The mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and especially Newtown, Conn., last year inspired new efforts toward gun control.
In the ensuing debate about guns, questions of race have been a complicating factor.
MPR News' Brandt Williams examined the debate from a racial perspective.
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control data, Williams reports, "African-Americans are 12 times more likely than white Minnesotans to die from gun-related homicide. White Minnesotans are nearly three times more likely to use guns to kill themselves than African-Americans."
Gun control advocates point to statistics like these to support their case for stricter laws.
Sean Joe, a University of Michigan professor who studies violence and suicide among African-Americans, said that suicide statistics do not stir public opinion the way murders do.
"We have less empathy with those who take their own lives," he told the Washington Post. "So we don't have the same national outcry. The key argument for me is that increased access to firearms increases suicide and homicide." He said that limiting access to guns would be the single most effective method of preventing suicide.
Taking a neutral stance on the gun control debate, Dr. Matthew Miller of the Harvard School of Public Health uses data to show that firearm deaths are suicides more often than homicides.
The Daily Pennsylvanian reported on a gun control conference where Miller spoke last week. "People who live in homes with guns are at much higher risk of dying by suicide," Miller said. "This risk is not trivial — two to 10 times higher, depending on the group you're talking about and how the guns were stored."
CNN: VAN JONES AND KELLYANNE CONWAY ON GUN CONTROL
INTERVIEW: DR. MATTHEW MILLER ON GUNS AND SUICIDE
MORE FROM MPR NEWS:
• Newtown shooting reignites gun control debate
The Daily Circuit discussed gun control in America shortly after the deaths in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
• Opinions vary widely on how to control guns, if at all
MPR News spoke with Minnesota gun owners after a query from the Public Insight Network.
• Women gun owners speak out on gun control
The gender gap on gun control: Polls show women are more likely to favor certain gun restrictions.
• Comparison of gun bills in Minnesota Legislature
A look at what lawmakers are considering this session.