Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Doing The Math On Gun Violence

Source: The Atlantic
There's a great article over on the Atlantic about the geography of gun violence but where there are certainly some trends that leap out from the map that headlines the article, the most impressive portion of the piece is this graph plotting correlations between gun deaths per 100,000 people and other statistical measures.

The author offers a note of worthwhile explanation for the most correlative measure, the McCain vote share in 2008:
What about politics? It's hard to quantify political rhetoric, but we can distinguish blue from red states. Taking the voting patterns from the 2008 presidential election, we found a striking pattern: Firearm-related deaths were positively associated with states that voted for McCain (.66) and negatively associated with states that voted for Obama (-.66). Though this association is likely to infuriate many people, the statistics are unmistakable. Partisan affiliations alone cannot explain them; most likely they stem from two broader, underlying factors - the economic and employment makeup of the states and their policies toward guns and gun ownership.
I think we're going to see this graph a lot in the upcoming gun control debate.

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