Opinions aren’t facts. Some of each.

Mr. Tim Plante (in a letter to the editor) asserts that California, with the 44th lowest rate of gun ownership, leads the nation in gun violence. He provides no source for this statement.

(3) comments

Dave in Lincoln

In reference to comments by Lincoln 247. We are in agreement that “ Not all gun deaths are the same” . Additionally, it is true that I made no attempt to differentiate between “bad guy shooting innocent people, and innocent people shooting the criminals...” The intent of my letter was to illustrate that data regarding suicides ( as regards gun related fatalities) supports the idea that greater availability of guns leads to more suicide deaths. Fact: “Firearm access triples the risk of suicide deaths and doubles the risk of homicide.” ( Gifford law Center ) The statistics I cited did not “consider how criminals often resort to other means to kill, besides guns, …” However, a google search of “homicides by weapon type” yields 918,000 returns, showing that approximately 73 % of homicides are firearm related. Your observations regarding Everytown have some merit in that their definition of a school shooting departs significantly from standard usage .

However, when called out by the Washington Post, they did remove the mention of the Jan. 3rd. suicide in Michigan. Good on the Post for bringing this to light. Certainly, you may take issue with Everytown’s mission statement, just as I do with the NRA’s. Citing errors made by Everytown is a transparent attempt to discredit sources such as CDC.gov and World Population Review. Painting with a broad brush substitutes rhetoric for reason.

Central to the issues you raise is the contention that “innocent people shooting criminals to defend their lives”actually happens with any frequency in the real world. Despite the successful intervention by an armed civilian in the Greenwood Park Mall shooting the facts are that this is rarely the case. For context see the FBI Active Shooter Incidents 20 Year Review, 2000-2019. To summarize the report there were 333 incidents over this period involving 345 perpetrators. Civilians succeeded on 4 occasions in killing the shooters.

From the standpoint of prevention, your assertion that a reduction of gun deaths and violence can be achieved by a more vigorous implementation of existing laws ignores both the difficulty of differentiating the good guy from the bad guy in real time and the simple fact that states with tougher gun control laws have already been successful in reducing gun violence. Sadly, as recent events have illustrated, the good guy is good until he is not. In the realm of domestic violence, wherein gun ownership can end in spousal homicide / suicide, it is unlikely that police will be on hand to avert tragedy. Fact:”Firearms also escalate domestic violence situations, making it five times more likely that a victim will be killed.” (Gifford Law)

Your comment to the“Plante”letter on the Highland Park shooting and the failure of legislation to prevent it is simply a matter of the exception proving the rule . Lastly, suggesting that gun control advocacy somehow exempts an individual from loving their god and country is both divisive and simply untrue.

Best to stay on point, avoid GIGO nonsense and agree to disagree.

Lincoln247

You specifically asked what would help, but conveniently ignored the solutions I proposed.

Enforce existing laws to get career criminals and violent illegal immigrants off our streets and out of our neighborhoods.

Instead of weaponizing the FBI and DOJ to go after political opponents, we should use these resources to cooperate with local law enforcement to target criminals.

Lincoln247

It is interesting that the writer opens with the line "Opinions aren't facts" then proceeds to source Everytown.org, an anti-gun, partisian organization founded Mike Bloomberg. Everytown has a reputation for skewing statistics to push their agenda, including how they calculate school shootings.

For instance, following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018, Everytown claimed that the shooting was the 18th school shooting of the year, a statistic even The Washington Post called "flat wrong".

The instance Everytown counted as the first school shooting of the year involved a 31-year-old man's suicide in the parking lot of a Michigan school that had been closed for seven months. The actual number of school shootings was 4.

Garbage in, garbage out. What is particularly missing from the writers "facts" is any differentiation between the bad guys shooting innocent people, and the innocent people shooting the criminals to defend their lives. Not all gun deaths are the same. Further, the statistics don't consider how criminals often resort to other means to kill, besides guns, when guns are more difficult to aquire, as we saw when six innocent people were mowed down with a SUV by a career criminal in the Waukesha Christmas Parade.

What do we need to reduce gun deaths and violence? We need governors, mayors, and district attorneys that enforce our existing laws and get career criminals off our streets. We need to also enforce our immigration laws to keep other country's criminals out of our country.

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