Why Is Tennessee The Worst State For Violent Gun Crime?


People were more likely to be victims of a violent gun crime in Tennessee than in any other state, found an analysis by The Tennessean of FBI statistics. Only Washington, D.C., had a higher rate of gun violence. Tennessee came out worst in the nation in the rate at which its residents are victims of aggravated assaults with a firearm and fifth-worst in robberies. The federal government defines aggravated assault as an attack that inflicts severe bodily injury and is usually done with a weapon likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

The high rate is difficult to explain. Don Green of the University of Tennessee's Law Enforcement Innovation Center. He offered three possibilities for the high rate: better police reporting, a large number of gang and drug-related crime, or perhaps Tennessee's high rate of gun ownership. “One thing you could say would be if there are a number of firearms accessible to individuals, then they would be more inclined to use those during a heated argument,” Green said. The idea reflects a longstanding debate between Second Amendment and gun control advocates. Research has shown some correlation between states with high gun ownership and high gun-related crimes.

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