Letters to the Editor

Saturday, Feb 09 2013 10:13 AM

Guns in America: suicide because we can

By The Bakersfield Californian

In his Feb. 7 Community Voices article, "False security a consequence of some gun violence solutions," Brik McDill seems to say that legislation concerning guns needs to assure that they will have the desired effect of curtailing gun related deaths. As the doctor should know, being psychologist, we do not always know the total effect of things we do. If we did we would have a perfect world.

The frequent criticism about restrictive gun laws in cities with the high numbers of gun related deaths ignores that the gun restrictions are a reaction to the high number of gun deaths. Some groups want to arm more personnel in our schools. If more guns were an answer to our problems then the United States would have fewer gun deaths than any other country. The U.S. has 240 million guns in private hands yet we have more than 31,000 gun related deaths or 10.2 per 100,000 population. France has 15 million guns and three gun deaths per 100,000. Countries such as China and Austria have similar ratios.

I do not know what McDill would draw from this data, but I conclude that there is strong relationship between the number of guns in a society and the number of gun related deaths. The U.S. has an historical affinity to guns. We have glorified them and their users in history: Earp, Hickok, James, and "Have Gun Will Travel." Doing nothing in light of this enormous pain is in some ways like committing suicide because we can.

Albert Abrams

Bakersfield

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