Lax Gun Laws Blamed for High Homicide Rate Among African Americans

KMOX/Jefferson City Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (KMOX) – Some blame is being tossed about after that report that ranks Missouri number one in the nation in African American homicides.

Relaxed gun laws are partially to blame says the Violence Policy Center’s Joshua Sugarmann:

“There’s an unwillingness to address the rules especially by the African American community.  Our hope is that this will wake some people up and create a dialogue that might lead to action” said Sugarmann.

His group released the report that shows nearly 40-percent of every 100-thousand blacks in Missouri are homicide victims.

Representative Steve Cookson says that group’s fingers are pointed in the wrong direction:

“I think its more of a societal problem than a gun problem I think we’re too quick to blame the guns” said Representative Cookson.  Representative Cookson is a member of the National Rifle Association.

Copyright KMOX/Jefferson City Bureau

Previous story:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Washington-based group that supports gun-control efforts says Missouri had the nation’s highest rate of black homicide victims in 2008.

The Violence Policy Center’s annual report on black homicide victimization says 39.90 of every 100,000 blacks in Missouri were homicide victims. Pennsylvania was second with a rate of 31.05 per 100,000.

Most of Missouri’s black homicide victims in 2008 were in St. Louis and Kansas City, and the majority were killed by guns.

The report issued Wednesday uses supplementary data provided to the FBI, and the numbers are the most recent available.

The study says most of the victims were killed by someone they knew, and that arguments typically led to the homicides.

Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee round out the top five rates in the study.

Copyright Association Press


More From CBS St. Louis

KMOX Podcasts
As Heard On KMOX

Listen Live