To the Editor,
Americans are alarmed by the violence increasing in our country. If we are to confront what is happening, we need to examine the origins of the problem. We can tighten gun laws. For 50 years the NRA has lied to us, claiming their main concern is protecting the “Second Amendment.” Actually, they are a lobby for the gun manufacturers and fight any restrictions on guns. Having more guns in our society has not made us safer.
Another subject we need to consider is the heated discussion on abortion. Our focus should be on birth control. The IUD should be readily accessible to all women who want it and paid for by the government. Pregnancy should be a matter of choice. All children should be born into a family where they are wanted and nurtured. Children tend to follow the example of the adults that raise them. It is problematic for a child who is born into a family where there is violence or where they are neglected. Education starts in the home but an important part continues in school where students are encouraged to respect each other and embrace diversity. Each one of us is unique and is born with a potential for good which can enrich our lives and the lives of others.
If you want people to stop killing other people. Raise better people.
Spend time with your children. Don’t ignore them and sit them in front
of a violent game while you spend your who night on your phone with
social media. Teach kids the value of human life. You very rarely, if ever
hear of mass shootings in small towns. Why? Because small communities
hold everyone accountable for their actions. People care about each other.
Take a look at the terrorist attack in Nice France. Killed over 80 people with
a truck. Look at the parade attack in wisconsin. Multiple people killed. With
a vehicle. The ROOT of the problem is what has succeeded from the far left.
Christianity is being rooted out at all levels in society. You take away a persons
sense of morality, then you take away their value of life. Does their need to be
better enforcement of current gun laws? Absolutely. Do people need to be
engaged with others and raise alerts when someone may be attempting to
acquire a weapon when they are showing signs of mental distress? With out a doubt.
Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. And until we ALL start looking up from
our phones, actually care for our children and each other while teaching the value
of human life nothing will change.
First of all, I’d like to thank Yvonne Nyenhuis for her thoughtful, well-reasoned and timely letter.
One of the comments to her letter, in my opinion, warrants further examination, however.
So does Wyoming have a low rate of firearms deaths per capita, as the author of that comment suggests? That state’s population density is low, in fact, the lowest of the lower 48 states, and second overall only to Alaska.
While some prefer to seek refuge in opinions that comport well with their own chosen world view, for those who prefer fact-based information before forming an opinion, what does the hard data have to say?
According to the National Center for Health Statistics in 2020 (the most recent year available), Wyoming comes in at #3 for the most firearm deaths per capita, trailing only Mississippi (#1) and Louisiana (#2). According to this same website, rounding out the top ten states, from #4 to #10 are, respectively: Missouri, Alabama, Alaska, New Mexico, Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee. All ten of these are red states, with the possible sole exception of New Mexico.
So, what about the ten states that have the lowest firearm deaths per capita? From #41 to #50, respectively, are: Nebraska, New Hampshire, Minnesota, California, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Hawaii. All are blue states, with the exception of Nebraska. New Hampshire typically swings back and forth from blue to red status, and is currently in a red phase.
For those who might want to see the data for themselves, here’s the link to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics for 2020: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/firearm_mortality/firearm.htm
So, are firearms deaths exclusively a big city problem? None of the nation’s top 20 cities, population-wise, are located in the top 10 states for firearm deaths per capita. Extending to the top 50 highest population cities, only Nashville — #21; Memphis – #29, Albuquerque – #32 and Kansas City, Missouri – #37, are located in those top ten states.
Why aren’t we bombarded on the evening news programs with headline stories about the fir arms death rates in those cities? That’s a good question, which might cause some of wonder why the executives who own these news organizations don’t think we need to know about this.
So what about cities located in the states that have the lowest firearm death rates per capita? Please consider the following: New York City – #1, Los Angeles – #2, San Diego – #8, San Jose – #10, San Francisco – #17, Boston – #24, Fresno – #33, Sacramento – #35, Long Beach – #43, Oakland – #45, and Bakersfield – #48. I mention Minneapolis (#46) separately. Since Minneapolis and St. Paul are contiguous, if their populations were combined, the result would be our nation’s 19th largest city, population-wise.
According to this Wikipedia article, the United States has more than three times the rate of gun ownership of the second highest ranking country, i.e., Serbia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate
If more guns equals less gun deaths, the United States should have the lowest rate of firearms deaths per capita in the world, but that seems to be far from the case.
With the exception of tiny Eswatini, located in southeastern Africa, the other seven countries with higher firearms death rates than the United States are located in the Western Hemisphere.
Japan probably comes close to the gold standard in terms of low rates of gun ownership and low rates of firearms-related deaths. This article, published by Forbes magazine (hardly a left-leaning publication) in 2022 provides details: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianbushard/2022/07/08/heres-how-japans-low-gun-death-rate-compares-to-the-us-and-other-countries/?sh=5807c45c58c4
As always, we must maintain constant vigilance to guard against opinions masquerading as facts.
“He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” – Thomas Jefferson
Stan Gudmundson says
We all have a natural right to protect ourselves that cannot rightly be taken away from us. People in places like Wyoming understand that and consequently they have low crime rates. Because most people carry. If we eliminate from consideration the violence in our big cities, our crime rate here is very low as is any ‘danger’ from guns.
Steve Ellis says
At last – a sensible letter in the paper. Good on you!