitution for perfectly good reason. If by some weird method of reasoning, William can proclaim the second as a "God Given right”. I wonder what God is thinking about the unending massacres of the innocents?. These are the very people God tells you he loves and wants to protect. Best look to your faith William, it is becoming very frayed around the edges.
    Cheers from Aussie

    1. I apologize that we are such uneducated lackeys here in America. God works in many ways King. It is not your job to question another's faith. You are reaching. Tend to your own flock.