The Department of Justice recently released the ATF Firearms Trace Report of 2015. This report is created in order to track the possession and sale of specific firearms. This year’s report for Louisiana contained some shocking statistics, from which some very interesting conclusions can be drawn. Almost 8,000 firearms were recovered and traced in Louisiana in 2015, with the majority of these weapons being pistols and revolvers. Expectedly, the bulk of these weapons were recovered in New Orleans, with Baton Rouge falling closely behind.
The mass majority, being 80%, of these firearms were sourced from Louisiana itself. Now, this statistic alone may not hold much significance. But, what we must keep in mind is that Louisiana has some of the laxest gun laws in the nation. Now, you may ask does regulation really matter in this case? Well, all the numbers point to yes. In states with heavier regulation, such as Massachusetts, less than half of the weapons traced originated instate. Thus, supporting the idea that stronger regulation does in fact limit the number of firearms sourced from a state. To even further the point we must note that Massachusetts is among the five states with the lowest gun death rates, while Louisiana holds the number two spot.
The results are in, newly available data from 2015 has revealed that Louisiana has the second highest gun death rates in the nation with 20.38 gun deaths per 100,000. That is only 3.6 deaths per capita short of the number one spot – in a competition you don’t want to win.
Nationwide the gun death rate has risen 7% from 2014 and Louisiana is contributing more than its fair share to this statistic. Sadly, this firearm death rate was largely due to increased firearm homicides – where 17.8% more lives were lost in 2015 than the previous year. Many may wonder how the citizens of Louisiana could allow this to happen? Well it’s not surprising that Louisiana has some of the laxest gun laws in the United States. People love to argue that this does not effect gun death rates in the least, but the facts prove otherwise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control released data showing that time and time again stronger gun laws correlate with lower gun rates while the opposite correlation of lax laws and high death rates proves to be just as true.
So now you may ask, how do we save our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens from the dangers of gun violence? What can we do to reverse these rising death trends? The answer is simple: Stronger gun regulations. We need to keep guns out of dangerous hands, it is essential for decreasing gun death rates not only within our state boarders but across the nation. For more on the CDC’s most recent data, see the report by the Violence Policy Center.
Our entire city was heartbroken at the news of Saints Superbowl Champion Will Smith’s senseless murder.
Here at LVRC we work in the trenches of gun violence every day. Some of us have lost friends, some of us have been terrorized in our own neighborhoods by gun violence. But this one was so big, so brazen and so unexpected that even we knew we had to act.
The LA Legislature has spent decades doing the dangerous bidding of the gun lobby. We could analyze any one of their bad decisions and trace their effects to the moment that Will Smith and his wife Racquel were shot. But instead of focusing on the darkness, we’ve decided to introduce some light.
We are please to announce a partnership with Trinity Christian Community of New Orleans.
Trinity Christian Community, Inc. is committed to empowering youth through leadership and spiritual development, educational support and community outreach in the Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans.
LVRC and TCC believe that investing in youth and giving them the skills they need to be leaders in their own communities is the key to preventing violence.
We can’t wait to see how this partnership develops. Stay tuned for exciting events.