Study shows that states with loose gun laws have higher rates of gun violence


You’d better be careful about sharing THIS with certain people. It’ll only confuse some of them:

The National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress frequently claim that gun violence is highest in places with the toughest crime laws. But a new study from the Center for American Progress suggests something closer to the opposite is true — the states with laxer gun laws tend to be the ones contributing the highest shares of national gun deaths and injuries.

The authors of the report, called “America Under The Gun,” developed a list of ten indices of gun violence, ranging from gun homicide levels to firearm assaults to crime gun export rate (the number of guns sold in that state used in crimes around the country), and ranked each state from 1-50 along each index. They then took the average of each state’s ranking to determine its overall level of gun violence relative to other states. Lousiana was the highest, with an average of fifth-worst across all ten indices, while Hawaii’s 45.4 ranking was the best.

A statistical regression comparing these rankings with strength of gun law found a correlation between weak gun laws and violence levels as measured by the 10-index average. Comparing a state’s relative ranking in strength of gun law (as judged by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence) to a state’s relative gun violence ranking yielded clear evidence that states with looser gun laws contributed more to the national gun violence epidemic.



  1. Brian Opsahl

    Wow look at Alaska, and Hawaii. Maybe it’s the weather….lol

  2. Neftali

    I’d love for these people at the “Center for American Progress” to take a stroll around the worst neighborhoods in Chicago then take a stroll around the worst neighborhoods in Charleston, SC or Juneau, AL and see where where there is the most crime.

    This is the worst example of data manipulation. This chart is an insult to the term of honest scientific analysis. Any fool who believes this junk has absolutely no concept of reality.

  3. Neftali

    This 15 year old girl easily lays the smackdown on any of the proposed liberal gun grabbing laws. Its no wonder their Big Government attempt at taking away your rights has no chance of going anywhere even in the Democratic controlled Senate.


  4. Robert

    I guess all those stories about the gun violence in Chicago have been lies. Would somebody let Rahm Emanuel and the police force there know about this. Just think of the staff reductions and overtime they could eliminate.

    I think Pat Cunningham and Brian should move to South Chicago, within a few blocks of Harper High School. You don’t have to join a gang in that area. You’re automatically assigned membership based on the block you live on.

    I bet both of you live in lily white neighborhoods.

  5. Neftali: If you can’t specifically refute the study at issue, spare us the paranoid right-wing rhetoric about “gun-grabbing laws.” You sound like some kind of gun nut.

    By the way, homicides in Chicago are down 28 percent in the past six months. And in March, the total for the month was the lowest in 56 years. In New York City, which has strict gun laws, homicides are at a 50-year low.

    Neither New York nor Chicago ranked in the top 10 cities in terms of per-capita homicide rates last year.

    Oh, and when Tea Party demagogue Ted Cruz recently said that jurisdictions with the strictest gun laws have the highest rates of crime and murder, PolitiFact said his claim was false.

  6. Neftali: I recommend that you read this fair and balanced report on the issue of whether more guns lead to more or less violence. It covers all sides of the argument:


  7. The UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan have strict gun control laws. There are 100 gun deaths a year in the UK, the same in Canada, 30 in Australia, and 11 in Japan. In the U.S. there are 11,000.

    Chicago has strict gun control laws, but they can easily be purchased in the suburbs, Wisconsin, and Indiana.


  8. Brian Opsahl

    Robert, if you think I should move to some neighborhood in Chicago i will play your tit for tat game by saying you and your ilk should move to one of those hillbilly red States and spend some quality time with some real rednecks. Gun toten,wife beatin,low paid,low educated,squirrel huntin,beer drinking,trailer trash,no teeth,beat-up truck drivin,republican votin,dog kickin,WWF watchin,cousin lovin,sister lovin,nascar hat wearin,frog gigin, Obama hatin,and finally tire swingin in the front yard in anywhere Alabama.

    I can play that game to Sir Robert..!!

  9. Robert

    Brian, I just want to hear you and Pat admit, Rockford has a big problem with gang activity and urban decay and its spreading throughout the city ( I never will hear that though because Pat’s handlers tell him where to draw the line and you Brian, I think you want to believe its not that bad hoping it will get better in time, then you can move back). You tell me I should just avoid the bad areas. Well in Rockford that’s 3/4 + of the inner city. The west side is all the hood now from Marchesano Drive to Halsted Road, the southeast side is now the hood to about Alpine Rd and a little beyond, the inner northeast side is to about N. Chicago Ave to about the Loves Park border and growing eastward. As I posted, they have drive by shootings and people getting shot sleeping now in the very neighborhood I grew up in, Rolling Green, and where I stay when I visit. And by the way, when I visit I usually stay about 3 weeks so my observations while in town are not just cursory as a normal 3-5 day trip might provide. You have to admit I know the city. You can’t tell me people aren’t on edge with all the increasing violent crime and gang activity occurring. Pat C can put up all the skewed charts he wants to. A city auditor once told me charts can be made to support whatever the creator wants them to. The crime stats as I see them reported in the RRS, and the internet tv websites, and more so the property values in Rockford support my claims. So keep up all the happy talk and enabling of the elements tearing Rockford apart. It’s not getting better and until the people (all the people) of Rockford say enough, it will continue to go downhill. I don’t live there any longer and haven’t for years, but its not pleasant to see ones childhood memories turning into something unrecognizable. Good luck…

  10. Brian Opsahl

    Robert why do you continue to try and pin things on me…? Yes Rockford is in decay, yes we have a gang problem,yes we have dangerious areas in our City ….Just like everybody else doe’s.
    Your trying to portray us in this war zone which is total BS ….I live here, as I said yesterday, and never experienced anything your describing at all….ever..!!
    Yes I have read about it in the papers but just like everywhere else.
    You wont tell me where you live so I can take to critizing some parts of your choosen residence…

  11. Robert: What’s this crap about “Pat’s handlers”? You don’t know what you’re talking about. I have no “handlers.” I write what I want to write, and the only constraints on me concern bad language and potential libel.

  12. Robert

    Pat .. then admit that Rockford is in a state of decay and has a big problem with gangs.

  13. Robert

    Thank you Brian.

  14. Craig Knauss

    Official FBI statistics on crime in major cities can be seen at the following link:


    Go to the table and click twice on the column heading “Murder and non-negligent manslaughter”.

    The second click should sort the column for highest to lowest homicide rates. Take note of all the cities BEFORE you get to Chicago. And take note of all the cities BEFORE you get to NYC, especially the cities in gun toting states like Texas. The chart supports Pat’s map.

  15. Robert

    Craig, I’d like to see race data for all those stats. Why don’t they publish that? Is there a correlation to economic status or are there other factors. Just wondering.

  16. Craig Knauss


    I’m sure if you looked deep enough you would find all kinds of crime data, just like with census data. They probably have it broken down by ethic group, as well as type of weapon, and maybe even by morning, noon, or night.

    I’ve posted some of this information before because the rightwing fringe where I live now, keep making false claims that D.C., Chicago, and NYC are “the three deadliest cities in the U.S.” (or world) because they have gun control. The far right don’t like seeing that there are plenty of cities ranked ahead of those three in murder rate and are located in states with minimal gun control. The far right also claim that Chicago had a “record 503 murders last year” because of gun control. They don’t like hearing that Chicago had 970 murders in 1974 BEFORE gun control, which was the all time record. (I remember that because I was living only four blocks from Chicago’s notorious Austin District at the time.)

  17. Robert

    Thanks Craig. I’ve heard wikipedia allows for the rewriting of data by anybody. I remember hearing Tom Hartmann talking about that when the rightwing was changing data to suit their agenda on whatever the sites he was talking about at the time. It’s been a while so I can’t be more specific, but that’s what I’ve heard about the wiki site. I’m not claiming the info you provided has been manipulated, just wondering if there are more secure sites for such data.

    I do think it’s important to know who is doing the crimes because I think we know for fairly certain, that the majority of those shootings/murders in Chicago are gang related and specific to an area, rather than the whole city. Probably the same goes for other cities noted on this data. That’s why I think it’s important to know more details.

  18. Craig Knauss

    Without a doubt the majority of shootings in Chicago are gang and/or crime related. Most are gang wars and drug deals gone bad. Some are bystanders hurt during criminal activities. Very few are random shootings. And have you noticed that there haven’t been any Sandy Hook or Aurora, CO type massacres in Chicago? I lived there 27 years and never once was the victim of a crime. I worked in the Loop for 10 years and used to ride the EL home, sometimes late at night after bar hopping with friends. Never had a problem. (And that included 1974.) For 17 years I lived out in Dupage County where our murder rate was ZERO for 2 years despite having 900,000 people. However, I did have a neighbor get murdered once. Turns out he was killed in Chicago – while buying drugs. Which brings up another point. I wonder how many murder victims in Chicago were suburbanites who were killed in Chicago while engaged in illegal activities like my neighbor. He was put on Chicago’s statistics, not Dupage’s. Situations like that make Chicago’s statistics look worse because it’s a metropolitan area crime, but Chicago gets the blame. 7.5 million people would show a lot lower crime rate than 2.9 million.

  19. Robert

    For anybody who might be interested, I listened to a NPR “This American Life” series about Harper High School in Chicago. It’s quite a different world for the kids going to that school and living in the South Chicago neighborhoods. It’s very well done and gives some insight into the world of violence that is prone to that neighborhood and many like them across the nation. Apparently, since there was a big crackdown on the older generations of gang members and many are now incarcerated, the younger generations have stepped up to fill that void. Here’s the link. It’s a 2 part series. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/487/harper-high-school-part-one

    I learned from it many things but one thing that stood out was how one young kid talked about why they walk down the middle of the streets sometimes, something I witnessed in Rockford when I was home. It’s part of the gang mentality. It gives the person in the street a better view of the surrounding areas where a potential shooter could arise. When I heard that comment, I thought, I was driving in an area that some young (in this case it was young Black male) man felt he could be shot at. Now when I drive there next time, I will see things differently and this is a not good thing. This was in the Rolling Green neighborhood. This is why I say the gang activity is spreading to all the areas of the inner city in Rockford. Other people I know have witnessed the same kind of walking in the streets. So this wasn’t some one time thing. I suspect people who read this may have their own experience like this to reflect on.


  20. Brian Opsahl

    Cgaig that’s a well thought out argument. I was at a bar on Rush street in 83 (Mothers) when a bouncer was shot for refusing entry to a drunk young man. The guy shot him 3 times in the back and butt, and what happen next gave me a ton of respect for Chicagos finest. This cop comes off his horse to get everybody out of the way of the ambulance and he is the white version of Shaquil O’Neil ….nobody would move out of the way so he took his forearms and started waving them ….and drunks were flying all over the place to get the hell out of this guys way…. he cleared that sidewalk in about 5 seconds…the guy lived and they caught the shooter.

  21. Robert

    When you live in gangland, its a whole different perspective. When people in your neighborhood are being shot at by drive bys, when people are being shot through their windows as they sleep, it’s a whole different perspective. Not to mention the other crimes being committed in your neighborhood by the same people. No amount of happy talk is going to calm the fears that kind of activity generates. When your stuck in your home because the values keeps plummeting and your upside down, your unemployed or underemployed, your choices in this situation are limited. It is very unsettling. Nobody should have to live like this because low life’s have extended their territories.

  22. Brian Opsahl

    Robert, We do not live in such a place…sorry but your perceptions are wrong…again I live here and not one thing you have described has ever happened to me or any of my family members ….ever..!! Again..!!

  23. Robert

    You’ve got to be kidding. For Christ sakes, the events I just noted happened in the last 2 to 6 weeks in the very neighborhood I grew up and my family members still live in… where have you been.

  24. Robert

    Here’s another story more recent than 2 weeks… in the se neighborhood next to the one I grew up in.


  25. Brian Opsahl

    Obviously NOT in that bad neighborhood, a little advice Robert, when the neighborhood started going bad i used to live in….I moved..!! and so did most of my old neighbors …and I sold my old home for 92,500 i lived there lees than 5 years and bought it for only 45,900.
    So everything your barking about so far has only happened to you…and im sorry your so disstressed about us….or is it obsessed..?

  26. Robert

    I don’t think were talking about the same Rockford. You obviously didn’t read my posts with any sort of comprehension. I’ve covered my bases. You response makes no sense when comparing to the content of my post. By the way, you admitted you sold to get of out of a bad neighborhood, so that right there is an admission you see what I’m talking about. So now I’m only guessing at your motives for defending the indefensible. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.

  27. Brian Opsahl

    I didn’t admit anything, i refuted your argument..you said home values were depressed ..I then told you I made over 47,000 thousand on that depressed house…correct.!!
    You said you red about several shootings …I told you I have never ever seen that here ..correct..!!

    Sooo…? yea im done with you to …let me know when your done depending your opinions on Fox,and Hannity so we can have a more intelligent conversations…TNX..!!

  28. Robert

    Did you get slapped a lot when you were a child? Was the most familiar saying you heard growing up, “that child ain’t right”? Did you twirl around in your front yard as a child until you were dizzy one too many times? Or are you offended that I put people’s beliefs in virgin births, resurrections after being dead 3 days and the Adam and Eve story, in the same category as those others that Pat posted on the below linked thread? Something changed in your demeanor.


  29. Craig Knauss


    FYI – The Austin District, on the West Side, was one of the worst areas in Chicago. It’s where the Henry Horner projects were. I went through it every day for 10 years and lived 4 blocks from it for 2 years. I also drove through the South Side, sometimes at night. I used to get on the Skyway down near 55th and South Michigan Ave as well as drive the Dan Ryan late at night. I also did shop inspections at a steel fabricator in the heart of Gary, IN. And with respect to Rockford, I lived down on S. Main (23 yrs.) and used to drive up and down Pierpont to Auburn H.S.

  30. Robert

    Craig, it makes no sense to me to hear people defend what were once wholesome, relatively safe neighborhoods that are becoming gang territories with the associated crimes that go along with them. I’m talking about neighborhoods that one can’t sit in their front yard and feel the summer breeze anymore without a thought in the back of their minds, could some fool drive by and shoot at me or someone in a passing car. It makes no sense to me that people are justifying these worsening conditions with statements like I drive here and there and have not had a problem. I doubt the people I read about that had a town meeting about the rising crime in their NW Rockford neighborhoods feel that way?

    I lived on Morgan St as a child. Back then the only disputes I recall was the lady in the house next door that used to get so mad at her alcoholic husband coming home drunk, she’d throw all his clothes out on the front stoop along with a few choice expletives.

  31. Brian Opsahl

    Robert, thats low dude, What if i was kicked around as a kid who the hell are you to judge ?
    Crawlling into the gutter is not what i wish to do today and im sorry you chose to go there
    I was trying to give your argument a true example from a life long resident. as i said yesterday…yes we have problems in our city, and they are not as bad as your describing.
    I critize Rockfords leaders all the time for their complete lack of leadership and dissdane for our hero’s in the Police department.

    Thing is Robert, that when we critize them it’s because we live here…you would feel the same way if i started rippin on the place where you live …from reading about it somewhere. That’s why i asked you where you live..!!

    If you want to be taken seriously stop watching the likes of Hannity and those liar’s at Fox they are paid entertainers….not anything else

  32. Robert

    Brian, I don’t watch Fox or Hannity. I’m not a liberal and I’m not a conservative either, although I probably identify more with the old Republican Party. The one that existed before Reagan courted all the far right wacko’s into the fray. I’ve voted Democratic Party pretty much straight ticket for as long as I can remember. I can best describe my political and social disposition as somewhere in the middle, like most thoughtful people.

    I have as much right to talk about Rockford as an ex-resident with current family ties as you do. Don’t you live in a small town about 3 miles outside of Rockford?

  33. Brian Opsahl

    About 18 miles and sometimes it’s still not far enough, Robert …i never said anything like that. Of course you can say anything you wish it’s still a free Country. Again I was only giving you MY opinion from MY experiances…That’s it…MY opinion

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