A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky gun violence ‘twice as high’ as New York City’s, says Gun Violence Archive

By Nadia Ramagan
Public News Service

Kentucky tops New York City when it comes to gun fatalities, according to Mark Bryant, a Harlan County native and Lexington resident who leads the Gun Violence Archive.

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Formed in 2013, the research group compiles gun death information from thousands of sources around the country. Bryant said no one had been keeping accurate statistics on gun deaths.

“Whereas we look at homicides and we look at family annihilation, we look at accidental shooting, we look at all sorts of shootings that don’t necessarily make the FBI’s list,” Bryant said.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, 155 people in Kentucky have been shot and killed so far this year. Bryant said looking at the numbers of people who lose their lives in gun incidents every year has revealed some surprising findings when comparing Kentucky to other states. 

“Kentucky has a very loose set of gun laws, and New York City has a very tight set of gun laws,” he said. “If all things were equal, the rate of gun violence would be pretty much the same for both. But the reality is, Kentucky has over twice as many gun-violence incidents than New York City has.”

State lawmakers continue to relax what little gun-control legislation exists in Kentucky. In March, they passed Senate Bill 150, allowing people to carry concealed firearms without a permit or training. Backed by the National Rifle Association, the law went into effect in June. 

But Bryant said not all Kentuckians think guns make their communities safer. 

“Gun-rights advocates always like to say, ‘Well, you’re just a gun grabber, y’know, you just want to ban the Second Amendment,’ or whatever,” he said. “And I explain to them that I’m from Harlan, Kentucky, and I’ve probably been at shotguns longer than they have.”

Facing mounting public pressure and protests outside his Louisville home, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has recently announced the Senate could possibly consider a federal ban on assault weapons.

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One Comment

  1. Joshua Spriggs says:

    COMPLETE AND TOTAL BS! They are including suicide which is NOT A GUN PROBLEM, IT IS A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM. If we annexed Louisville to Indiana, WE WOULD HAVE VIRTUALLY NO GUN HOMICIDES because we all know homicides are the statistics communities care about the most. If you want to know the real problem LOOK AT HOMICIDES BY RACE. The elephant in the room that “gun-grabbers”(like this person is) do not want to have an honest conversation about. Any time someone mentions that they know a lot about guns and brings up shotguns THEY ARE A LIAR. Been “at” shotguns longer? Really? What size caliber? What size choke do you use? Do you run an RDS or irons? Do you shoot through your front door endangering whoever might be on the other side like JOE BIDEN DOES? Just because you are from Harlan County DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MAKE YOU A GUN EXPERT. These morons make themselves look bad without a gun enthusiast even having to speak. I’ll tell you what, give Mr. Bryant my email. I wonder if he’d like to talk about his firearm expertise or have a debate about gun “violence?” There is NO GUN VIOLENCE. Only HUMAN VIOLENCE. Do we say “Ford Violence” or “alcohol violence” when someone kills ppl while DUI? How about “Knife Violence” when someone gets stabbed? Or maybe “Gluttony Violence” when someone dies from a heart attack from a poor diet? The only ppl buying this crap is the morons who are lead by emotions and can’t think for themselves. I’ll be waiting for a response on the debate Mr.”Expert”.

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