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Vast majority of shootings in USA are gang & drug related

To The Daily Sun,

James Veverka always presents compelling, although misleading and sometimes false, arguments in support of his radical left-wing policies which require Americans to give up our freedoms and prosperity. And he offers his "evidence" with snarky comments about anyone who might disagree with him.
Consider his Oct. 22 letter about guns and gun control.
We in New Hampshire should immediately know that Veverka's claims are simply false. If Veverka's gun control claims were correct, with our hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of guns, open carry, and shall-issue concealed carry laws, then New Hampshire should be a war zone. Yet New Hampshire (and Vermont with fewer gun restrictions) typically vies for the lowest murder rate in the nation, usually by a wide margin. Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens do not create a crime problem.

Veverka claims several studies "discredit" John Lott's book, "More Guns, Less Crime". We have learned from other studies such as on climate change, that studies by leftist organizations and organizations funded by or benefiting from big government are conducted to promote their political agenda, in this case gun-control. To promote their objectives they will change data, omit inconvenient data, manipulate models, or restrict the study in ways that don't reflect reality (which they may or may not indicate).

Veverka tries to mislead readers by quoting from "The Impact of Right-to-Carry Laws..." study statements which apply to different models they studied. But the conclusion of that study (starting page 79) states: "Finally, despite our belief that the NRC's analysis (a previous study) was imperfect in certain ways, we agree with the committee's cautious final judgment on the effects of RTC laws: "with the current evidence it is not possible to determine that there is a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws and crime rates." With all their efforts to get the result they want, the best they can do, in this and other studies, is claim there is no relationship between right-to-carry laws and crime rates.

Veverka wants people to believe that people with guns means we all live in a hail of bullets, but that of course is false. Most of us in New Hampshire have attended meetings, public gatherings, shopped, or walked the street with armed fellow citizens; I have never seen a civilian draw his/her weapon and I doubt many N.H. citizens have either.

I am reminded of the saying, "Good fences make good neighbors" and wonder if something similar applies to guns. Certainly most of us learned in dealing with bullies as children what we see among nations, strength deters aggression.

Veverka wants you to believe that civilians with guns have no value because he claims no civilian with a gun has stopped any shooting of four or more people in the last 30 years. If that is true, it may be because the civilian with a gun acted before the shooter could shoot four people. Civilians with guns save lives.

On April 24, 1998, Andrew Wurst went on a 20 minute shooting spree at a middle school dance killing one and wounding three before a civilian got his gun and stopped him. Many lives were probably saved since it took police 10 more minutes to arrive.

On Dec. 9, 2007, at the New Life Church in Colorado an armed civilian stopped Mathew Murray who was firing on parishioners before he wounded more than two people. On Dec. 11, 2012, the shooting spree of Jacob Roberts, in which two were killed and another seriously wounded, was ended by a civilian with a gun which was not even fired.

There are many other examples of armed civilians stopping killers or other criminals with guns or other weapons. It is estimated that guns are used up to 2 million times annually to stop criminals, usually without a shot being fired, but these incidents get little or no attention since they do not support the leftists' argument for disarming civilians.

Whether Umpqua Community College is a "gun-free-zone" is an interesting question. State law says a concealed carry permit holder cannot be stopped from taking a gun on public property, but the Student Rules of Conduct require a school approval to do so. How easy it is to get approval is a question considering the administration was strongly anti-gun.

We know that at least one armed student was on campus, willing to intervene, but was stopped by college officials. Whether he could have saved lives is unknowable.

Perhaps a more important question is, did the shooter think this was a "gun-free-zone"? I suspect the answer is "Yes". I suspect the college is sign-posted as a "gun-free-zone", but I was not been able to get answers from the college.

Veverka's claim of 280,024 gun deaths in the last decade is far more than the number of gun related homicides and the relatively few accidents (five times as many people drown). To scare readers, Veverka is probably including suicides which is typically about double the number of homicides. (Stricter gun control laws have little effect on suicides, almost half of all suicides are already committed without a gun.)

America's crime rates have fallen significantly for 20 years despite the near doubling of guns in civilian hands and the near tripling of concealed carry permits since 2007. (Whether the declining crime rate trend will continue is another question as the Obama administration has been releasing tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens and on Nov. 1 began releasing 40,000 more convicted criminals, some of whom have violent histories.)
No matter how many restrictions are placed on law abiding citizens, there will be little or no reduction in homicides. History shows that increasing gun controls are typically followed by more homicides.

The vast majority of homicides are gang and drug related, and primarily in cities with more than 250,000 people. To significantly reduce shootings America's gang and drug problems must be addressed. But it is easier for politicians to claim to be doing something by restricting the gun-rights of law-abiding citizens; when those controls don't work, more such controls will be repeatedly added since the leftists' goal, as Senator Boxer revealed, is gun confiscation.

Unfortunately there appears to be little political will to solve the drug and gang problems, apparently letting these problems fester benefits the politicians more than solving these problems.

Don Ewing

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Creationists actually believe Earth is only thousands of years old

To The Daily Sun,

John Demakowski's creationist beliefs are just like those of anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers. Thick in the midst of these pseudo-scientific theories is the notion that there is some vast conspiracy to oppress the truth. Its the atheists, its the corporations, its the government, or maybe the illuminati. Break out the tinfoil for the chem-trails come. If you listen to the preachers of the anti-science crowd, you would think almost every expert in their field is part of a conspiracy.

In a 2009 Pew survey, only 2 percent of scientists polled were Young Earth Creationists. Back in 1991, the number was 5 percent (Gallup). Nothing in the geological or fossil record supports a young Earth. Radiometric dating obliterates "creationist geology". The earth is clearly around 4 billion years old and all the available data suggests that the universe we see is almost 14 billion years old. If you want to build a bridge, you hire an engineer, not a preacher.

The tactics are the same in all of the pseudo-scientific camps. Like anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers, they present a false narrative that there is still a big controversy within their respective scientific fields. There is no such grand debate. Cherry picking data, merchandising doubt, and magnifying minorities are popular science denial tactics. Anti-science outliers are amplified by dissenters in order to imply that the large consensus claimed by experts is a bogus claim. It is not. Almost all earth and life scientists vigorously support evolution from common descent. That's right; you are genetically related to almost everything that is alive or ever lived. It should not come as a surprise that it is the most religious of people who are the ones who fight evolutionary science the hardest. That should tell you something.

Mr. Demakowski makes vague claims about evolution not being true but does he put forth any creationist claim? No. Why? Because every creationist idea fails miserably when examined thoroughly. Creationists actually believe things like the earth is thousands of years old instead of billions. If you are interested in creationist claims versus the actual science of evolution, I highly recommend this site as a primer. www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs.html

James Veverka

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