The five safest and deadliest states for both COVID-19 and gun violence

The five safest and deadliest states for both COVID-19 and gun violence

Istock In recent years there has been a noticeable increase in the use of epidemiological language to characterize the problem of gun violence in the United States. Words like “ plague ” or “ epidemic ” are among the most commonly used, and sometimes the comparison goes beyond mere metaphor: physicians who regularly witness the bloody consequences of gun violence have proposed approaching gun violence as a medical or public health issue : through research, education, and preventative measures. As researchers concerned with the level of gun violence in America, this epidemiological framework of gun violence and the research-based approach to “treating” it deeply resonates with us. Of course, there is presently an actual pandemic, COVID-19, that has brought this country to its knees, with no signs thus far of being close to contained. Given the discouraging trends we have been seeing in the media this year with regards to the increasing rates of both gun violence and COVID-19 infections and deaths , we felt it would be an interesting experiment to do a state-by-state comparison of the death rate due to gun violence with the death rate due to COVID-19. By consolidating the data we were then able to see which states are safest and which are the deadliest with respect to both. With gun violence, specifically, we also sought to understand the factors most closely associated with the highest rates of deaths from gun violence, and what we found adds evidence and support for the argument that […]

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