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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/19/2018

FBI stats don’t fit the anti-gun argument

FBI stats don’t fit the anti-gun argument

*FBI stats don’t fit the anti-gun argument

FBI stats don’t fit the anti-gun argument

Let us examine some facts about gun control and the political gun-banning furor fueled by the news (read entertainment) media.

The term “assault weapon” was coined by gun-control zealots in the 1970s ’80s, and it refers to firearms that resemble a military gun that the media, politicians and the misinformed wish to ban. A misconception of so called “assault weapons” is the idea that they fire continuously while the trigger is pulled or until the magazine is empty. They do not. For a real challenge, look up “assault weapon” on Wikipedia and discover confusing explanations with no clear definition.

The misuse of various studies is a common tactic of anti-gun politicians because they know that the 1994 ban had no real impact on crime. The FBI reports annually on the crime rates in the United States. From 1992 through 2011, the rate of violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in the United States dropped 50 percent. The murder rate went from 9.3 per 100,000 in 1992 to 4.7 in 2011. Additionally, from 2005 to 2011 the FBI reported the murder rate decreased 14.7 percent. Total murders for the United States in 2011 were 14,612. I believe an important relationship that occurred during the same period is reported sales of guns increased dramatically based on the FBI’s NICS reports.

Murders by “assault weapons” are less than one percent (0.01) of the total. In fact, the total number of murders in the United States by all rifles for 2011 was 323, murders by all shotguns 356. FBI reports for New York state in 2011 lists five murders by rifle, 15 murders by shotgun.

In one of his more lucid moments on Jan. 24, Vice President Joe Biden admitted: “It is true that the vast majority of gun deaths in America are not a consequence of the use of an assault weapon,” and that a ban “is not an answer to all the problems.” Good answer, Shotgun Joe.

As a by the way:

1) You never hear reports of the crimes stopped and or thwarted by those with legal possession of guns. Some people in the know estimate as many as 200,000 such incidents a year.

2) Great Britain, with very restrictive gun control laws, has five times the rate of violent crime — 2,200 per 100,000 as opposed to 386 per 100,000 for the United States. [Figures are from the Home Office for England and Wales (2011) and the FBI (2011).]

In fact, most multiple-victim shootings occur in “gun-free zones,” such as public schools, churches, post offices, movie theaters and malls, where guns have generally been banned. Mass killers may be crazy, but they’re not stupid.

Do you really want to ban or restrict gun ownership further? I do not. We need to urge our representatives to say no to the Feinsteins, Bidens, Cuomos and their ilk who would trash the Constitution. Urge your representatives to vote no on any gun legislation.

Gray Pitkin


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