States With Gun Control Have Fewer Gun Deaths


Washington Post: “In 2011, economist Richard Florida dove deep into the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths.”

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  • noice

    Why would it be expected to correlate more immigrants with more deaths from gun violence?

    • Dilapidus

      Well.. I can’t answer for the author but there is a good answer : Poverty. Most immigration is classic “better job” immigration and generally at or well below the poverty level. Poverty and crime are strongly correlated, generally speaking. That is why minimum wage and other anti poverty work is crucial to a strong safe society.

      • noice

        Crime in general – sure; but I would not necessarily assume gun violence as well, because that requires a significant investment compared to some other forms of violence, and obviously not all crime is violent.

    • DemInExile

      Clearly you don’t watch much FOX news. Be afraid, be very afraid, them thar Mexican illegals gonna kill you! That’s why you need your own guns!

      • Lynda Groom

        Yes and the gays are going to steel your son, NPR is going to pollute the minds of citizens, war is good for the country and women might want to control their own bodies. Oh the horror, the horror!

  • Calbengoshi

    One of the best aspects of our federal system is that it allows each state to make certain choices for itself knowing that its residents will enjoy or suffer the consequences of those choices without, for the most part, affecting the residents of neighboring states.

  • CB123

    This story just in from the Department of No Shit, Sherlock (Go Figure Division).

  • Red Eye Robot

    How come states with the fewest murders all have non restrictive gun laws?
    Vermont, 10 murders
    Alaska, 34 murders
    Montana, 22 murders
    Utah, 49 murders

    • marby

      Duh . . . Number of murders has to be translated to percentage of the population to have any meaning (but you knew that, right?)

      • Red Eye Robot

        Utah population 2,900,000 had 1 murder per 59,000 citizens
        Maryland , population 5,900,000 had 1 murder per 15,000 citizens

        • pisher

          Good for the Mormons. There’s less gun violence in Salt Lake City (home of Big Love), than Baltimore (home of The Wire). But imagine how low that percentage could be if Utah had decent gun laws. And in fact, there’s a lot more gun violence in Utah and Alaska than you’d expect from states with such low population density. Unnecessary traumatic deaths, that affect more than just the victims.

          In Utah, you can be a convicted stalker and still buy a gun.

          Sound good to you?

          • Red Eye Robot

            When is gun control going to finally pay off making people in Baltimore (233 murders 37 per 100,000 ), as safe as Salt lake city? (7 murders, 3.7 per 100,000)

          • when one-issue fanatics get a life

          • Cloner

            What makes you think it isn’t paying off? Do you know what the murder rate would be in Baltimore without gun restrictions? I didn’t think so. So you don’t really know if gun control is working in Baltimore or not, unless you are willing to accept complicated analyses that use complicated models. I think that goes against your sense that any answer should be simple and obvious.

          • Red Eye Robot

            You are arguing what might be? What makes me think it isn’t paying off is Arizona, Arizona has No permit required to carry a gun, no gun registration, permits to purchase, no special restrictions over the federal requirements. They are on the border and are a major route for drug trafficking and illegal immigration and yet their murder rate is nearly 20% lower than Maryland.

          • Cloner

            Ah, I see. You THINK it is not paying off because of a comparison to a state nothing like Maryland, with drug trafficking and illegal immigration, which I guess you think Maryland doesn’t have. I think it is paying off great, because the murder rate in Honduras is about 14 times higher than Maryland, and Honduras has no gun control, lots of drug trafficking, and illegal immigration. So you see, that makes me think it IS paying off. Simple explanations for simple minds. I’m sure you will come up with reasons why Honduras is not a good comparison (but Arizona is).

          • pisher

            When are the very strong gun laws in Australia and Europe going to lead to fascist tyranny and a rise in deaths by crime? Australia hasn’t had a mass shooting since they passed their law.

            Much better question, to which you don’t have an answer, so obfuscate away. 😀

          • Red Eye Robot

            “Australia hasn’t had a mass shooting since they passed their law. ”

            Except when they did

          • cwhile

            When morons like you realize local and state laws don’t work because we can just travel to the next state or city.

          • Red Eye Robot

            Well that answers the question why the next state or city isn’t over run with crime. Like how Arlington Virginia a city of 224,000 people had ZERO murders in 2014 while right across the river in Washington DC they had 104

          • DemInExile

            When it cuts off the flow of illegal gun purchases, straw buyers, gun show loopholes, that allow for a nearly unrestricted trade in illegal weapons finding their way into the hands of even minor wannabe criminals, let alone hardened criminals.


            Why do gun fetishists insist on loopholes that only serve the criminal underbelly of our country?

        • DemInExile

          Murder does not equal deaths

          • This should be the other way around. All murders are deaths. Not all deaths are murders.

    • nukestrom

      You have to compare that with the population. That’s why in statistics we compare percentages.

      • MR_22

        You just want to dilute the murder rates of high-population areas. It’s not just a matter of dividing the number of deaths by the number of residents. The method you’re talking about puts Illinois at the bottom of the list, which includes Chicago, with one of the highest pockets of gun violence in the country. But how it that possible? Because even tho the number of deaths in this big cities is extremely high, the massive population of big cities pulls the actual murder rate per capita way down.

        In low-population areas, just ONE MURDER really jacks up the murder rate, because not many people live there. The result become very misleading.

        • lol, what? Rates equalize the numbers across the board, so that you have apples to apples comparisons. Of course 1 murder in a low populated area jacks up the rates. If you have a town of 2, and one of them kills the other, that’s a 50% murder rate. Not good. And rightfully so. It’s important to take into consideration how many of the surrounding area is doing this same behavior, in context with the laws on the books (and other details as well).

          If you’re saying to ignore rates and instead use absolute values, than you’re giving undue credit to states like Alaska, which have relatively lower numbers, but have almost no population to speak of, so of course they’re going to have less numbers. If you have a town of 10, and 6 are murdered with guns, they don’t get a prize for only having 6 deaths. They only had 10 to start with. It’s rate. Not absolute numbers.

          • MR_22

            “Rates equalize the numbers across the board, so that you have apples to apples comparisons.”

            Comparing murders in big cities to murders in rural areas is not comparing apples to apples. There are too many differing factors. You’re boiling it down to just numbers, but doing that loses the truth of what you’re talking about.

            I know, you probably don’t get what I’m saying, but in my opinion, that’s likely because you’re tainted by your big-city politics.

          • There are certainly other factors in murders besides location/density. But if all else were equal, you’d expect things to loosely be proportional. Maybe a town of 10,000 has 1 murder/spree, and a city of 100,000 might have 10. So the city is more dense, but has more murders. So it produces the same rate.

            Obviously crime is erratic and pretty hard to predict, and with smaller numbers like this, any off year can throw a trend wildly off the mark (which is why small sample sizes in statistics have large margins of error – 5 coin tosses might yield 4 heads and leave horrible conclusions.) So variations do apply, and for a host of reasons.

            But it would seem more likely that cities would have higher rates of violence since the populations are much more dense and can provide more friction. So I don’t see how it’s justified for states like Alaska to have a much higher rate than states like New York.

          • MR_22

            Agreed, there are many factors involved, population being only one of them. I don’t fully understand how Alaska can have a higher murder rate than New York, nor do I understand how Illinois can have a lower murder rate than others, when there are so many murders in Chicago.

            That’s all I was saying; it’s not just all about the numbers. Statistics don’t give the full picture of what’s really going on.

          • Right. Statistics aren’t meant to provide the full analysis. But they offer a comparison on equal terms. And then you have to research the underlying causes for the disparities that appear – motivations, laws, access, mental health, etc.

          • guest444555

            May your loved ones die of terminal cancer. A good conservative is a dead one. Chris kyle and Andrew Breitbart are good conservatives because they are dead parasites now. 😉

        • cwhile

          Yes it is. That’s how statistics works genius. The level and degree of anti-intellectualism in this country is troubling and will soon lead to our complete downfall.

          • MR_22

            Murder isn’t about statistics, which can be manipulated to say just about anything you want.

          • guest444555

            you cannot stand the facts. Worthless red states have the most gun deaths. GFY you worthless right wing POS kochsucker.

      • Red Eye Robot

        Vermont has 1 murder per 65,000 citizens. New Jersey has 1 murder per 22,000 citizens

        • pisher

          Wow. Vermont is less violent than New Jersey.

          Nobody is saying gun laws are the only factor in gun violence. A state with a low population density is going to have fewer problems overall that lead to gun violence. New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states in the country.

          Btw, a very large percentage of gun deaths are not murders. Thousands of people die in this country every year from gun-related accidents. Many of these involve children playing with real guns as if they’re toys.

          • Red Eye Robot

            Actually that’s exactly what you guys are saying, in article after countless article, phony study after phony study. Actually 23 of the gun deaths are suicide. accidental gun deaths are at record lows . in a nation of 100,000,000 gun owners about 100 children will die in gun accidents (.000,001%), The people who churn this propaganda out like sausages conflate the two issues so that ignorant people like you will think that Maryland is a safer place than Wyoming or Alaska, or any other place where the people don’t have to ask government for permission to defend themselves.

          • RadicalCentrist

            Aren’t suicides a very serious problem? I think they are and that’s yet another reason owning a gun is a very bad idea. Now I know you will claim that if they don’t have guns they will kill themselves with other means, but the data shows suicide is very often a momentary impulse by a depressed person. If a gun is there, they kill themselves; if not, often the desire passes. Other means of attempted suicide (pills, wrists slashed) give family members and friends a chance to intervene and save the person, but a bullet to the head doesn’t.

          • markbuehner

            Suicide is a serious problem, but to conflate suicides with murders without mentioning it is unserious.

          • markbuehner

            The other problem w this study is that states with high suicide rates and low gun control have higher suicude rates by ALL methods of suicide. Which throws the theory into hot water, unless the mere existence of guns is causing people to hang themselves etc.

          • Red Eye Robot

            All these nations have much more restrictive gun laws. in most handgun ownership is severely restricted or outright banned

            France, 14.7 /100,000
            Japan, 20,1 / 100,000
            Taiwan, 25.9 / 100,000
            S Korea, 28.5 / 100,000
            Lithuania, 36.7 / 100,000

            Great Britain which banned handguns in the 90s has 11.8 suicides per 100,000 people. The US has 12.6

            Britain banned handguns and they have less than 1 fewer suicide per 100,000 than the country that has the most gun owners in the world.

          • DemInExile

            Please note that when you cite 100 deaths, there is in actuality no accurate count. On most issues with gun violence, there is poor and incomplete data. I urge you to call your congressional representative and ask them to fund nationwide data collection to look at this issue.

            Of course, we both know that conservative gun lovers are adamantly opposed to such efforts because they are terrified that the data will show more guns = no deaths

          • Red Eye Robot

            What are you talking about? The FBI publishes crime data every year. It is collected from every law enforcement agency in america. thee federal government reimburses municipalities for collecting this data. It is the basis of federal law enforcement $ that go to the states.

          • DemInExile

            I’ve seen the number reported at 100, the number you cite. I’ve also seen other numbers, for instance the article I pasted at the bottom of this response which was from the NY daily post. It is very easy to do searches that come up with widely varying numbers for virtually any gun statistic. It is also very easy to find quotes from government agencies, media, academic researchers, journalists, etc…. saying exactly what I did – numbers relating to gun violence of all kinds are not standardized nation wide.

            You are free to assert that everybody but the NRA is biased and out to get guns, you can assert that only the study whose results you like is accurate, but to assert that there is only 1 set of numbers is simply false.

            Here is the post article. But hey, it’s NY, so it’s made up right?

            Over 7,000 children and adolescents are hospitalized or killed by guns each year in the U.S., according to a new study.

            The grim findings by Yale University researchers, published today in the journal Pediatrics, estimate that firearm injuries sent 7,391 children to the emergency room in 2009 — about 20 per day. Of these, 6% go on to die from their injuries.

            Other data reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates over 3,000 additional children die from their injuries before reaching the ER, putting the total number hurt or killed each year above 10,000.

            “Our study is the first to call attention to the thousands of children and adolescents who survive their immediate firearm-related injuries and go on to suffer substantial morbidity and hospitalizations,” the study authors wrote.

            “Firearm injuries are an important and preventable cause of morbidity in the pediatric age range.”

          • embo66

            WRONG about the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. Sometimes as little as 50% of all law enforcement agencies bother to report in any given year, as doing so is completely voluntary.

            Not to mention that they only report on 7-8 offenses deemed “serious” enough for inclusion ( murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). Hate crimes are widely thought to be vastly under-reported. Nor are “officer-involved shootings” counted, either. Even the FBI repeatedly cautions any UCI user about the limitations of its data.

          • pisher

            So the studies are phony when they don’t agree with you? It’s great that accidental gun deaths are down–they are still horrifyingly prevalent, as one very real and tragic story after another demonstrates.

            The simple fact is that the more guns there are, the more people die. The fewer guns there are, the fewer people die. You only have to look at statistics in OTHER developed countries to know that.

            And why exactly are suicides okay with you? Very easy to commit an impulse murder with a gun–including self-murder. Without guns, many suicides might still be alive.

          • Red Eye Robot

            The oft repeated claim in studies; if you own a gun you are anywhere from 2.5 to 7 times more likely to be murdered. The homicide rate in the black community is 4X the rate in the white community. 31% of white people own guns, 15% of black people own guns. Clearly the finding that owning a gun is a contributing factor to your likelyhood of being murdered has no basis in fact.

            You keep saying the more guns, more people die but there are more guns and there are fewer accidents and half as many murdered.
            So fewer guns mean less suicide? Let’s look at other countries….
            US. 12.6 / 100,000
            Great Britain, 11.8/ 100,000
            France, 14.7 /100,000
            Japan, 20,1 / 100,000
            Taiwan, 25.9 / 100,000
            S Korea, 28.5 / 100,000
            Lithuania, 36.7 / 100,000
            GB has less than 1 suicide per 100,000 difference with the US and a total ban on handguns
            every other country on that list
            Severely restricts gun ownership and or outright bans handguns. Most have a gun ownership rate of 5% OR LESS of the population.
            How is it that people in these countries are so effectively killing themselves without guns?

        • DemInExile

          Not all gun deaths are murder. Most I would imagine are accident or suicide. If you want to quibble with the post, stick to deaths, or make it clear that you are talking about something else.

    • U.S. Gun deaths prove more guns per capita, equal the most gun deaths per person

      • How in the world did Liberaland ever trust you with being a site moderator? You’re like an immature teenager.

    • Casey Becker

      How come the states with the fewest murders also have the fewest people? I’d be surprised if people in Vermont, Alaska, and Montana can find one another, much less kill each other….

      • Red Eye Robot

        So you’re telling me Gun control is not the deciding factor? ( did you read the headline of the article?)
        Btw, Arizona the has a population 755,000 larger than maryland and had 24 fewer murders. Arizona is the 15th largest state by population. Using Obamas map 43 of the 58 states have smaller populations

        • DemInExile

          Um, you do know that we only have 50 states, right? Kind of makes me wonder about all your other numbers…..

  • Dan Lewin

    That’s odd, you see Maine and Vermont over there in the single digits?

  • Dobby the House Elf

    In related news, very few shark attacks occur in the Great Lakes.

  • DKDC

    I remember this study and I think there are two things to remember here.

    1) obviously correlation is not causation
    2) there were stronger correlations than the presence of gun control, particularly other socio-political-economic factors.

    Interestingly the strongest predictors were the percentage of Obama voters (lower gun deaths) and the percentage of McCain voters (higher gun deaths). Clearly voting for Obama or McCain does not directly alter your risk of gun death. At best, these are proxies for other risk factors. It’s quite possible that places that have more highly educated citizens with better employment have a lower risk of gun death and the also happen to be more liberal supporting both liberal politicians and liberal laws.

    • Lorehead

      Or even more directly: states where more people carry guns both have more people firing those guns and more people voting against gun laws.

      • DKDC

        Yes, it might not be the laws themselves that lead to lower gun deaths, but rather people that support gun laws are less prone to gun violence (and possibly lower rates of gun ownership).

  • ExRadioGuy15

    DKDC makes a fair point….
    However, when multiple states with stronger gun legislation have lower rates of shootings, you can make the causation/correlation link. The study is fairly exhaustive, so you can’t claim a too-small sample size, etc.

    • DKDC

      A large sample size does not preclude spurious correlation. i don’t think you could call it exhaustive either. Read the original paper. Even the author cautions against reading too much into the results.

      • Lorehead

        It would be a more interesting study if it had tried to do a regression for some of the other factors, like poverty, education, and possibly even red/blue politics in general, and seen whether there was still a residual effect of gun-control legislation. Even then, you’d have to rule out hypotheses like: a higher rate of gun deaths makes voters think they need to carry guns to protect themselves.

    • Lorehead

      Let’s say I have a great plan to boost the economy of Alaska: everybody should get air conditioning. Crazy? Look at the states that the most people are moving to. There’s a strong correlation with homes having air conditioning! Therefore, air conditioning makes people move to your state.

      But, you object, my causal explanation is spurious. What’s going on is obviously that there’s a confounding factor: both net migration and installing air conditioning are the result of a warm climate. That’s why they correlate. Installing air conditioning in Alaska, Maine or Minnesota would just be wasteful. I reply: “However, when multiple states with more air conditioning have more net migration, you can too make the causation/correlation link! The study is fairly exhaustive, so you can’t claim a too-small sample size, etc.”

  • Douglaslloera

    Going Back wwwooonnnkkkk google Online Work

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