In States Which Like Gun Violence, They Also Like Trump.

The map below appeared on the Gallup website at the end of July when Trump’s national job ratings were about where they are right now; i.e., pretty damn bad. But the point of this map was to demonstrate that the Whiner-in-Chief still had significant support in most of the really red states. The darker the state, the higher Trump’s support.

Map 1

            And this map, when all is said and done, isn’t terribly different from how the electoral map played out on November 8, 2016, because even in the ‘swing’ states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan whose shift from blue to red put Trump out in front, his support is still much greater than in the blue corridors on each coast. In other words, as long as the popular vote doesn’t determine who sits in the Oval office, right now (I hate to say it) looking towards 2020, the bully with the world’s most expensive head rug isn’t in such bad shape.

But now I’m going to throw another national map at you and notice that the shadings in this one aren’t all that different from what we see in the map of Trump’s state-by-state support. Again, the darker the state, the higher gun-violence rate.



Map 2

With a few exceptions, it appears to be the case that the states where Trump is most popular are also the states which have the highest rate of deaths from guns. And while a majority of these deaths are suicides, no matter what Gun-nut Nation tells you, using a gun to commit suicide isn’t just like jumping out a window or falling off a bridge.  Because the fact is that there is no other method you can use to end your own life which is as effective and efficient as using a gun.  And when it comes to calling suicide a form of gun violence, I’m sorry but I’ll rely on the definition of violence adopted by the World Health Organization: “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death….” Get it?  Oneself?

The national gun-violence rate is currently 10.6 per 100,000. With the exception of two states – South Dakota and Nebraska – every other pro-Trump state has a rate of gun homicide/suicide rate (GV) higher than the national average, and in most instances, significantly higher. Alaska leads the entire country with a GV rate of 19.6.  Right behind Alaska is Louisiana (19.1), Alabama (17.8), Wyoming (17.5) and Montana (16.9).  Two of these states have elevated rates because of suicide (WY,MT), the other two states make the top ten list because residents of those states evidently enjoy shooting guns not so much at themselves, but at others.

If we examine gun-violence rates in states where Trump’s numbers are the worst (less than 40% approval rating and compare his polls in those states to gun-violence rates we discover exactly the reverse. Thus, with the exception of New Mexico, where the gun-violence rate is 15.6, there is not one other anti-Trump state with a gun-violence rate above 11 per 100,000, which is just about the national gun-death average, and 10 of those 17 states have a per-100,000 single-digit rate, beginning with Hawaii’s 2.7, followed by Massachusetts at 3.2.

Looking at these numbers forces me to say that Trump’s continued outbursts invoking, justifying and supporting violence of all sorts isn’t just a symptom of some kind of mental derangement but may reflect his awareness of where his political strength really lies. Because if nothing else, the maps above force us to conclude or at least suggest that residents of pro-Trump states have no great concerns about the most violent form of behavior within their own communities; namely, the violence caused by guns. And if that’s true, you can bet that Trump will take pains to make sure that nothing is done to reduce gun violence in places which believe he will make America great again.

4 thoughts on “In States Which Like Gun Violence, They Also Like Trump.

  1. As I read your article it sounds as if you are saying guns are the determinant variable for suicides. However, America has way more guns than any other country, yet its suicide rate is not terribly higher than international averages (11.1 suicides for every 100,000 people, versus the global average of 10.0).
    I believe culture plays a big role, comparing American and Canadian suicides is compelling. We share many historical origins and cultural traits. My research shows America suicide rates are nearly identical (American has 10.1 suicides per 100,000 people and Canadians are higher at 10.4). However, Canadians allegedly have about 1/3rd the number of firearms as Americans. Were guns a cause for suicides, Canadians would have 66% fewer.
    (they prefer poisoning themselves)
    The other way of looking at the situation is to compare America to the most suicidal place on the planet, Lithuania (35.9 suicides per 100,000 folk). Guns don’t make Lithuanians more suicidal because they own only 0.8% as many guns as we do. But they do evidently own a lot of rope, because that is their favorite form of suicide.
    I’ve heard some say America needs to do what Australia has done with gun control. Which brings up an interesting study of Australian suicides.
    Trends in Hanging and Firearm Suicide Rates in Australia: Substitution of Method?, De Leo, Dwyer, Firman, Neulinger, The American Association of Suicidology
    This is a compelling review of how gun availability has no bearing on total suicide rates. In their review period, total suicides increased which firearm suicides decreased (men started hanging themselves much more often).

    Those States which like gun violence, may also like Chevrolets. I know that makes no sense just like “Those States which like gun violence, they also like Trump”.

    The man won…get over it.

    • Hawaii has a very high gun ownership rate according to Business Insider (based on Kalesan’s work, FWIW) but a very low firearm death rate. Alaska has high gun ownership and high GV. I too suspect the difference in suicide rates or total gun death rate is a complex issue and involves culture, climate, social isolation, and other variables along with having a gun handy.

      Perhaps an experiment. Move everyone from Alaska to Hawaii.

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