Letter to the Editor: In defense of guns

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Dear Editor:

Recently your papers, Norwalk and Downey, have printed several letters to the editor demeaning gun ownership and the use thereof. I would like to try and counter some of those opinions.

Yes, I am the owner of several guns and have been since my first 22 rifle was given to me on my 8th birthday. I have never injured anyone with a weapon except for my time in Vietnam while serving my country. Let me also say I am opposed to any form of violence whether it be gun violence, domestic violence, parental or child violence, etc.

Now the reason for this letter. According to noted gun expert on gun laws and statistics John Lott, University of Chicago, there are 30,000 gun-related deaths every year in he United States, this among a population of 324,059,091 as of June 2016. This amounts to 0.00925% deaths from gun-related actions.

Let us break those 30,000 deaths down into categories:

  • 65% are by suicides unstoppable by gun laws

  • 17% are by gangs and are drug-related, proven unstoppable by gun laws

  • 15% are by law enforcement and justified

  • 3% are by accidental discharge

This leaves approximately 5,100 -- still too many -- so let’s see where those occurred: 480 (9.4%) in Chicago, 344 (6.7%) in Baltimore, 333 (6.5%) in Detroit, 119 (2.3%) in Washington, D.C. Therefore, 25% occurred in four cities all having strict gun laws.

This leaves 3,825 gun-related deaths for the rest of the nation or an average of 75 per state. This is only an average as Alabama had one gun-related death (the lowest) and California the highest at 1,169 deaths.

Can you guess, of all the states, which has the strictest gun laws in the nation? That’s right, it’s California.

Admittedly all death is sad but how does the rate of gun deaths compare to other forms of dying? I show this only to demonstrate that guns should not be our most pressing concern.

Examples for the same year are:

  • Over 40,000 die from drug overdoses, absolutely no excuse for this

  • Over 36,000 die from the flu, some preventable by simply getting a flu shot

  • Over 34,000 die in automobile accidents, but we’re not screaming to get rid of cars

  • Over 200,000 die from preventable medical errors. Why are these doctors still practicing?

  • Approximately 700,000 die from heart disease.

Would more gun laws stop gun deaths? No. Would taking my guns away stop gun deaths? No. We need to leave the honest, law-abiding gun owners alone and abide by the 2nd Amendment.

Armando Ruiz
Norwalk

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