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In an analysis derived from data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Violence Policy Center issued a release that included a listing of the top five states with the highest death rates in the nation. Alaska is ranked third in the list of five.
With a gun death rate of 17.41 per 100,000, Alaska was only surpassed by number two Mississippi at 17.80, and number one ranked Louisiana with a gun death rate of 18.91 per 100,000.
According to the Violence Policy Center, the high gun death rates are in direct relation to the state’s weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership in the top five states.
Meanwhile, the report points out that “states with the lowest overall gun death rates have lower rates of gun ownership and some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation.” The report continues on saying that even in the states with the lowest gun death rates “The human toll of gun violence remains unacceptably high and far exceeds the gun death rate in most Western industrialized nations.”
The data used in the Violence Policy Center’s analysis is based on information on overall gun death rates for the year 2011, that year is the most recent for available data.
“Gun violence is preventable, and states can pass effective laws that will dramatically reduce gun death and injury,” states VPC 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.”
“Lawmakers in every state should roll up their sleeves and pass stronger legislation to prevent needless deaths from gun violence,” states Sue Hornik, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence, a national umbrella group for state gun violence prevention organizations. “The safety of our families and communities is at stake.”
The death rate by firearms in the state of Alaska, at 17.41 per 100,000, far exceeds the national average of 10.38 per 100,000. The gun death rates in other Western industrialized nations is dwarfed in comparison. For example, the rate in the United Kingdom for that same year was 0.23 per 100,000 and in Australia the rate was 0.86 per 100,000.
In 2011, the total number of Americans killed by firearms was 32,351. That number was up from 31,672 the previous year.
For a list of gun death rates in all 50 states, see http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart14.htm.