You have probably heard about all the death occurring in Chicago, but surprisingly, the state of Illinois is not the worst in the nation when it comes to the deaths of African Americans. A new study shows that Missouri is actually the place where African Americans are most likely to die, followed by Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.
“Across the nation this is a long-ignored public health crisis that is devastating black teens and adults, their families, and the communities where they live,’’ said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, who co-authored the study.
“The key role played by guns in black homicide victimization cannot be denied and must be addressed.”
The group found that the state of Missouri has a homicide rate for African Americans of 34.86 per 100,000 black residents, far greater than the national average of just 4.42 per 100,000. Over 83 percent of the victims were killed with firearms. In Missouri, 91 percent of all victims were killed with a handgun.
The rates for the other cities are as follows: Pennsylvania, 26.87; Michigan, 26.61; Nebraska, 25.58; Oklahoma, 25.45; Indiana, 23.89; Maine, 22.62; Louisiana, 22.61; Ohio, 19.25; and California, 19.12.
For the record, Illinois is 16th in the nation with 17.90. Most of the death occurs in pockets of the south side of Chicago, but is not spread all around the state.
The states where no black people died in 2010 were: Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. But the black population in these states is quite small.
“For blacks, like all victims of homicide, guns — usually handguns — are far and away the number one murder tool,’’ the study concludes.
The authors then go on to make policy recommendations based on the results of the study.
“Successful efforts to reduce America’s black homicide toll, like America’s homicide toll as a whole, must put a focus on reducing access and exposure to firearms.’’