The word “gun shop” had consistently been a common Google search, especially in the southern areas of the United States, whereas several states in the northeast and northwest part of the country had “gun control” as the common search term. However, after the San Bernardino shooting occurred, this search diverted from what it had been, and the term “gun control” became more common in Google searches in every state.
Americans, for approximately 20years, favored gun control, according to a pole from Gallup and the Pew Research Center. About a year ago, a survey conducted by Pew showed that more than a handful of Americans believe it is of more importance to protect the Second Amendment rights than to control ownership of guns. That was the first time Pew had such a poll with such a strong outcome.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a Democratic presidential candidate who supports the federal ban on assault weapons and background checks, however, hasn’t been in alignment with the strict, almost overboard gun control that is generally supported within the Democratic Party. “Sanders believe gun control is an issue for individual states to handle,” and that there is a visible divide in the urban and rural states mentality on firearm usage.
Sanders spoke to NPR’s David Greene earlier this year about his thoughts on the varying urban-rural states mentality on guns. “I think the people of Vermont and I have understood for many years that what guns are about in Vermont are not what guns are about in Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York, where they are used not for hunting or target practice but to kill people.”
When clearly assessed, we see some atom of truth in what Sanders said. Based on firearm homicides rates from 2004 to 2010 per 100,000 people by county, it is obvious that the high rates occur near cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Detroit, the District of Columbia, and Philadelphia. New York, Illinois, and California also possess massive rural binds, and despite being home to the three largest cities in the United States, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are at a rough average in relations to total firearm homicides when ranked using 2010 census data by population density.
Gun ownership is higher in the rural states than states with lesser populations, and assertions have been made that the rural state gun owners use their firearms in a less harmful way. Mississippi and Vermont are great examples, due to the similar population density witnessed during the 2010 census data. Mississippi fell on the higher side of gun homicides in the country whilst Vermont fell on the opposite side. Alabama and Arizona, also possessing similar population densities, outshined Vermont in gun deaths as well, while many densely populated states like Massachusetts and Connecticut comparatively showed lower rates of gun deaths. The urban vs. rural divide is a real problem that needs addressed adequately. More urban states have much higher gun death rates than the rural side.