Just a few stray news items from this past week that may have escaped your attention:
â€¢ NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CAâ€”A man surrendered to police early Friday after allegedly shooting his wife to death at their home in North Hollywood while their two children slept. (link)
â€¢ HOUSTON, TXâ€”A 13-year-old boy was found shot to death in an apparent drive-by shooting at a southeast Houston apartment complex on Wednesday. (link)
â€¢ OAKLAND, CAâ€”A 33-year-old father of two was shot to death at point-blank range in a fight over a parking spot at his apartment complex. (link)
â€¢ MOUNT PLEASANT, MIâ€”A man was arraigned Wednesday in the death of his wife, who was shot in a parking lot outside the Morning Sun newspaper offices after police say she was rammed and flipped over in her vehicle. (link)
â€¢ BALTIMORE, MDâ€”An off-duty Baltimore police officer was killed in a shooting early Tuesday that may have been part of a robbery attempt. (link)
â€¢ RICHMOND, CAâ€”A man test-driving a dealership’s Mitsubishi on Interstate 80 in Richmond was shot in the head and critically injured Thursday by a passenger in another vehicle in an incident police described as road rage. (link)
â€¢ OZARK, ALâ€”A female state trooper was shot to death last night by her ex-husband, who then shot himself. (link)
I could go on, but I will spare you further tales of violence and tragedy. Suffice it to say that firearm-related deaths represent a major public health issue in the United States (a.k.a. America the Shootiful). And, as reported by Reuters, a recent study conducted at Harvard University highlights the obvious fact that where there are more guns there are more homicides:
American states where more people own guns have higher murder rates, including murders of children, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported on Thursday.
The study, certain to provoke arguments in a country where gun ownership is an important political issue, found that about one in three U.S. households reported firearm ownership.
“Our findings suggest that in the United States, household firearms may be an important source of guns used to kill children, women and men, both on the street and in their homes,” said Matthew Miller, assistant professor of health policy and injury prevention, who led the study.
His team used data from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of 200,000 people in all 50 states.
After dividing the states into four groups based on how many households had guns, the researchers found the states in the highest quartile of firearm ownership had overall homicide rates 60 percent higher than states in the lowest quartile.
In states with the most guns, firearm homicide rates were 114 percent higher, the researchers reported in the February issue of Social Science and Medicine.
More than 200 million guns are privately owned in the United States, according to the Justice Department.
In September, the FBI released 2005 figures showing violent crime had risen 2.3 nationally — the first increase in four years. [link]