Blood-red states

Nate Henneke, Staff Writer

Regardless of political stance, it is widely agreed that murder is bad. Yet murder rates have been increasing across the nation at alarming rates. Looking at nationwide trends, it is clear that red states have significantly higher murder rates. Third Way reported earlier this year that on average, states won by former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election had a 40% higher murder rate per capita than those won by President Joe Biden. Laws and elected officials clearly have an impact on the rate of violent crimes.

Republicans use the increasing murder rates as a justification for a strong police force, yet blue states have shown that police departments can be successfully defunded. In reality, the increasing murder rates have nothing to do with the police, because cops can only catch a murderer once they have killed. Rather, the relaxed gun laws and poverty that so many of these blood-red states are dealing with are the culprits of the shocking difference between red and blue states.

Every state considered to be a part of the Deep South — besides Texas — is within the top ten states with the highest murder rates. These states are also the ones with the highest percentage of citizens living below the poverty line. Evidence provided by these new murder rates serves as proof that there are at least weak ties between violent crime and poverty. But there is much more to this than poverty.

The Deep South represents many different things depending on who you ask, but one thing about the region is practically a universal truth — the deep south is as red as it gets, but now it is also becoming the murder hot spot of the United States. Change will never take place unless we understand what’s behind the increasing murder rates on both a national and state level. This is not a problem that will go away by simply ignoring it, and if Republican lawmakers refuse to accept that their policies are increasing murder rates, this problem will only grow.