Data Shows the Rural South Has a Gun Violence Problem

Around the country, more than 167,000 people were fatally shot between 2014 and 2023, according to GVA data, a decade of which is available for the first time. That’s nearly twice the number of Americans who have died in all foreign wars since World War II. Another 324,000 people were injured by firearms. Gun deaths increased more than 50 percent and injuries increased 66 percent.

To be sure, the largest number of shootings took place in large cities, however residents of smaller places with high per capita rates experience gun violence disproportionately.

The states with the highest rates of shooting fatalities and injuries per 100,000 residents were Louisiana, Illinois, Mississippi, and Alabama. The lowest rates were in Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Full story: Data Shows the Rural South Has a Gun Violence Problem

8 Replies to “Data Shows the Rural South Has a Gun Violence Problem”

  1. The Trace highlights a troubling trend: gun violence is widespread outside of cities, especially in small towns and rural areas in the Midwest and the South. The terrible story of Summer Tatum, who lost both her life and the life of her unborn child, highlights the toll that this crisis has taken on human life. It makes one think about the complex connections between racial injustice, economic inequality, and gun access that haunt these areas. There are concerns regarding the underlying factors causing this spike in violence. Are racial segregation and economic hardship the only social concerns at play, or are lax gun laws the only factor? Furthermore, how can communities and legislators handle these complex issues to stop the violence? The disparity in gun violence rates between regions raises questions about the effectiveness of current prevention strategies and the need for tailored interventions in rural and small-town settings. How can law enforcement and neighborhood organizations work together to support communities that are at risk and address the root causes of violence?

  2. This is a problem that gun violence is on the rise but I don’t think the answer is for strict gun laws and silencing the people in that way. The second amendment of our constitution was made for a specific reason and that wasn’t for hunting it was so that the people could still say no to the government just like they did in 1776. That being said I do think gun violence is a problem not because of the gun but who is carrying it and what are they watching or listening to to make them commit these violent acts. The political division plays a giant role in this due to different types of social media and media sources perpetuating how one side is evil or the other dividing us even more and some people become radical and violent. So to me, it is not about stricter gun control and silencing the people it is about how we stop the root causes of the issues that make these individuals commit these acts, and that can be a real problem for law enforcement.

  3. Perhaps a possible solution to these issues could be an introduction of intervention programs. Since many gun laws are viewed as unconstitutional by gun owners, or merely controversial, intervention programs could be a solid middle ground. Rather than the ones in the past such as gun buybacks, community outreach for gun safety, and gun law education could help curb these rising levels of gun violence. Personally, I believe that a vast majority of gun owners do not understand the appropriate times to use a gun legally, and merely think that it can be used at any point where the notion of harm is involved. In truth, using a gun against someone who is unarmed yet attacking you is not always legal, and its certainly not legal to use a gun in a scenario where you are angry but not under any life threatening circumstances.

    1. The possibility of an intervention program sounds promising but instead of targetting individuals after they do something wrong, like how intervention programs are built for drug courts, firearm intervention programs would need to have a requirement to be administered before an incident were to occur in order to achieve positive results. I personally think that implimenting firearms instructional courses could yield these results as from a little research only 9 states require a firearms course to own a firearm according to this site The course should not only focus on the fundamentals and basic knowledge of firearm safety as some incidents with a firearm are accidents but also the right time to utilize a firearm such as what is the proper amount of force needed to be administered depending on the situation such as what type of force is needed when someone is attacking you with a knife.

    2. Marcel, I agree with your statements. Introducing intervention programs could potentially prevent numbers in the South from increasing even more. You bring up a good point of understanding when to use guns legally. In many cases the number of deaths caused by gun violence was out of anger, or misuse of the gun. If people knew how to properly use the gun or how to control themselves in anger then people less people would be dead. What are some other ways to prevent these numbers in the South from increasing even more? In my opinion, a gun safety class could prevent more deaths in the South.

  4. Gun violence has always been a problem in the United States. There has been a peak in gun violence news due to the advancement in technology and social media, often targeting the violence that is gun-related to be broadcast more in the news. There are stereotypes in certain regions about gun violence. The rural region has been known to be a peaceful area with the exception of conservative gun-owning neighbors. This can become a problem for citizens because rural neighborhoods are also known to be on the outskirts away from main areas such as police departments therefore when trouble happens the time of arrival could be a problem depending on the severity of the gun crime.

  5. Gun violence has been a present problem in the United States for many years now. Not surprising the South takes the top with the gun violence problem. In recent years the South has also been on top for the most homicides per gun usage. These small town and rural areas have had a troubling trend of gun violence. These small towns don’t have access to big police forces. This means these smaller rural towns can potentially get away with more crimes; causing more gun violence. What can we do to prevent these numbers in the South from increasing even more?

    1. It’s feasible to say that gun violence in the South may be higher due to deeply ingrained cultural and political attitudes surrounding the debate about the Second Amendment. That’s not to say that there aren’t other, very credibly reasons behind gun violence, like lack of gun control, in regions where gun ownership isn’t just a legal right but cherished as almost an aspect of identity, it wouldn’t be unbelievable that there’s greater resistance to gun control. There’s almost a reverence for guns/firearms, and when paired with the south’s history that is claimed as “independent”, it can create an environment where access to guns is increased and even encouraged.

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