Letters to the Editor

Disarming the law-abiding not answer to gun violence

I read the letter "American Exceptionalism: No. 1 in killing of citizens" by Ed Siemaszko and was reminded of an old adage "Statistics don't lie, but statisticians do." Nearly any point of view can be supported by careful presentation of statistics.

Recent worldwide surveys have shown America, as a whole, to rank in the upper levels of gun violence with a few other countries, but not alone as No. 1. It is easy to exploit this to support a view that gun violence is rampant throughout America, replete with blaming Republicans, the NRA and others.

In reality, the truth is quite different. Three cities having the severest gun control laws, Washington D.C., New York and Chicago, also have the severest level of gun violence. Setting these three cities in a separate category and comparing the rest of America with other countries in the survey show the rest of America to be among the countries ranked lowest in gun violence.

Not at all what the gun control lobby would have us believe, but demonstrably true. Clearly, universal disarming of law-abiding citizens does not result in a decrease in gun violence. And, gun control certainly will not disarm criminals.

It is incumbent on all gun owners to store weapons securely and control access to them, but that alone is not enough. The deranged mind will find a way to be destructive without access to firearms.

Clearly, we must develop means of identifying persons with mental instability that can lead to violence, and prevent them having an opportunity to run rampant.

The Second Amendment does guarantee Americans the right to possess firearms to defend themselves. However, it does not guarantee that possession of firearms provides an adequate defense against all possibilities. We have much to do to provide a safe environment for all of us.

Doug Young

Longboat Key