To The Daily Sun,
This is in response to Johan Anderson's letter in the Aug. 13 edition of The Sun:
That you believe repealing the Second Amendment will magically reduce the number of gun deaths proves to me that you have little, if any understanding of either who actually perpetrates a majority of the gun-related deaths in the U.S. or the reasoning behind the Second Amendment.
First, if you bothered to look at the crime statistics, something easily found at the U.S. Department of Justice website, you would see that very few gun deaths are attributable to law-abiding citizens owning/carrying/using guns. Of those who do, most were committed during an act of self-defense. Most of those killing other people with guns are criminals, people who already have little or no regard for the law. You'd find that the guns they used are either already illegal to own (fully-automatic weapons, i.e. machine guns), were stolen, or smuggled in to the U.S.
Were gun ownership banned tomorrow and law-abiding citizens were to voluntarily give up their guns, how many homicides would be prevented? The answer: very few. The criminals wouldn't give up their guns. What you would have is a populace no longer able to protect itself and a criminal element give free rein because they know no one other than their fellow criminals will be armed. The homicide rate would skyrocket ... but you'd feel better because there are fewer guns out there.
Second, if you took a closer look at the crime statistics you'd find that states which have the least restrictive gun laws also have the lowest rates of violent crime, including murder. How do you reconcile your suggestion that doing away with the right for the people to own and bear arms will reduce gun deaths when the statistics say just the opposite? Is your suggestion based upon emotion rather than logic and cold hard facts?
Third, if you look at the crime statistics over the past four decades, you'd see the overall violent crime rate has been declining. If you look at the number of gun deaths, not including suicides, in 2013 (the most recent I could find), there were 11,208 gun deaths in the U.S. How many traffic fatalities were there in that same year? 32,719.
Almost three times as many people die from traffic accidents as die from gun homicides. Maybe we should ban cars and trucks because they kill a lot of people. I will admit that the number of suicides committed with a gun that same year were quite high, about 21,175. But if you ask anyone familiar with the psychology of suicide, you'd find that most of the people who killed themselves with a gun would have used other means to do so if guns weren't available.
Fourth, the Second Amendment was put into place by the framers of the Constitution for a good reason: To allow the people to defend themselves against miscreants, and more specifically, against a tyrannical government should ours devolve into such a state. If you think that can never happen, then you have ignored the evidence of history that proves otherwise. The framers knew this was a possibility and made sure we would have the means to defend ourselves against such tyranny.
I will not abridge your right to not own or carry a gun. But don't even think of abridging my right to own or carry mine.
Dale Channing Eddy
- Category: Letters
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