Alabama 2nd in gun deaths
That is the headline in the Local News section of the Birmingham News.
We are second only to Louisiana. Here the gun death rate was 16.9 per 100,000 (in 2006).
In Alabama, hundreds of people each year die in gun-related homicides, suicides and accidents, according to information from the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Hundreds. This is not an inflated number
During 2006, there were 43 accidental gun deaths, 400 suicides by gun, and 333 homicides by gun and 8 deaths by guns of undetermined intent in Alabama.
The next year, accidental deaths by gun decreased to 28, an improvement. But there were 399 suicides by gun, no change, and 373 homicides by gun, an increase, and 14 undetermined guns deaths, an increase. These statistics come from the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Picture credit al.com
Here is the press release from VPC (Violence Policy Center) from which some of this information was taken. Their data comes from the CDC.
From the press release:
The analysis reveals that the five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, and Nevada. Each of these states had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national per capita gun death rate of 10.32 per 100,000 for 2006. Each state has lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates. By contrast, states with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Ranking last in the nation for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “More guns means more gun death and injury. Fewer guns means less gun death and injury. It’s a simple equation.”
The VPC defined states with “weak” gun laws as those that add little or nothing to federal restrictions and have permissive concealed carry laws allowing civilians to carry concealed handguns. States with “strong” gun laws were defined as those that add significant state regulation in addition to federal law, such as restricting access to particularly hazardous types of firearms (for example, assault weapons), setting minimum safety standards for firearms and/or requiring a permit to purchase a firearm, and have restrictive concealed carry laws.
From the B'ham News article:
Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said Alabama needs to strengthen gun laws, including adding regulations to sales of guns at gun shows and placing restrictions on the types of guns that are available.
"The one point I try to stress is that we're not anti-gun," Helmke said of his organization. "With the right to have guns comes a responsibility and an awareness of the risk."These German students created a video called the Violence Policy Center Show regarding gun control in the United States. I am pretty sure they have no relation to the group by the same name in this country.
I'm not in favor of tough laws that prevent people like me from purchasing and owning guns. Heck, every gay person in Bessemer should own a gun, after the events of last month (if you don't know what I am talking about here, email me. More info to be released soon). I'm for laws that make less guns available on the street, where most convicted criminals say they purchased their guns.
Here's another Bonnie Tyler video, "My Guns Are Loaded."