Just Another Congressperson Telling It Like It Isn’t

“It’s not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so,” Mark Twain

On Wednesday Fred Dicker, the host of “The State of the Capital” on Albany radio station WGDJ and Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney had this exchange:

After wistfully remembering the old days when “we had state mental hospitals that locked these [severely mentally ill] people up,” Dicker continued, “Legal gun owners . . . tend to vote Republican. They tend to be white. Most gun crimes are occurring in what’s euphemistically called the inner cities involving minorities, and they’re the ones that Democrats generally are going to bend over backward to protect.”

“Obviously, there’s a lot of politics in it,” said Tenney. “It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats . . . but the media doesn’t talk about that either.”

The Data

The accompanying chart shows the 10 states with the least and the most gun violence. The rankings were produced by 24/7 Wall St. from information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Urban Column indicates the proportion of the state that is urban based on the last census. The two columns on the right show the percentage the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates received in each state in 2016.

State   GUN VIOLENCE      URBAN             GOP               DEM  

50 Massachusetts                   92.0%              33.5%            60.8%

49 Rhode Island                      90.7%              39.8%            55.4%

48 New York                           87.9%                37.5%             58.8%

47 Hawaii                                91.9%              30.1%             62.3%

46 Connecticut                        88.0%              41.2%             54.5%

45 New Jersey                        94.7%              41.8%             55.0%

44 Minnesota                          73.3%              45.4%             46.9%

43 California                           95.0%              33.2%             61.5%

42 Maine                                 38.7%              45.2%             47.9%

41 Washington                        84.1%              38.2%             54.4%


10 South Carolina                   66.3%              54.9%              40.8%

9 Arkansas                              56.2%              60.4%              33.8%

8 New Mexico                         77.4%              40.0%              48.3%

7 Missouri                               70.4%               57.1%              38.0%

6 Montana                               55.9%               56.5%              36.0%

5 Oklahoma                             66.2%              65.3%              28.9%

4 Mississippi                            49.4%                58.3%              39.7%

3 Louisiana                              73.2%              58.1%              38.4%

2 Alabama                                59.0%              62.9%              34.6%

1 Alaska                                   66.0%              52.9%              37.7%
The Conclusion

  1. The 10 states with the lowest levels of gun violence are overwhelmingly urban, with the single exception of Maine.
  2. The 10 states with the most gun violence are far more rural, and all are well below the national average for urban dwellers of 80.7%
  3. All 10 states with the least gun violence voted for the Democratic presidential candidate, although two (Minnesota and Maine) did not give her a majority.
  4. The 10 states with the highest levels of gun violence voted overwhelmingly for the Republican candidate.
James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.