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U.S. rural communities continue to see rise in gun-related deaths: report

A seller (R) introduces products to customers at Rock Mountain Gun Show at South Point Exhibition Center in Las Vegas, the United States, Nov. 13, 2011.(Xinhua/Song Qiong)

Southern and Midwestern states, such as Arizona, Arkansas, and Missouri, have drastically contributed to the more than 100-fold relative increase in gun homicide rates from 2014 to 2019.

NEW YORK, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Rural communities in the United States, particularly in red states, have increasingly faced levels of gun violence that match or outpace urban areas, the Center for American Progress reported on Monday.

From 2016 to 2020, the two U.S. counties to experience the most gun homicides per capita were rural: Phillips County, Arkansas, with 55.45 age-adjusted homicides per 100,000 people, and Lowndes County, Alabama, with 48.36 age-adjusted homicides per 100,000 people.

During the same period, 13 of the 20 U.S. counties with the most gun homicides per capita were rural, and 80 percent of these 20 counties are in states that received an "F" grade for their weak gun laws, according to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence's 2021 annual state scorecard rankings.

"Southern and Midwestern states, such as Arizona, Arkansas, and Missouri, have drastically contributed to the more than 100-fold relative increase in gun homicide rates from 2014 to 2019," said the report.

Many of the Southern states where gun violence has spiked have weaker gun laws, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. ■