Alaska ranks first among states for gun deaths

Alaska ranks first in the number of deaths caused by guns, according to 2008 data released by the CDC.

A corresponding analysis indicates the states with the highest rates also had the highest gun ownership. The Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C. says those states have lax gun laws.

The CDC has been collecting data on violent deaths in Alaska since 2003, according to its website. The latest data available is from 2008. The CDC did its last survey of gun ownership by state in 2002.

Kristen Rand is the Legislative Director for the Violence Policy Center, which analyzed the CDC data.

“These numbers include all gun death categories which are homicide, suicide, and unintentional, so that would include the gun hunting accident, cleaning your gun accidents. So anyone who dies of a gunshot wound in the United States would be included in these numbers,” Rand says.

She says the 2008 numbers indicate that 60.6 percent of Alaskans owned guns, and 20 of every 100-thousand people died by gunshot.

Mississippi ranked second with 19 deaths by firearm per 100-thousand people, followed by Louisiana, Alabama, and Wyoming.

According to the Violence Policy Center, more than 30-thousand Americans die annually in gun suicides, homicides, and unintentional shootings.

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