Does it matter how much we regulate guns? Surprise, surprise–there isn’t a clear-cut answer to that complex question. It’s no secret that the United States leads the rest of the world by a landslide when it comes to gun-related homicides and that they have much more relaxed gun laws than the world’s other wealthy nations.
Interestingly though, due to the unique structure of the U.S. into semi-independent states, both gun laws and levels of homicide-by-gun vary considerably based on state lines. To be honest, my preconceived notions lead me to assume that this infographic would tell a simple story. I assumed that the states with five stars for gun-friendliness would all be bright red, indicating that they’re home to most gun deaths. Similarly, I thought that all of the states that are color-coded blue would have one or two stars, indicating that they have higher gun regulations and lower homicide rates.
It turns out that not everything is as simple as it seems. Across the map, there are deep orange states with only one and two stars, red states with three stars, and several five-star blue states. This means that setting down roots in a state that isn’t as friendly to guns doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be in the clear from gun violence, or vice versa.
So, if you’re trying to decide the safest place to lay down your roots, I wouldn’t base your decision on gun-friendliness alone.