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Two-Fold Increase in Gun Deaths Among African-Americans in U.S.

First Posted: Sep 19, 2014 05:35 AM EDT

A two-fold increase in the percentage of gun deaths has been reported among African-Americans as compared to that of whites in the United States.

Guns and cars have been listed among the top leading causes of non-medical deaths among Americans. According to Bloomberg, the mortality due to firearms will exceed traffic fatalities by 2015 for the first time.

In the latest research, data from the Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System was used. The researchers focused at the recorded gun deaths across the United States between 2000 and 2010 including murders, suicides and unintentional shootings. It was noticed that gun deaths was much higher among African-Americans. There noticed variation by race and state over the past decade.

The lowest rate of gun deaths was seen in Hawaii with 3.02 per 100,000 citizens. Topping the list is District of Columbia with 21.71 per 100,000 gun deaths. The rate of gun deaths sharply rose in Florida and Masssachusetts, due to high gun deaths among people of white and non-Hispanic ethnicities and rise in gun related murder rate.

A drop in firearm death was seen among Hispanic and African-American ethnicities in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Neveda, New York, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

"Firearm deaths fell in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia, mostly among people of Hispanic and African-American ethnicities. Nationally, unintentional firearm deaths fell significantly, but the number of gun related murders and suicides remained unchanged. In California, the fall in gun deaths was largely attributable to a reduction in suicides," the press release states.

There was a drop in gun related mortality in seven states and D.C. as compared to equivalent falls in just four states among people of white ethnic backgrounds. The rate of deaths among Hispanics plunged in four states, and increased in nine among non-hispanics.

According to the researchers, this pattern of gun deaths did not highlight the firearm control efforts and legislation in each state. States with stringent gun laws had an expected drop in firearm deaths and some states with strong gun control laws had an increase in gun deaths.

The finding was documented in British Medical Journal.

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