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How Common Are Gun Violence Crimes in Arizona?

June 30, 2015

Especially in election seasons, gun violence is a hotly debated topic among competing politicians. As a result, some Arizona politicians make claims regarding the prevalence and severity of gun crimes in Arizona. For example, following the shooting in Fort Hood Texas, Congressional candidate Ruben Gallego advocated for stricter gun laws in a speech claiming nearly almost every day in Arizona, someone is killed by a gun.

Gun-related statistics in Arizona

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arizona experienced 933 firearm deaths in 2010, as reported by The Arizona Republic. This equals roughly 2.56 gun-related deaths per day over a calendar year. In analyzing these statistics, it’s important to note that they include all manner of gun deaths, including suicides, accidental shootings and fatal shootings involving law enforcement members. Gallego spokesman Andy Barr claims that his speech was referring to a report by the Center for American Progress released in April 2013.

Classifications of gun crimes

The Center for American Progress separates firearm deaths in the CDC data into three categories—suicide, homicide and accidental. Through this separation, the analysis revealed that Arizona experienced 271 firearm homicides in 2010. This equates to 0.74 firearm homicides per day. This roughly corresponds to Gallego’s claim that a person is killed in a gun-related death each day in Arizona.

Relationship to nationwide statistics

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit focused on national health issues complied state-by-state reports via CDC statistics. The non-profit found that the Arizona gun-death rate per 100,000 individuals was 14.6 in 2010. As a result, these statistics made Arizona the eighth-worst state in the country for gun violence. However, if the statistics were analyzed to only indicate gun homicides and not overall gun deaths, then Arizona would’ve ranked number eleven in the country.

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