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More guns equals less crime study was long ago discredited

To The Daily Sun,

Russ Wiles' war on cops doesn't exist. This is another false narrative created by Fox and right-wing world.

According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, 807 cops lost their lives in the first six years of the Obama administration. At the same mark, 1,129 police officers were killed under Reagan and 1,034 were under Bush II. There is, however, vocal concern regarding cops who use excessive force. The height of the bar used in law enforcement screening, employment, and job performance has become a public health issue. That said, in a nation with 250 million guns and a gun murder rate that is nearly 20 times the rate of the OEDC average, cops have every right to be on edge. That is why we have to have the very best under the very best leaders.

Mr. Wiles cites John Lott's work, which claims more guns mean less crime. This is another lie from right-wing world. Using Lott's research is akin to using Andrew Wakefield's bogus vaccine study or Heartland Institute's fake climate "science." Lott's 20-year-old claims have been widely debunked by peer review. His work caters to lazy thinkers looking for simple answers but reality requires nuanced critical thinking.

According to Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, right to carry wins are "based upon Lott's scholarship" that has been "completely discredited". In 2005, the National Research Council (NRC) published a large report in which the panel concluded that existing research was "insufficient to say much of anything about a causal connection between crime and right-to-carry laws."

A 2012 paper, "The Impact of Right-to-Carry Laws and the NRC Report: Lessons for the Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy." written by Stanford's Abhay Aneja and John J. Donohue and Hopkins' Alexandria Zhang, went one step further. It methodically analyzed the existing literature, including Lott's, and reached a much different conclusion: "Overall, the most consistent, albeit not uniform, finding to emerge from both the state and the county panel data models conducted over the entire 1977–2006 period with and without state trends and using three different models is that aggravated assault rises when (right-to-carry) laws are adopted." They found "very few statistically significant effects of RTC laws on crime rates, but almost all of them, significant or not, show crime increases." Raw data from the National Violent Death Reporting System as compiled by Harvard Injury Control Research Center also directly refutes many of Lott's claims.

David Hemenway from the Harvard School of Public Health, wrote a similarly devastating review of "More Guns, Less Crime" in his book, "Private Guns, Public Health." He argues that there are five main ways to determine the appropriateness of a statistical model and John Lott's model appears to fail every one of these tests. Ted Goetzl, a retired professor of sociology at Rutgers University, published a paper in The Skeptical Inquirer which cataloging the most egregious abuses of econometrics in criminology. John R. Lott's "More Guns, Less Crime," was at the top of the list. University of Arkansas Law Professor Andrew J. McClurg, in a critical review of Lott entitled, "Lott's More Guns and Other Fallacies: Infecting the Gun Control Debate," concludes that Lott's entire manifesto "is one large example of fallacious post-hoc reasoning."

Compounding the problem are those who have action hero delusions like the two who opened fire on a shoplifter last week. They live in a warped fantasy world fueled by the alternate realities of television, movies, and the rhetoric of right-wing world. Due to inexperience and lack of special training, most people will not react logically in a shooting scenario, especially a sudden ambush shooting where the shooter has an arsenal. The observed evidence is clear: the average person doesn't have the training or mindset to suddenly become a good guy with a gun. That takes continual weapons training under varied circumstances. Such skills take a long time to acquire and are perishable without continual training. Our gun murder rate dwarfs those of OEDC nations of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia because we think guns are the answer. While the call for more guns keeps coming from the gun lobby, not one shooting of four or more people has been stopped by a good guy with a gun in the last 30 years.

Remember, retired Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle was killed at a gun range, a gun shop was robbed at gunpoint last year, and the Oregon school shooting was not, I repeat, not, in a gun-free zone because several people in the school were armed. Its over in seconds and right-wing world just can't process that. This month marks the 1,000th shooting that killed four or more people since Sandy Hook. In the last decade, 280,024 people have been killed with guns in America. Since the 1960s, more people have died of gunshot wounds in the USA than have in all of our wars since 1776. It's like an incurable disease to preserve the status quo. It's willful ignorance of the lethal kind.

James Veverka

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Kind words need be said about Vet Hospital & Humane Society

To The Daily Sun,

I would like to make a reference on one local business and one local organization, both of which are deserving of accolades and have my most profound appreciation.

The compassionate staff of the Lakes Region Veterinary Hospital displayed an abundance of dedication, understanding and love when my beloved Angora cat "Pinky" had to be put down on July 15. She was inflicted with an aggressive type of cancer and treatment would have been very painful for her. They were most kind and well represented their slogan: "Expect care with a passion". Their compassion so moved me that I am certain "Pinky" peacefully transitioned crossing the Rainbow Bridge to heavenly serenity that only the Lord could provide. The hospital had her cremated for me and her ashes were given to me in a beautiful walnut box that now sits in her favorite spot. I am most grateful to that great hospital staff on Union Ave.

Shortly after "Pinky's" passing, we decided to adopt and rescue another one of God's creatures. We ventured to the Humane Society on Meredith Center Road and found the staff and premises to be impressive. The staff takes great care of the "orphans" there.

In one of the spacious rooms there, we found a small tiger cat with a deformed hind leg on a corner shelf. Needless to mention, we adopted "Mister Hobbles".

The staff there was most courteous, especially staff member Naomi, who assisted us with the adoption process.

The Humane Society is an asset to our community. The staff is incredible. I am sure that Marylee Gorham is proud. if you can support the Humane Society, it is well worth it.

As so eloquently said by the Apostle Paul: "And now abide faith, hope, love these three: But the greatest of these is love."

Matthew Tetreault


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