Gun deaths twice as high among African-Americans as white citizens in US

Gun deaths are twice as high among African-Americans as they are among white citizens in the US, finds a study of national data, published in the online journal BMJ Open. But the national figures, which have remained relatively steady over the past decade, mask wide variation in firearms deaths by ethnicity and state, the findings show.

The researchers looked at all recorded gun deaths across the USA between 2000 and 2010, to include murders, suicides, and unintentional shooting, using data from the Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System.

Hawaii recorded the lowest rate of gun deaths at 3.02 per 100 000 citizens, while the District of Columbia topped the league table at 21.71 per 100 000. Rates rose in Florida and Massachusetts, largely owing to more gun deaths among people of white and non-Hispanic ethnicities, and an increase in the gun related murder rate.

Firearm deaths fell in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia, mostly among people of Hispanic and African-American ethnicities.

Nationally, unintentional firearm deaths fell significantly, but the number of gun related murders and suicides remained unchanged. In California, the fall in gun deaths was largely attributable to a reduction in suicides.

The national rate of gun deaths was twice as high among African-Americans as it was among people of white ethnicity. But these deaths fell in seven and DC, compared with comparable falls in only four states among people of white ethnicity. Similarly, rates of gun deaths among Hispanics fell in four states, and rose among non-Hispanics in nine states.

The authors point out that the patterns of gun deaths they found didn't seem to reflect firearm control efforts and legislation in individual states. Some of the states with the most stringent gun laws showed an expected fall in firearm deaths, while some with strong reported an increase.

For example, The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranked Massachusetts the third most restrictive state for firearm legislation, while Florida was ranked 40th in 2011.

After Massachusetts passed its tough law restricting gun use in 1998, gun ownership rates plummeted, yet violent crimes and murders increased, possibly because of an influx of firearms from neighbouring states with weaker firearm laws, suggest the authors. And in Florida gun deaths rose, despite an overall fall in violent crime over the same period.

Clamping down on may require a broader approach, including curbing firearm availability and ramping up interstate border controls on the transport of firearms, the authors conclude.

Explore further

Do more gun laws mean fewer gun deaths?

Journal information: BMJ Open

Citation: Gun deaths twice as high among African-Americans as white citizens in US (2014, September 18) retrieved 21 October 2019 from
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Sep 19, 2014
Gun statistics are only meaningful if they expose the guns that were actually used as being lawfully registered and legally bought firearms or if they are stolen, unregistered, or unlawfully purchased guns! If every gun used is stolen, unregistered, or unlawfully purchased what does that mean to all the legal gun owners, legally registered guns, and to the general public? Criminals shooting criminals means what to non criminals? Criminals shooting non criminals is a useful statistic to those who are not criminals as they can judge their odds and make a dicision about their safety. Tell us how many unlawful/illegal firearms were used in crimes against lawful citizens - that would be useful as a percent to 100,000.

Sep 19, 2014
I will venture to state that the same is true for every weapon be it Hands and Feet, Blunt Objects, Stabbing weapons or Poisons. In other words it's not the method chosen it's animal behind it!

Sep 19, 2014
Here's a novel idea, black guy, don't try to mug a person with a ccw, don't try to rob a convenience store, don't steal a car, don't run from a cop. Bet their death stats would just dwindle with those few ideas.

Sep 19, 2014
And since blacks are 12% of the population that makes them 16 times more likely to be killed by a gun. If you make the rationale that it is mostly black males being killed that bumps it to closer to 32 times more likely. So, why is Bloomberg trying to push legislation on to the other 88% of the population? Shouldn't he concentrate on the problem?

Sep 19, 2014
Maybe Blacks should not be allowed to have guns.

Sep 19, 2014
Maybe whites should not be allowed to have children.

This week a white male killed his six grandsons and daughter, and he killed his son few years back and was ruled "manslaughter" ...

Another white male killed his five children last week....

And on and on beyond Adam Lanza's blue eyes.... it seems to be a theme of white males sexually abusing children and killing them.

In the movie "irreversible" a white male asked another white male why he is in prison. He replies "because rapping my daughter" , the one who asked said "the curse of the Caucasian"

Sep 21, 2014
Here's a novel idea, black guy, don't try to mug a person with a ccw, don't try to rob a convenience store, don't steal a car, don't run from a cop. Bet their death stats would just dwindle with those few ideas.

Actually, the vast majority of murders of Africans in American are done by other Africans. Most of it is killing one another over matters of petty theft, drugs, gang violence, and other such stupidity.

This article just "conveniently" left that fact out, though it is well known.

Most murders are done with legally owned weapons.

Almost every massacre in the past 2 decades was done with legally owned weapons.

The worst of the ones not done with legally owned weapons were done with home made bombs , not illegal guns.

Sep 21, 2014
The concept of background checks is flawed, because it fails to confront the fact that anyone can become a murderer, at any time, and regardless of past good will or credibility.

Remember that ex-cop that left the theatre, got his gun, and walked back in and shot and killed a guy just for talking on the cell phone?

"Noble Citizen". One day decides he wants to murder somebody over nothing whatsoever.

That's the problem with gun control laws. They cannot predict murder, and it is too late once it happens.

"Guns Don't kill people, people kill people."


Guns just make it a lot, lot easier for people to kill people, and they make it a hell of a lot easier for one nut to kill tens of people at a time.

If he had a pair of pocket knives, the nut might kill 1 or 2 people, before being overwhelmed. With a pair of semi-automatic pistols or rifles, he can kill and wound dozens in seconds.

I own two guns: a 30/30 rifle and a 20 gauge single-shot shotgun. Haven't used in them 13 years.

Sep 21, 2014
So as a law, "background checks" is not good enough.

Civillians should be banned from owning automatic and semi-automatic weapons, period.

Concealed weapons permits should be limited to Revolvers for civillians, and a semi-automatic pistol for off-duty police and off-duty military personel.

The 30/30 I have is too dangerous of a weapon in modern times. I haven't fired it in 13 years, but I killed a buck last time I went hunting. I am (insert "was") qualified Sharpshooter skill level, but I'm not actually good with reloading a bolt action.

A person who practices with a bolt action or lever action would be extremely dangerous with a common hunting rifle...and they are perfectly legal to own.

With training one hour per week, for 6 to 12 weeks, a person can get to Marksman or Sharpshooter level with a rifle. It's all about breath control, familiarity with trigger draw, keep both eyes open, and just syncronizing your squeeze of the trigger with the moment your sway crosses the target.

Sep 21, 2014
Now I'm obviously not that good any more, because of Neuropathy and complete lack of practice.

However, a hypothetical person who can shoot that well, can kill nearly any one person in the country that they want to, at any time.

I have an uncle who was in the Navy in the 70's, and scored 396 out of 400 points on his qualifier with a rifle, and is also Expert with a handgun, and he's a drunk.

He can take a pistol and fire a shot, and then put the shell casing on the ground at a random distance, and fire another bullet straight into it.

Using a Rifle, shoot a pine cone out of a tree from 100 yards by clipping the stem, not by hitting the cone itself. Without a prop or tripod.

And he can do that sober or drunk.

I've hardly ever seen him sober, and I've seen him make these shots...on the first or second try...while drunk, and I'm talking 6 pack or case drunk, because he drinks almost all day every day.

Now he's on our side, thank God, but who else is out there that can do that?

Sep 21, 2014
Oh yeah, that pine cone stem-clip shot?

It's open sites, not a scope.

True story bro.

Scares the hell out of me when you think about the fact that there are who knows how many people who have the training to do that.

They don't even need to be that good though.

Sep 22, 2014
Oh yeah, that pine cone stem-clip shot?

It's open sites, not a scope.

True story bro..

Skippy, take it from an old coonass, that is not the true story no. I call the lie on that one me. Have you ever take the good look at a pine cone stem from one hundred yards away? I did not think so no. You need to make up some better lies and not think that foolishment in your head is anything but foolishment.

You talk like the couyon on the bad drugs Skippy.

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