There have been more than 300,000 civilian gun deaths in the United States in the last 10 years. That’s right up there with the number of military casualties in the nation’s biggest wars. The country's surgeon general says gun violence is a public health issue.
But in rural parts of New Mexico, many people use guns as tools in their daily lives.
"This is my 12-gauge shotgun, and I’ll say it’s definitely the most versatile tool in the gun cabinet," Billy Ogle said. "And you can take anything from the smallest game to the largest game in North America down."
After mass-casualty shootings, the national debate often focuses on preventing people with mental illness from buying guns. But at the forum hosted by UNM’s Psychiatry Department this week, researchers said that might not be the smartest way to decrease gun violence in America—or in New Mexico.
A report released Wednesday from the Center for American Progress, ranks New Mexico the 10th worst state in the nation for gun deaths.
The report, called "America Under The Gun," puts New Mexico's gun-death rate, 40% higher than the national average, and looked at 10 key indicators like homicide, firearm violence against women, as well violence against law enforcement officials.
The former U.S. attorney who was investigating the possibility of a lawsuit against the United States for the murder of a border patrol agent has recused himself from the case. It was revealed that the U.S. had allowed guns into Mexico while he was U.S. Attorney.
Republican lawmakers have released new documents showing that high level officials in the Obama Administration Justice Department in Washington D.C. were aware that federal agents in Arizona were allowing guns to be walked into Mexico.