Poverty, racial inequity revealed in U.S. Denver’s gun-related study

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 — The relationship between firearm injury
deaths and poverty and racial inequity were revealed in a latest study
released by U.S. Denver’s authorities.

The report named “The Epidemiology of Firearm Injuries in Denver, Colorado”
was released Tuesday by Denver Public Health. It presents information about
firearm-related injuries and deaths in the City and County of Denver,
focusing primarily on the period between 2011 and 2015. While similar
analyses have occurred at the state and national level, this is the first
report of its kind for Denver, the capital of U.S. midwestern state of
Colorado. There were 326 deaths due to firearm injuries in Denver from
Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2015. Among the deceased were men and women,
individuals in every age group and people of different races and
ethnicities, according to the report.

The greatest number of deaths were experienced by individuals living in
census tracts with 10 to 19.9 percent of people living in poverty. As
poverty increases in a census tract, the rate of fatal firearm injury tends
to increase, as well. The rate estimates increase from a rate of 8.06 per
100,000 person-years in the wealthiest census tracts to 12.3 per 100,000
person-years among the poorest census tracts. The rate of fatal firearm
injury was approximately 1.5 times higher among residents of highest
poverty census tracts compared to individuals residing in the lowest
poverty census tracts, the report showed.

After accounting for the population size and age distribution of each
racial subgroup, black and African-American individuals have the highest
rate of fatal firearm injuries in Denver (18.6 per 100,000 person-years).
The report pointed out that if whites in Denver experienced the same rate
of firearm-related fatalities, there would have been an additional 249
firearm deaths in Denver during this time period. The report also find that
the rate of fatal firearm injury is approximately 2 times higher among
black and African American individuals than among whites. Furthermore,
Firearm homicide rates were approximately 5.4 times higher among black and
African American people than among white people.Approximately 84 percent of
firearm homicide victims and 91 percent of firearm suicide victims were
men. In addition, suicides comprise majority of firearm-related deaths and
the majority of firearm deaths in Denver were associated with handguns,
according to the report. – XINHUA