The homicide victimization rate for Hispanics, most of whom are killed with firearms, is more than twice as high as the murder rate for whites in the United States, a gun-control advocacy organization said in a study released Thursday.
Homicide is the second-leading cause of death for Hispanics aged 15 to 24, while for whites in that age range it is the fourth-most likely cause and for blacks it is the primary cause, the Washington-based Violence Policy Center said.
In 2010, the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available from the federal Centers for Disease Control, the homicide victimization rate for Hispanics was 5.73 per 100,000. By comparison, that same rate for whites was 2.52 per 100,000.
The latest FBI data from 2011 shows that in cases in which the victim-perpetrator relationship was able to be established 39 percent of Hispanics were killed by a stranger, much higher than the nationwide average of 25 percent.
Gaps in the data mean that the actual number of Latino murder victims is probably higher, the study’s authors said.
“Our report shows that America’s gun violence epidemic has a disproportionate impact on the Hispanic community,” VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann said. “This epidemic of violence is destroying lives and tearing families apart.”
“Preventing gun violence should be an urgent priority for all public officials from community leaders to members of Congress,” he said.