Solid ‘Blue’ Hawaii is the state where you’re least likely to be the victim of gun violence. However, states run by Republicans can’t make the same claim.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you are much more likely to be shot if your state is run by Republicans.
Topping off the list is Alaska, where for every 100,000 people, 23.4 of them were shot to death. Louisiana comes in second with 20.4.
Alabama, Mississippi, and Wyoming are tied for third with 19.6. Following close behind is mostly red Montana with 19.2, which has a Democratic governor, but Republican-controlled state legislature. Solid red New Mexico comes in at 18.6; Missouri and Oklahoma score 18.1 and 18.0 respectively, per 100,000 residents.
South Carolina; 17.3, Arkansas: 16.9, Tennessee: 16.0, and Kentucky: 15.2, round out the top of the list.
There is something else that these Republican-controlled states have in common. A high poverty rate.
Deep red Mississippi is the poorest state in America, with more than 21.5% of the population living in poverty. It also has the third highest gun violence death rate.
New Mexico, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, and Arkansas follow, with poverty rates from 18.9% to 21.3%. They are also at the top of the list for gun deaths.
Could it be a coincidence that Republican-controlled states have the most violent crime and poverty? Maybe. Maybe not.
Lower income people tend to be less educated. And the same states that lead the poverty list also have populations that are the least educated. Less educated people live in red states because they vote for Republicans, who then implement policies that do not benefit the poor.
On paper, it seems that Republican voters simply can’t connect the dots, at least economically. But that leaves out the social issues that seem to get them into voting booths. These people might really believe that making abortion illegal and creating transgender bathroom laws are more important than having universal healthcare and fully-funded Pell grants.
Some say people don’t choose to live in poverty, but maybe they do without realizing it. Who you vote for is a choice. So is repeating that choice and expecting a different result. This is where a different kind of education comes in. If Democrats took their progressive message to red state voters and pounded it into their heads the same way right-wing ideologues do with their Bible-thumping psycho-babble, more people might just stop voting to stay poor. And that really would make America great.
Tell lawmakers what you think of their plans for your future by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
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