Denying Supposedly Undeniable Massachusetts Stat

AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

The commonwealth of Massachusetts has long been one of the most gun-controlled states in the nation and it’s quite clear they’re looking to take back the top spot from California.


And a lot of people in the state support that. I don’t understand it, but they do.

Which is fine, I suppose. People have a right to be wrong about all sorts of things.

What bothers me, though, is when they drop a statistic and pretend that’s all the evidence you need to know that gun laws like what exist in Massachusetts work.

People like this.

I feel like I have to preface this post by saying that I’m a second amendment guy.

I feel like anyone who feels they have to preface a piece like this is about to say something that shows this to be a lie. Also, Second Amendment guys tend to know that “Second Amendment” should be capitalized.

But the author wants to present us with a statistic he says “gun lovers can’t deny.”

Watch me.

Massachusetts #1 In The Country With This Gun Statistic

Gun control is a polarizing issue in the country, but there is no denying this fact:

Massachusetts has the lowest gun violence rate in the U.S.

Massachusetts, which already has tough gun laws, had the lowest rate of gun deaths in the country, at 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people in 2021, compared to Mississippi, which had the highest rate, at 33.9 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the most recent statistics listed on the website for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The nation average is 14.8 deaths per 100,000 people.

Now, no one is going to deny that this statistic exists. It’s just meaningless.


The term “gun death” is a combination of everyone who died as the result of a gunshot. It obviously includes murder victims but also those killed in defensive gun uses, suicides and accidental shootings. It’s conflates all gun shot-related deaths as somehow the same.

So being number one in this is like saying you’re the world’s greatest Flugilist. It doesn’t actually mean anything.

Let’s break down this claim, though, and show why it’s absolutely meaningless and doesn’t suggest Massachusetts’ gun control laws are ultimately beneficial.

We’ll start by noting that suicides aren’t solved via gun control. Some might like to claim otherwise, and I get the argument that people are far less likely to survive a suicide attempt with a firearm than with any other method of taking one’s life. Still, those other methods still exist and a surprisingly high percentage of the total number of suicides fall into that camp.

And strict gun control doesn’t stop suicides. Look at Japan, whose suicide rate is more than twice what it is in the US. This is despite the strict gun control policies in place in Japan. Sure, most of those aren’t with a gun, but it shows that a firearm isn’t essential.

Accidental gun deaths are a very tiny subset of total “gun deaths” so we can actually dismiss them for the sake of argument here.

That mostly leaves us talking about homicides.


See, “gun deaths” also has a problem where it pretends people aren’t killed with other weapons. It muddies the water severely, but we actual Second Amendment folks will tell you that guns save lives.

So, when we look at the CDC’s homicide mortality rates by state, we see that Massachusetts is actually sixth on the list. Ahead of them? New Hampshire, Vermont, Wyoming, Maine, and Idaho.

All five of those are constitutional carry states. Four of those five are very, very pro-gun.

In fact, in the top ten on that list, only two are anti-gun states, of which Massachusetts is one. Hawaii is the other. If gun control worked so wonderfully, then why aren’t all ten.

“But Mississippi!” people like the author scream, but let’s face facts here, Mississippi has a lot of other things working against it there, including things like education and economics. To just cherry-pick this particular statistic and pretend that absolutely nothing else could be involved is just stupid.

So yeah, I can look at that statistic and deny it because it doesn’t mean what this person thinks it means. Especially when we know things are far more complicated than that.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member