Blacks are killed at a higher rate in Missouri than in any other state.
There, the rate of black homicides is nearly 35 per 100,000 black residents, according to a new analysis of 2012 federal data from the Violence Policy Center, a think tank that advocates for tighter gun control. That rate is nearly double the national black homicide rate of 18.03 per 100,000 and nearly eight times the overall national rate of 4.5. Nationally, the white homicide rate was 2.65. Despite making up roughly 1 in 12 Americans, blacks accounted for half of all homicides.
“The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and adults is a national crisis that should be a top priority for policymakers to address,” the report’s authors argue. “An important part of ending our gun violence epidemic will involve reducing homicides in the African American community.”
Where a weapon could be identified, 84 percent of blacks killed in 2012 were killed with a gun. Guns were identified as the weapon of choice in 64 percent of white homicides and 74 percent overall. Of the 6,565 black homicide victims that year, the vast majority were between the ages of 18 and 65.
To conduct their analysis, the report’s authors used Federal Bureau of Investigation data, as reported by local law enforcement. While the FBI provides coding guidelines, the data may be imperfect as it is subject to the level and amount of detail local agencies choose to submit. Data for Florida was not submitted and data was unavailable for Alabama.