Take a look at the stats when it comes to guns | TheUnion.com

Take a look at the stats when it comes to guns

There have been several anti-gun letters printed on the Opinion Page recently. Some have cited ridiculously inflated “statistics” to back their rhetoric, but of course, did not disclose their source. So I decided to review the FBI’s most recent national crime statistics, at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm, and this is what I learned:

• Although gun ownership is at an all time high, total violent crime is at its lowest rate since 1978.

• Murder is at a 35 year low.

• Firearms are used in less than one-fourth of violent crime.

• The rate of accidental death by firearms has been steadily declining for nearly 100 years.

• The states with the least restrictive gun laws average 28.4 percent lower murder rates, 37.7 percent lower robbery rates, and 16.5 percent lower aggravated assault rates, than those with the most stringent anti-gun laws. The 33 states that allow their citizens to carry concealed weapons average 21.9 percent lower total violent crime rates than those states that do not.

• A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (8/2/2000) found that implementation of Bill Clinton’s “Brady Bill” had no effect whatsoever on homicide and suicide rates.

• A congressionally mandated study for the National Institute of Justice determined that the “Assault Weapons Ban” had no discernible effect on crime rates because those weapons are used in less than 1 percent of gun crimes.

When the First Amendment to the United States Constitution refers to “the people” in reference to the guarantee of freedom of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly, and redress of grievances; no one questions who our founders meant by “the people.” When the Second Amendment states, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” are they not referring to the very same “people”?

Although Nevada County suffered a tragic multiple murder with the use of a handgun several years ago, we have since witnessed local murders committed with an assortment of objects, including a flashlight, a crowbar and knives.

The reality is (as anyone who reads this newspaper on a regular basis can tell you), of all the methods to rapidly propel a chunk of metal that man has ever come up with, the one that we have to fear the most is not the gun. It is the automobile.


Randy Richey lives in Nevada City.

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