Massachusetts Ranks Third Lowest for Gun-Related Deaths in Nation
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
According to a new study conducted by the Violence Policy Center, Massachusetts ranks 3rd lowest for gun-related deaths with 3.84 gun-related deaths per 100,000, which is much lower than the 10.38 national average. The Violence Policy Center concluded that states with better gun laws and lower gun ownership had fewer deaths than states with weak gun laws and higher ownership.
“Gun violence is preventable, and states can pass effective laws that will dramatically reduce gun death and injury,” states Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann. “Our analysis also shows that states with weak gun violence prevention laws and easy access to guns pay a severe price with gun death rates far above the national average.”
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana were the top five states on the list of most gun-related deaths. Rhode Island had the lowest amount of gun-related deaths with Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey following behind.
Not All Laws are Helpful
While this study shows that an increase of laws and regulations leads to fewer deaths, Jim Wallace – the Executive Director of the Gun Owners Action League – says that in Massachusetts, laws have not always been beneficial.
Wallace points to the gun-control legislation passed in 1998, which banned semi-automatic weapons, imposed strict licensing laws, and prevented those who had been convicted of a violent crime to carry or purchase a gun, as one piece of legislation that didn’t work out.
Although labeled as the toughest gun-control legislation in the country, evidence shows that crime has not decrease, but rather has increased, since the law was signed. Between 1998 and 2011, murders with firearms jumped from 65 to 122. Robberies with firearms increased rose 20.7-percent and aggravated assaults jumped 26.7-percent in the same time period.
Great Accomplishment, More to be Done
While having one of the lowest gun-related death ratings in the country is a huge accomplishment, many involved in creating more gun laws and regulations feel that there is more that can be done.
Sheila Decter, the Director of the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, believes that more can be done on the safety and culture fronts for guns. Instead of standing still with the current accomplishment, Decter wants to see all gun-related deaths in Massachusetts eliminated.
“There are still young people who are being killed on the streets,” said Decter. “We shouldn’t be satisfied until we figure out how to improve safety and culture around guns. We want to make sure that the culture around guns is safer both in purchasing and in education.”
Related Slideshow: The Influence of Gun Money in New England States
New Data from The Sunlight Foundation shows state-by-state breakdowns for donations to groups on both sides of the gun debate. The money went toward candidates, political parties, and political action committees (PACs), but doesn't include donations to independent or so-called “super PACs”.
See how much money went to candidates in each of the New England States in the slides below.
- Paul Giorgio: Massachusetts Needs To Reform Its Gun Laws
- NEW: MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence Advocates Stricter Laws
- Gomez Reverse Gun Position May Split GOP
- National Gun Rights Group Sets Up Political Base in Worcester
- Arthur Schaper: Gomez, The Globe + Guns
- Grace Ross: Trayvon Martin + The Road To Smart Gun Policy
- U.S. Gun Bill Dies: Central MA Leaders Focus on Enforcement
- MA US Senate Candidates: Who’s Strongest on Gun Rights?
- McGovern Pushes for Action at Worcester Gun Violence Forum
- BB Gun Vandalism on the Rise in Worcester
- NEW: Worcester Colleges Score $500,000 To Reduce Campus Violence
- Disturbing Domestic Violence Trends in Worcester
- Domestic Violence Awareness: Fashion Goes Purple
- Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence’s “Invest in Peace” Fundraiser
- NEW: Patrick Signs Bill to Protect Sexaul Assault and Domestic Violence Victims
- NEW: Sen. Cowan Applauds Bill to Prevent Violence Against Women
- NEW: Moms Delivering Petition to Staples HQ to Ban Guns in Stores
- From Central Mass to Major League Soccer: Diego Fagundez
- AG Candidate Propses Fingerprint Recognition for Guns Sold in MA
- NEW: AG Candidate Naughton Criticizes Tolman Gun Control Proposal
- More than Half of Traceable Guns Seized in MA from Out of State
- MA Advocates Demand Gun Bill Rewrite After Talk with Speaker DeLeo
- NEW: Aaron Hernandez Charged With Murder + 5 Gun-Related Charges
- Anti-Gun Violence Org Calls On Legislature to Tighten MA Gun Laws
- Gun Money’s Influence in Massachusetts
- UMass Lowell Poll: Majority of Americans Favor Gun Control
- Should Domestic Abuse Victims in MA Have Easier Access to Guns?
- Proposed Gun Law Targets Mental Health, Suitability of Gun Owners
- Gun Bill Blasted by School Committee Member for Police in Schools
- MA Gun Advocates Demand Rewrite of Gun Violence Reduction Bill