Richard Florida in The Atlantic:
Terrible tragedies like last week's mass shootings in Tucson cause us to search for deeper answers. Many were quick to blame America's divisive and vitriolic political culture for the violence; others portray the shooter as an unhinged, clinically deranged person with his own unfathomable agenda. Arizona has been ground zero for the battle over immigration. Were the state's political and economic travails a contributing factor? There has been some talk about guns, too. Might tighter gun control laws have made a difference?
The map above charts firearm deaths for the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Note that these figures include accidental shootings, suicides, even acts of self-defense, as well as crimes. As of 2007, 10.2 out of every 100,000 people were killed by firearms across the United States, but that rate varies dramatically from state to state. In Hawaii, at the low end, it was 2.6 per 100,000; in New York and New Jersey it was 5.0 and 5.2 respectively. At the high end, 21.7 out of every 100,000 residents of the District of Columbia were killed by guns, 20.2 in Louisiana, 18.5 in Mississippi, and 17.8 in Alaska. Arizona ranked eighth nationally, with 15.1 deaths per 100,000.