While one would think gun violence would be higher in states with higher levels of economic anxiety related to unemployment or inequality, we found no association to either at the state level. My colleagues and I did, however, find gun deaths to be higher in states with higher levels of poverty and lower incomes, as well as in red states and those with more blue-collar working class economies. Conversely, we found gun deaths to be less likely in states with more college graduates and stronger knowledge-based economies.
Poverty, education, and socioeconomic disadvantages all play a role in moderating gun deaths, according to this story in Atlantic Cities. These are things we should also consider (in addition to the discussion about mental health that’s already taking place), as the president prepares his proposals on gun control in the coming weeks. (Thanks to Jon Custer for the pointer.)