Politics

The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths

Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington on Sept. 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington on Sept. 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(National Journal) – As of the fi­nal days of Au­gust, the United States has seen more than 200 mass shoot­ings in 2015. The murder of WD­BJ re­port­er Al­is­on Park­er and cam­era­man Adam Ward on Wed­nes­day dur­ing an on-air broad­cast brought the is­sue of guns back to the fore­front of the polit­ic­al debate.

Hours after the in­cid­ent, 2016 pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate Hil­lary Clin­ton tweeted her sup­port for the im­me­di­ate tight­en­ing of gun laws. Across the aisle, Re­pub­lic­an con­tenders also ex­pressed sym­pathy and grief, but dis­missed the call for stricter gun le­gis­la­tion, cit­ing oth­er factors—men­tal health, poor law en­force­ment—as the causes of Amer­ica’s gun vi­ol­ence prob­lem. One can­did­ate asked, “What law in the world could have pre­ven­ted him from killing them?”

While it’s cer­tainly true that a num­ber of factors con­trib­ute to the high rates of gun vi­ol­ence in the U.S., a com­par­is­on of state laws versus rates of shoot­ing deaths does show a cor­rel­a­tion. The states that im­pose the most re­stric­tions on gun users also have the low­est rates of gun-re­lated deaths, while states with few­er reg­u­la­tions typ­ic­ally have a much high­er death rate from guns.

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