Opinions based on non-facts are dangerous and should be challenged.
When I read the recent letter to the editor by Lee Purrier, “Guns Are Dangerous And Should Be Controlled” I agreed mostly with his first paragraph but after that Lee started citing facts and statistics that were just plain wrong.
In paragraph 3, Lee states there are 36,000 murders in the U.S. a year by guns. Yet a quick check with the U.S. Dept of Justice shows in the last decade all murders by all methods average around 16,000 a year, with 2006 the highest at 17,030. That’s still a lot granted, but the Justice Dept. goes on to say murder as well as all violent crimes have been dropping as more law abiding people are buying more guns. This is a fact, check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me. Next Lee tells us that we have lost 400,000 people to gun violence in the last decade. The actual number of all murders by all means is 176,868 (also from the Justice Dept. statistics). Not all of these were even gun related; so where do you get 400,000, I’d like to know?
Then of course Lee cites the fact that 80 percent of NRA (National Rifle Association) members support expanded gun control. The NRA says that no one has asked NRA members what they support, so where does this fact come from? Until someone tells me who did the poll or how it was ascertained, that any percentage of NRA members support more gun control laws, I say this is an outright lie.
I would also like to know where your facts that non-law enforcement good guys facing bad guys with guns usually end up dead comes from? I can’t find proof of that anywhere. Will you please document that for us Lee? When you say there are only two reasons that firearms ownership will never be infringed on, I can think of at least one more, and anyone who understands the constitution would probably think of it also. When you say there were approximately 200 gun related self defense incidents compared to 36,000 deaths with a ratio of 180 to one, I really wonder where you get your facts. I find documentation that I include with this letter that states self defense incidents a year are closer to two million than the paltry two hundred you state. That would change your ratio quite a bit, in the other direction, wouldn’t it Lee? Once again I urge readers to check these facts for yourself because the truth isn’t what Lee is telling us, for sure.
While I am sure the NRA did all they could to stop the erosion of our second amendment rights, I don’t think they sway our legislators as much as you think, Lee. I think they are much more effective at striking down unconstitutionals laws written at the state level and most of these latest laws will in the end be found unconstitutiional, mark my word. Anyone who fights laws that violate our constition has my thanks. No Lee, I think all the law abiding gun owners calling their elected officials is the reason congress isn’t giving America a bunch of new restrictions, that the bad guys will violate just as quickly as they do existing laws.
The bottom line is people who use guns for violence or murder aren’t going to obey these new state laws anyway. Take Chicago, IL for instance, 80 percent of the hundreds of murders yearly in that city are gang related (Forbes Magazine article), so any new laws will have absolutely no effect on the murder rate. Maybe if they locked up all those guys illegally carrying guns in these gangs they might see a lot less wounded and killed on their streets. At the local level there was a recent story in the paper regarding a convicted felon who was caught with a sawed off shotgun. If you missed that story you might be surprised that this guy basically walked on the charge, no prison time at all.
Under existing laws no one beside law enforcement is allowed to possess a sawed off shotgun much less a felon. Let’s try enforcing the laws we have before we start writing new ones that only infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens. Let’s stick to the facts also. — Rick Ellsworth, Audubon