Gun owners not the problem

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To The Editor:
In all fairness, I think our citizens need to hear some facts on the other side of the gun control frenzy that has arose since the Sandy Hook mass shooting. We all agree that this was terrible; however, rushing to quick judgment that stricter guns laws and more laws will make things better - is not the answer.

The root cause of the problem is where the solution lies.  Guns, whether rifles, shotguns, pistols, semi-auto rifles, so called assault weapons (true assault weapons have been banned by Federal law for years),  are not the problem.  We need to look at our criminal justice system, gang related crimes - violence and drug related, breakdown of our society - morals and values, and yes the truly mentally disbursed individuals etc.

Reading of Economist John R. Lott Jr. book More Guns, Less Crime should be required reading for all gun control critics. This updated edition includes data analysis from 39 states and now covers 29 years (1977-2005).

Unfortunately, most of the mainstream media reports do not focus on instances in which armed citizens defend themselves successfully without firing a shot, but focus on criminal shootings or shooting in self defense.

A national survey conducted by Lott in 2002 “indicates that about 95 percent of the time that people use guns defensively, they merely have to brandish a weapon to break off the attack.”
Other survey results “indicate that citizens use guns to stop violent crime about 2.5 million times each year - a larger order of magnitude bigger than the reported number of crimes committed with guns.”

“Great Britain banned handguns in January 1997. But the number of deaths and injuries from gun crimes in England and Wales increased an incredible 340 percent in seven years from 1998 to 2005,” Lott writes, identifying detrimental effects of gun bans in many other countries including, India, German, Greece, Finland and Jamaica.

“There are large drops in overall violent crime, murder, rape, and aggravated assault that begins right after right-to-carry laws have gone into effect.” Furthermore, crime rates consistency stay much lower than before the law.  “From the time states passed right-to-carry concealed handgun laws, the average murder rate dropped from 6.3 percent to 5.2 percent per 100,00 nine to 10 years later - about 1.7 percent drop in the murder rate per year for 10 years.

Before we go trampling on our Constitutional rights and eroding our Bill of Rights in the name of protecting our society, we really need to stop and think.  Our freedom and liberty as Americans is at stake. Freedom is not free, we need to make choices. Law-abiding citizen gun owners are not the problem.  Taking their rights will not protect us as a society. Tread lightly with our rights, for once they are gone, they are gone.

Richard Rossi,
Denver