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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

In Oklahoma, Gun Deaths Are Rising

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Gun deaths are on the rise in Oklahoma, reports Oklahoma Watch.

Despite the fact that it's been over three decades since the state has seen a prominent mass shooting, homicides by firearms have been increasing over the past decade.

Oklahoma has the ninth highest rate of per capita gun deaths among. The state now averages four or five murders a week, and more than one suicide per day.

Oklahoma’s numbers reflect a more widespread trend of rising gun deaths in the last two years, though Oklahoma has been outpacing much of the nation. Researchers have attributed the nationwide trend to a number of factors, including drug addiction, domestic violence, poverty, mental illness, and the widespread easy availability of firearms.

The largest gun-related crisis in the state is that of suicides. Between 2007 and 2006 Oklahoma lost over 4,000 people to suicide by firearm.

Correction: An earlier version of this story asserted that U.S. gun deaths have been rising in recent decades. They have only been rising over the past two years.