More restrictive gun laws won't lead to fewer gun deaths [Letter]

December 14, 2013

I support the concept of gun control within the bounds of the Second Amendment. However, your recent editorial on the subject has several flaws ("Reducing gun deaths," Dec. 10).

First, you argue that the states with the most restrictive laws will have the fewest gun deaths and gun-related crimes. But neither you or anyone else has provided any evidence that this is true.

Second, talking about mass murders with assault type weapons should be discussed separately from crimes like armed robbery because they are clearly the results of very different motives. Armed robberies happen because someone wants or needs something that they don't have. The mass assaults like Sandy Hook are clearly the result of mental illness.

Third, you mention mental illness as it relates to gun laws in the past and present, but that is analogous to having a law that says someone with a broken arm should never be allowed to buy a rifle because they might not be able to handle it. Clearly an arm can heal. It's equally clear that not all mental illnesses should result in a lifelong ban from gun ownership.

Finally, you point out that mass murders like Sandy Hook should be considered separately from the homicide rate. I would argue that the national focus of attention that resulted from Sandy Hook and similar incidents has been completely disproportionate to the attention that should be focused on gun safety. Reducing the size of magazines for semiautomatic rifles is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Anyone can pretend to care about gun deaths with platitudes. If you seriously want to accomplish something useful then do something positive about mental health, safe gun storage or our stupid drug laws.

Kirk Shriver, Baltimore

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