Letters to the Editor

First, these mass shootings are the doings of a deranged mind. This is a fact. These persons should not be allowed to own firearms of any kind.

The tragedy that accompanies such an act is almost immediately followed by political finger pointing. This is done with a pathological disregard for the surviving family members. The public has no right to view or hear the pain relatives of shooting victims are experiencing. The press needs to demonstrate some public form of shame for their coverages of these tragedies. That said, what follows is a comparison of fatalities in the U.S. relative to their impact on the society as a whole. I have not forgotten those who still suffer, but the current gun control narrative is completely over the top.

I have chosen three categories of death to compare.

Compare gun deaths to auto fatalities. This is the easiest. The nation makes it clear that driving is a privilege not a right. This privilege is controlled by the states and requires schooling, a test, possessing a valid driver’s license, possessing liability and personal injury insurance. No activity in the U.S. is more regulated that this act. Yet there are still huge losses. From Wikipedia: In 2010, there were an estimated 5,419,000 crashes, 30,296 deadly, killing 32,999 and injuring 2,239,000; 2. About 2,000 children under 16 die every year in traffic collisions; 3. Records indicate that there were 3,613,732 motor vehicle fatalities in the United States from 1899 to 2013.

If you killed 29 American a day in auto accidents, it would take you 1,132 days (three years and two months). If we were to consider the hard facts, clearly putting the same press coverage and energy into reducing this number it makes gun control efforts nothing more than political theatre. Strangely enough, the American public accepts these statistics and believe that the death rate is worth the utility of the automobile.

There is absolutely no data to suggest that applying driving requirements to gun ownership will reduce the death rate from firearms.

Here are some more comparisons: According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 people in the United States die every year because of medical mistakes, (these are the ones documented) making it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. These folks already have an entire Federal organization to “ensure” the efficacy of these three categories of medicine. It is the Department of Health and Human Services. A cabinet level Department with over 79,000 employees.

Perhaps gun control advocates would do better to aim their efforts at reducing the deaths caused by hospitals and automobiles. The cities with the highest death rates from firearms, are the cities that have the strongest gun laws. These same cities have been run by huge Democratic majorities for over 40 years. Perhaps it means that, as Neil deGrasse Tyson said, "often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data."

Gus Fitch

Aiken