Gun availability is becoming harder and harder to deny as one of the contributing factors in violent crime. Even in The Volunteer State they're beginning to see it.But [Don] Green [executive director of the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center]offered three possibilities for the high rate: better police reporting, a large number of gang and drug-related crimes, or perhaps Tennessee’s high rate of gun ownership.
“One thing you could say would be if there are a number of firearms accessible to individuals, then they would be more inclined to use those during a heated argument,” Green said.
The idea reflects a longstanding debate between Second Amendment and gun control advocates. Research has shown some correlation between states with high gun ownership and high gun-related crimes. The Harvard Injury Control Research Center, in particular, has published multiple studies showing that people living in areas with more guns are more at risk of being homicide victims.
The Violence Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based research group that advocates for stronger gun control, in 2008 linked Tennessee’s high gun ownership to its high homicide rate. It has also ranked Tennessee high in recent years in black homicides and cases in which women have been killed by men.
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