## Sunday, July 12, 2015

### Guns and Hate Groups

Much has been made of Dylann Roof purchasing a gun due to a failed FBI background check before his massacre of 9 African Americans in Charleston, SC.  Mother Jones reported on a study of gun deaths and gun ownership in each state in 2013 by Kalesan et al. in the journal Injury Prevention.

Having looked at the concentration of hate groups in each state (adjusted for the state's population),  I thought I would take a look at how gun ownership relates to the concentration of hate groups in the US.  I was unable to access Kalesan's data but I was able to access data on gun deaths which they showed is correlated with gun ownership.

I was able to access data on gun death rates in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia (DC) in 2013 and I did correlate that data with the rates of hate groups tracked by the Southern Poverty law center.  The correlation coefficient for gun death rates and the concentration of hate groups is 0.52.  DC is an extreme value for both gun deaths and hate groups.  Rerunning the correlation without DC the value becomes 0.47.  A correlation of +1 would produce  a chart where all of the states form a perfect straight line sloping upward.
 Plot of State Hate Group rates vs.Gun Death Rates
The chart at the bottom is on that I created in the stat package R (which I am learning).  The point in the upper right hand corner is DC.  It graphically demonstrates the relationship between the concentration of hate groups and the murder rate.  This means that in states with a higher number of hate groups per million, a higher hate of gun deaths is seen.  A cause and effect relationship between these two phenomenon is harder to establish.

 STATE RATE Gun Deaths pop2012 Hate groups Hate Groups per million AL 17.6 4822023 22 4.56 AK 19.8 731449 1 1.37 AZ 14.1 6553255 20 3.05 AR 16.8 2949131 24 8.14 CA 7.7 38041430 77 2.02 CO 11.5 5187582 17 3.28 CT 4.4 3590347 5 1.39 DE 10.3 917092 4 4.36 DC 22 632323 15 23.72 FL 11.9 19317568 58 3 GA 12.6 9919945 50 5.04 HI 2.6 1392313 0 0 ID 14.1 1595728 9 5.64 IL 8.6 12875255 23 1.79 IN 13 6537334 26 3.98 IA 8 3074186 5 1.63 KS 11.4 2885905 5 1.73 KY 13.7 4380415 15 3.42 LA 19.3 4601893 20 4.35 ME 10.9 1329192 2 1.5 MD 9.7 5884563 15 2.55 MA 3.1 6646144 12 1.81 MI 12 9883360 18 1.82 MN 7.6 5379139 8 1.49 MS 17.8 2984926 22 7.37 MO 14.4 6021988 23 3.82 MT 16.7 1005141 8 7.96 NE 9 1855525 9 4.85 NV 13.8 2758931 8 2.9 NH 6.4 1320718 7 5.3 NJ 5.7 8864590 44 4.96 NM 15.5 2085538 6 2.88 NY 4.2 19570261 42 2.15 NC 12.1 9752073 33 3.38 ND 11.8 699628 1 1.43 OH 11 11544225 31 2.69 OK 16.5 3814820 17 4.46 OR 11 3899353 9 2.31 PA 11.2 12763536 41 3.21 RI 5.3 1050292 3 2.86 SC 15.2 4723723 20 4.23 SD 10 833354 3 3.6 TN 15.4 6456243 37 5.73 TX 10.6 26059203 57 2.19 UT 12.6 2855287 6 2.1 VT 9.2 626011 4 6.39 VA 10.2 8185867 26 3.18 WA 8.7 6897012 10 1.45 WV 14.3 1855413 10 5.39 WI 9.7 5726398 10 1.75 WY 16.7 576412 2 3.47

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