10 states with the lowest amount of gun violence

Published: Sunday, May 12 2013 11:17 p.m. MDT

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Also see the Deseret News' lists on the states with the strictest gun laws, the states with the most lenient gun laws and the states with the highest levels of gun violence.

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Bountiful, UT

I fully expected to see Utah on this list, but I guess the Trolley Square incident didn't help much.

I also suspect something else is going on here, I notice there are several overlapping categories of death by guns. Overall deaths, and women's deaths for example. Also deaths for people 1 to 17. There is also murder and suicide and other categories.

The reason I point this out is with several rating categories, it is possible to assign weights to these different categories such that you can manipulate the results to the liking of who ever is doing the study. This is a trick I have seen used before. It makes no logical sense to have an overall category, plus a women's category for example other than if such manipulation of the results is desired.

Nancy L.V.
Las Vegas, NV

I would question, check and double anything published by the Center for American Progress! They're a George Soros funded organization which seeks to push a progressive agenda on the American people. And right now their #1 agenda is Gun Control!!! In order to have a more balanced article, I would ask the NRA to show you their studies on the states with the least amount of gun violence.

Saint Paul, MN

Correct me if I'm wrong on this observation, but with the exception of Nebraska (#10 on the list), were not the other 9 all solid Democratic wins in the 2012 election? I wonder if there is a correlation between the demographics leading to the election results and the data reported in this article. My biggest surprise was that Illinois was not on the list, given the attention that state, and in particular, Chicago, have received concerning gun violence.

Of no surprise was the absence of such supposed gun-toting locales as Texas, Wyoming, (Utah?) etc.

There was a time when it would have been shocking to see my home state of Minnesota included in the top 10. Sadly, the gang structures that have built-up around many of the recent additions to the area have altered the rather quiet nature that previously existed in the North Star state.

Salt Lake City, UT

It appears that the states with the lowest gun violence also have strict gun laws.

Cache county, USA

Studies are useless when they can be discredited.

Northern, UT

4 of the top 5 states are solid liberal states with strict gun control.
You can debate the data collection process and source all you want, but at some point it may be time to rethink the NRA led conservative position on this, get past the spurious marketing campaign regarding the protection of the 2nd amendment, and admit that, yes, guns really do kill and injure people.

Silent Lurker
Cottonwood Heights, UT

May I remind Mr. Glass that if you stick one foot in a bucket of ice water and another foot in a bucket of scalding hot water statistically you are just fine. But we all know that is not the case at all. Statistics don't lie only those people who compile them with an agenda do.

DN Subscriber 2

This is "junk science" from a left wing advocacy group which cherry picked data and categories to produce the desired result.

Most notably they chose to include suicides as "gun violence" which is absurd.

Ignore this flawed "study" and go to the comprehensive Bureau of Justice Statistics report "Firearm Violence 1993-2013" instead.

If gun bans worked, Chicago and Washington, DC would be the safest places in the country, not more dangerous than being a soldier in a combat zone.


I'm surprised that Deseret News fell for this propaganda. I can see the Trib making this mistake, but not here. Sad.

Danbury, CT


I am just picking myself off the floor...did you really say that suicide is NOT gun violence?

Chicago and DC do not aggressively prosecute crimes involving guns, nor do they go after weapons channels to crime organizations. NYC does, and that's why their gun violence has dropped. And they don't have this entitlement mentality that Utah does that everyone should own every gun produced in the world today.

I just don't get the mentality that some LDS have that owning assault weapons is OK.

Kaysville, UT

I am grateful for the Deseret News providing articles put out by some that are picked up by the other entity as a rule. It gives normal people the opportunity to view data and statistics that are not normal Utah rhetoric and show that some are very biased in their output of truth. Journalism should show information and processes and the other entity has commenters that are all in the same line. They just lambast anything of good report or praiseworthy.

Thanks, Deseret News.

Layton, Utah

I find these results puzzling. I have recently done my own analysis (I am a bioinformatician) and by my results UT is 4th best for "Violent Crime/100,000 people" and 7th best for "Murders/100,000 people" based on the official FBI crime report. I can think of only a couple reasons our results differ: 1) They limited their results to guns, while mine was calculated independent of weapon, or 2) They included suicides while I did not. If the first possibility is the case, then it indicates that many people will change weapons if a weapon of choice is not available as Mass. drops all the way to 15 for murders and 36 for violent crime in my list. If the second is true, then we need to do something to address UT apparently high suicide rate.

Particulars of no Consequence
Cottonwood Heights, UT

While studies of gun violence can certainly be useful, one must thoughtful with respect to the conclusions drawn. The group that funded this work is a group with an agenda and they would not have funded it if they did not know the results before they made the decision to fund. That does not make the work flawed, but you have to think about what it tells us and what we are trying to learn. Do we want to reduce violence or gun violence?

For those who are familiar with gun ownership rates, these results should not be surprising - they correlate most obviously with gun ownership rates: Hawaii - 6.7%, New Jersey - 12.3%, Massachusetts - 12.6%, Rhode Island - 12.8%, Connecticut - 16.7%, New York - 18%. Unfortunately for proponents of gun restrictions, the rates of violent crime do not correlate well with gun ownership.

Newspaper Reader
Highland, UT

It deeply frustrates me when citizens confuse an assault weapon with an assault rifle. They are NOT the same thing! The media would lead everyone to believe that they are; however, there are distinct differences. An "assault weapon" has certain characteristics of certain assault rifles, but it is not fully automatic.

Many fall for the scare tactics of the liberal left. Personally, I do not even own a gun. However, I wish more would take the time to research both sides of the gun control debate by reading primary sources, rather than the highly skewed and oft-misreported and slanted sides reported by groups with agendas.

West Jordan, UT

When I saw New York and New Jersey both in the top five, I knew this study was junk. There clearly is an agenda here.

Salt Lake City, Utah

This is a perfect example of how to skew perception by stacking the cards. If you want to look at least violent gun states, you look at that rate. You don't weigh 10 different factors and then double- or triple-count a homicide if it happens to a woman or is a suicide. There is no way this organization did not skew the analysis to fit their desired end. For Pete's sake.

Tooele, UT

Re: "It appears that the states with the lowest gun violence also have strict gun laws."

Yeah -- because this "research" disingenuously engineered it to appear that way.

This "study" doesn't rate "gun violence" based on the incidence of violence with firearms. Rather, it uses a "rating" scheme of 10 "factors," including some Orwellian newspeak, defined as "[p]ercentage of crime guns with a short 'time to crime' in 2009" -- whatever that means. It also double counts [and hence, overemphasizes] suicides, crimes against children, and crimes against women.

Using these bogus "statistics" turns the real numbers almost exactly on their heads. For example, in the bogus rankings, Utah ranks 33rd, with a score of 30.6. Nearly on par with California [32.9] and WAY behind New York [42.1].

Looking at real numbers [homicides], however, the story's quite different -- Utah scores 0.98 homicides per 100,000 people.

California? 3.6.

New York? 2.72.

This bogus propaganda -- of which Dr. Goebbels, himself would be proud -- will be rightly disregarded by anyone with a brain.

North, UT

I wonder how the data would change if pressure cookers were included as an assault weapon?

Statistics show that more than 90% of people who eat tomatoes die. Perhaps we should include tomatoes as an assault weapon. Throwing statistics around is an excellent game. So is throwing tomatoes.

For the record, I don’t own a gun and probably never will.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Guns aimed at people is violence.

On the other hand
Riverdale, MD

Suicides account for roughly two-thirds of all gun-related deaths in the United States, and it's no secret that states where guns are prevalent and easy to acquire tend to have higher suicide rates. Utahns like to tout the state's low homicide rate, but are less likely to mention that the state consistently ranks in the top ten in the nation for suicides. In fact, Utah is one of five states with the dubious distinction of having more deaths per year due to intentional self-inflicted gunshot wounds than due to traffic accidents.

West Point , UT

I have worked with the mentally ill and depressed for a very long time. Attributing suicides to gun control statistics is utter nonsense. If you've worked with clinically depressed and suicidal people you know that they will find any and all means at their disposal to end their lives. It saddens me that Utah does indeed have one if the highest suiced rates and such has been the case for far too long now. But again, blaming the issue on guns is just another red herring from the left to politicize things rather than address the REAL issues...mental health and violence. Our government needs to focus on funding for the mentally ill, research on psychological disorders, and anti violence campaigns similar to the "just say no" campaign against drug abuse. But such things take more time and money at the expense of political expediency. Liberals, PLEASE wake up and see that gun control won't stop violent crime and suicide, it's just politically easier...the real work is in the trenches fighting mental illness and violence.

On the other hand
Riverdale, MD

@Cougsndaws, the correlation between access to guns and suicide isn't nonsense; it's a well-established fact. Contrary to what you suggest, most people who attempt suicide survive, and 90% of suicide survivors will not end up dying by suicide at some later date. Most people who do die of suicide die on their first attempt. Unsurprisingly, most successful suicide attempts in the United States involve guns, and most suicide attempts involving guns are fatal.

Certainly we should do more to fight mental illness and violence. We should also have an honest discussion about the risks that come with high societal levels of gun ownership, and whether there are sensible legal precautions that could help mitigate those risks.

Hilo, HI

I find it interesting that so many think these statistics involve a conspiracy or an agenda. What agenda? What conspiracy? I live in Hawaii which is rated the #1 state with the least gun violence....ANY violence that involves the use of a gun. I know this is true because I watch the local news reports and read two local newspapers and can readily see the news reports of violence using a gun. I have many friend here on the Big Island who are police officers and they have told me just how rare it is here for violence with a gun. The majority of murders (few as they are) are committed with a knife. We have hunters here to hunt the wild pigs, but the aloha nature here is not conducive to killing people. I lived in LA for a long time before moving here and I was very concerned about the amount of gun violence there; usually took up the first 15 minutes of the evening news just to report on the daily count. I am amazed at how many people live in a world of suspicion...and anger.

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