Gun control saves lives
Re: Gun violence hits home, Dec. 25.
Two of your recent letter writers demonstrate the extreme lengths supporters of gun ownership go to in rationalizing their need to own guns.
Jim Armstrong had to go all the way back to 1987 to find a mass shooting in England, with others in Canada and Scotland more than 15 years ago. The fact that these countries have a mass shooting disaster about once every 20 years contrasts with the almost monthly gun massacres in the U.S.
The recent attack on 20 children in a school in China by a knife-wielding crazy luckily killed no one; mass killings by knives are almost unknown, as this weapon is not designed for mass slaughter.
Instead of banning military-style weapons right away, this correspondent wants us to “de-romanticize the glory of the gun”.
James Cooper also indirectly supports universal gun ownership and points out the large numbers of people killed annually by automobiles. The big difference is that these automobile deaths are accidental – many could be avoided by tougher drunk-driving penalties.
In fact, if guns were very difficult to get hold of, it is quite unlikely that these crazies would turn to cars to conduct their mass murders.
Again, we are advised to “conduct psychological profiling” to identify the psychopaths in our midst. Unfortunately, most such individuals are in corporate board-rooms and do not use guns to wreak havoc on society.
Herb Spencer, Surrey
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Letter-writer Jim Armstrong claims the U.K. is equal to the U.S. on the basis of the poor results of gun control: tight regulations in the U.K. but nearly non-existent in the U.S.
As “evidence,” he quotes similar massacres: Sandy Hook versus Hungerford in the U.K.; 16 dead in 1967 at a primary school.
Armstrong’s selection of extreme events is about as witless as comparing the relative talent of two pro golfers on the number of holes-in-one they each make over a season, instead of the ground-out, average stokes over 200 rounds.
The U.S. experiences about 3½-4 gun homicides per 100,000 population per annum. In the U.K., the rate is about 0.04 per annum per 100,000 population; or the U.S. rate is 90 times the UK rate.
Who has then the brazen audacity to even hint that gun control does not make a difference? It does make a massive difference.
The NRA frequently manipulates numerical data to attack gun control but additionally mangles the meaning of the English language when chanting the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is truly unambiguous and gives the people “the right to bear arms” but only for the single justification stated in the same sentence: “a militia being necessary for security.”
With local police, state police, National Guard, FBI and trained armed private security guards now in place, plus the might of the U.S. armed forces, the 1791 justification is no longer valid.
There is no necessity now for militia – there are no militia in existence – and therefore nor is there a current right to bear arms.
David Poole, Surrey