Richard Florida: The Geography of U.S. Gun Violence

Interesting article by Richard Florida entitled, The Geography of U.S. Gun Violence.

-City level correlation between unemployment and murder by gun as well as overall death by gun.

-No association between mental illness, stress, or illegal drug use and gun deaths at the state level.

-No state level association between gun violence and unemployment or economic inequality. Some association at the city level between economic inequality and murder by gun (but not suicide).

-State level associations with gun deaths and poverty, lower incomes, “red states,” and blue collar economies.

-Negative state and city level correlation between gun violence and college graduation levels and knowledge-based economies.

-[This one stood out to me]: Association between gun suicides (but not murders) and share of people who drive alone to work. Both are probably a function of social isolation.

-At the metro level, a negative correlation between share of young males and overall rate of gun death.

-Share of black population has a positive correlation with both gun related homicides and overall rate of gun death. No similar correlation with share of Hispanic population.

-”[S]tate level analysis found gun deaths to be significantly lower in states with stricter gun control laws. We found substantial negative correlations between the rate of gun deaths and states that ban assault weapons, require trigger locks, and mandate safe storage requirements for guns.”

I’m sure data will have precious little to do with the gun control debate, but it’s out there, apparently.


  1. Stuart Swenson says

    Interesting article and graphics. I wonder what’s going on in those high incidence areas that isn’t happening in others, especially in central Alabama, which is really high in firearm suicides and homicides. And I now have lots of reasons not to live in So. Louisiana.

    If this doesn’t bring out the trolls, I think there is something to be learned from a thoughtful discussion of these data.

  2. Stuart Swenson says

    Regarding the high suicide of solo drivers, I believe that there is a fairly high relationship between social isolation, hopelessness and suicide, and when suicidal folks have access to firearms, there will be a solid relationship between that and subsequent suicide.

  3. jharp says

    Interesting piece indeed.

    We had a suicide in our neighborhood not long ago where a teenager and his Mom got into a big argument. Teen grabbed shotgun and killed himself.

    Another reason to not have a gun laying around.

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