Making (Geographic) Sense of Gun Violence

In light of last week's incomprehensible tragedy in Colorado, Richard Florida prefaces the inevitable rekindling of the country's debate on gun rights by mapping gun violence at the state level and exploring its correlating factors.

1 minute read

July 23, 2012, 6:00 AM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Florida, and colleague Zara Matheson at the Martin Prosperity Institute, map the incidences of gun violence in America (including accidents and suicides) by state, based on the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [PDF]. What they found was that Colorado's rate of deaths by firearms (10.3 deaths by per 100,000 people) was identical to the national average, somewhere between the state with the most, Alaska at 20.9 per 100,000, and the least, Hawaii at 3.1 per 100,000.

Florida also makes mention of some of his prior research on the factors and psychogeography associated with gun deaths. Of note if, as anticipated, gun laws become an issue in the current presidential campaign, Florida notes that his research found a correlation between state policies toward guns and gun ownership:

"Firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun
control legislation. Though the sample sizes are small, we find
substantial negative correlations between firearm deaths and states that
ban assault weapons (-.45), require trigger locks (-.42), and mandate
safe storage requirements for guns (-.48)."

 

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