Alabama has 2nd highest gun death rate in America

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Gun deaths in the U.S. have jumped by 17 percent during the past decade. During the same period of time, gun deaths in Alabama have increased by 22 percent, making it the second worst state for gun deaths in America.

That’s according to information released Wednesday by the Violence Policy Center (VPC), a national education organization working to end gun violence, using just-released 2016 data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention.

Alabama’s firearm death rate was 17.63 in 2009. It escalated to 21.51 by 2016 — a 22 percent increase. The only state worse, and much worse at that, was Alaska, which saw a 60.2 percent increase.

According to data VPC compiled, Alaska and Alabama have “extremely lax gun violence prevention laws as well as a higher rate of gun ownership,” which translates into more gun deaths. VPC also claims that those states with the lowest gun ownership accordingly have substantially lower death frequencies.

What VPC doesn’t explain is what was the cause of the gun deaths. According to gunpolicy.org gun deaths in Alabama are overwhelmingly comprised by firearm suicide. 2013 is the most recent year they have specific data from the CDC, but in 2012 there were 831 gun deaths in Alabama — 305 of which were homicides, while 500 suicides. The remaining deaths where unintentional or by undetermined causes.

Total number of gun deaths:

2013: 860
2012: 831
2011: 785
2010: 782
2009: 830

Firearm homicides:

2013: 317
2012: 305
2011: 292
2010: 283
2009: 317

Firearm suicides:

2013: 504
2012: 500
2011: 452
2010: 454
2009: 479

Unintentional gun deaths:

2013: 25
2012: 14
2011: 25
2010: 35
2009: 28

Gun deaths by undetermined cause:

2013: 0 (suppressed)
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 15
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)

State gun death rates were calculated by dividing the number of gun deaths by the total state population and multiplying the result by 100,000 to obtain the rate per 100,000, which is the standard and accepted method for comparing fatal levels of gun violence.

According to the VPC study:

States with the five highest gun death rates

Rank

State

Household gun ownership Gun death rate per 100,000
1 Alaska 56.4 percent 23.86
2 Alabama 49.5 percent 21.51
3 Louisiana 49.0 percent 21.08
4 Mississippi 54.3 percent 19.64
5 Oklahoma 46.7 percent 19.52

 

States with the five lowest gun death rates

Rank

State

Household gun ownership Gun death rate per 100,000
50 Massachusetts 14.3 percent 3.55
49 New York 22.2 percent 4.56
48 Hawaii 12.5 percent 4.62
47 Rhode Island 15.9 percent 4.64
46 Connecticut 22.2 percent 4.81

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