In his May 18 letter, Steve Earle suggests that violent gun crime is highest in “long-held Democratic-controlled large cities.” He suggests we take the top five large U.S. cities out of the statistics to improve the U.S. statistics and he then rests his case. However, looking at broadly published data, he really didn’t have a case.
The most recent set of complete data of gun violence from the CDC and FBI is from 2021. Numerous reports on this data from Pew Research, Forbes, Healthline, World Population, and major publications is easily found. Statistical data like this is reported per 100,000 people so there is an equivalent basis for reporting. After all, the per-capita statistics show the true rate of crime and violence in any given place.
For states reporting, the data shows the following deaths by guns per 100,000 people:
Greater than 25.1: MT, LA, WY, MS, NM, AL, AK
Between 20.1 – 25: MD, OK, AR, KY, TN, SC, GA, MO
Between 15.1 – 20: ID, NV, AZ, CO, ND, KS, TX, IL, MI, IN, OH, WV, NC
Between 10.1 – 15: WA, OR, SD, NE, PA, ME
Less than 10: CA, NY, MA, RI, NH, VA, NJ, CT, MN, HI
New York City and Los Angeles are not even listed in the top 15 cities with the highest violent crime rates per 100,000 people. Per the statistics, you would be safer in NYC (population 8.3 million) or LA (population 3.8 million) than you would be in any state with 10.1+ gun deaths per 100,000 — so all but 10 states in the country. I don’t recognize too many “Democratic-controlled” states in those top three lists but do in the bottom two lists. Let’s address gun violence where it’s affecting the most people per capita not by what color the city or state is.
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