New Report Links Gun Violence, Weak Firearms Controls. AK, LA, MT Faulted


Many states with the weakest gun laws have the worst rates of gun violence, ranking high on numerous indicators, like gun homicides and suicides, firearm deaths of children, and killings of law enforcement officers, says the liberal Center for American Progress, reports the New York Times. Alaska ranked first in overall gun deaths, with 20.28 deaths per 100,000 people in 2010 – more than twice the national average – followed by Louisiana and Montana, all states with weak gun laws. Eight of the states with the highest levels of gun violence were among the 25 with the weakest gun laws. The report is the second in recent weeks to link gun deaths and firearms laws. Boston researchers reported online in JAMA Internal Medicine that more firearm laws in a state were associated with lower rates of firearm deaths. That study took into account factors like poverty, unemployment, sex and race, education, population density, violent deaths unrelated to firearms, and household firearm ownership. The new report was criticized by opponents of tighter gun laws, who faulted its methodology and said it ignored the beneficial effect of gun ownership in combating crime. “The real world experience of guns obviously is that they are harmful in the wrong hands and protective in the right hands,” said David Kopel of the Cato Institute. “So you want to look at both effects.”

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