Murder rates have dropped

Letter to the editor 1/24/13 edition

January 23, 2013 

Dear Editor,

Once again, Alan Cheah's column in the Jan. 17 sierra Star about the shooting in Newtown, takes us to his imaginary world, absent of all reality. I offer a better image Alan. The shooter's mom properly stores her weapons as required by current gun laws, so her mentally ill son can't get them. Result? Nobody dies. My point: The shooter and his mom were responsible for what happened in Newtown, not the weapons illegally obtained and used.

Some relevant facts: Violent crime rate and the murder rate both dropped by nearly 50%. At the same time, the number of firearms increased dramatically, including more than six million "assault weapons." Guns aren't the problem. Significantly more murders were committed with hammers, clubs, and knives. Drunk drivers are responsible for nearly 10,000 deaths each year -- far more than the number of deaths involving guns.

For those who mistakenly think stricter gun laws are the answer, consider Chicago. Obama's hometown has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, but more than 500 murders occurred there last year. The problem -- gangs and drugs. As for Great Britain, the real facts are the incidence of violent crime is almost twice the per capita rate of the U.S. Criminals find ways to do it without guns. Let's address the real problems, not waste $500 million on knee jerk programs that even Obama admits may not save any lives.

Our founding fathers clearly spelled out our absolute right to bear arms for our defense. And some 60 million Americans do it responsibly every day to our benefit. Our elected officials should be addressing the issues of those few who break the laws already in place, not attacking the rights of the majority who don't.

Steve Hall, North Fork

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