AZ: Few Gun Curbs, High Gun Crime Rate. What Does It Mean?


Arizona has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation. It also has one of the highest rates of gun deaths, says the Arizona Republic. How closely are guns and violence connected? Research gives both sides of the debate plenty of support for their views. “One thing there is consensus on is guns increase the lethality of violence,” said Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “There’s less agreement on whether guns lead to more violence or less. [ ] It’s a very difficult question to answer with scientific certainty.”

UCLA law Prof. Eugene Volokh points to a 2005 paper in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that could not discern any significant impact on violence from eight types of gun-control laws. In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences said data in studies on the effects of concealed-weapons laws were “too weak to support unambiguous conclusions.” Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Arizona exceeded the national rate for gun-involved slayings every year from 1994 until 2007, the latest year available. It has exceeded the national rates of gun-involved suicides and of overall gun-involved deaths every year since at least 1981, when officials began collecting data. If there is any agreement between those who favor gun rights and those who support gun control it is that Arizona is friendly on firearms.

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