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Posted at 10:38 PM ET, 01/25/2011

Two states, two approaches to guns

By James Morris, Lovettsville

William Tunney’s Jan. 24 letter regarding the open carry of firearms prompted me to do a little research. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2009, the latest year for which firm data are available, the commonwealth of Virginia, which permits law-abiding adults to openly carry firearms and has a shall-issue system for concealed-handgun permits, had a rate of 226.8 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. The state of Maryland, on the other hand, with its near-total ban on carrying firearms, had a rate of 589.9 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.

Additionally, Maryland, with nearly 2 million fewer residents than Virginia, had 438 homicides, compared with Virginia’s 347.

So it would appear to me that Mr. Tunney has a lot less to fear on the south side of the Potomac than on the north.

By James Morris, Lovettsville  | January 25, 2011; 10:38 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, Virginia, crime, guns  
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Hey! You're trying to bring facts into the debate, that's not allowed. Besides he lives in Grantsville and I'm pretty sure he's a lot closer to a lot more guns than he knows about.

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Posted by: poee56 | January 26, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

It certainly would be nice to have facts. That's why it was so interesting to read in yesterday's paper that the NRA managed to have legislation passed to block the CDC from studying the effects on public health of guns if it might lead to gun controls. That's like saying that when it comes to gun facts, we can have any ones we want, as long as they agree with the NRA's.

Posted by: krickey7 | January 26, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

If the CDC were interested in neutral research, and not just shoveling money to the gun control organizations quoted in that article, then the CDC would not have had its funding cut.

Imagine the outcry if HHS were shoveling money to anti-abortion groups so they could "study" prenatal and OB care.

Posted by: k_romulus | January 26, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh, my. The CDC is in on the conspiracy, too? I'd better add another layer of tin foil to my cap to block their mind rays.

Maybe, just maybe, the CDC might find conclusive evidence of what other medical researchers have concluded in less definitive studies: having guns around increases your chance of death and serious injury. We couldn't have that, now could we.

Posted by: krickey7 | January 26, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

There are "facts" and there are "facts"! A mere comparison of "facts" is useless unless it considers ALL the facts. Demographics, Income levels, education levels, race, (and don't go all PC on me here, the "fact" is that the majority of crimes stem from minority groups. NOT because of their race,but definitely the result of racial discrimination, creating poverty).
One should also compare the type of weapons in use in each state. Hand guns and assault rifles are far more likely to be used in crimes than shotguns and deer rifles.
So let us not jump to conclusions here. The problem of violent deaths by firearms is too serious for that.

Posted by: jrmart66 | January 26, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

jrmart66 wrote:
"Demographics, Income levels, education levels, race,..."

Education? Yes, Virginia routinely outperforms MD and DC schools

Other data available at

Income: MD and VA have a higher median income that DC, with MD being the highest.

So it appears that the dumber and poorer they are the more likely that they will be caught up in violent crime in some way or another (either the victim or the person who commits the violent act).

Posted by: ahashburn | January 26, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Surely there are other differences between the populations of Virginia and Maryland than gun ownership. Perhaps these factors -- like income, education, public services, population demographics and diversity, political and historical influences....
Or, perhaps, itls all geographic: the further north one goes the more likely he is to shoot people.

Posted by: JackChanse | January 26, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he should move to a house on the PG county and Anacostia then see how he feels.

Posted by: bumnthsun | January 26, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The CDC got caught cooking the books for political purposes. maybe the CDC should concentrate on "diseases" rather than being political animals.

Posted by: PZ007 | January 26, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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