Shootings like Fla. case rare
Letters to the Editor, March 22, 2012
The March 22 Bloomberg News editorial “Fla. teen’s death shows peril of lax gun laws” was a little over the top, even in the opinion section. The editorial was poorly written and offered nothing to support the flawed logic.
The author’s attitude toward gun ownership was displayed most prominently in the last sentence: “Guns ever at the ready will be used, with tragic results.” The question to ask is: Tragic for whom? If you are going to use an example of things that rarely happen, I guess you could say that the innocent always suffer. As unfortunate as it is, that is still the exception with gun ownership and not the rule.
People who own guns do sometimes make mistakes, I would like to submit a quote from John R. Lott Jr.’s book “More Guns Less Crime” (Third Edition, 2011), Page 2: “In another case a Japanese student was shot on his way to a Halloween party in Louisiana in 1992. It made international headlines and showed how defensive gun use can go tragically wrong. However, this incident was a rare event: In the entire United States during a year, only about 30 people are accidentally killed by private citizens who mistakenly believe the victim to be an intruder. By comparison, police accidentally kill as many as 330 innocent individuals annually.”
Where is the outrage over that? Where do you hear about those innocent lives being taken? Do we hear people clamoring for law enforcement officer’s guns to be taken away? Do we hear people clamoring for guns to be restricted so that doesn’t happen in the future? No, the newspapers are silent on the matter.
This country has gotten off track in taking responsibility and placing responsibility in the proper places. It is not Florida’s gun laws that caused the death of a 17-year-old boy. It was a man who killed him. The man pulled the trigger; the gun did not go out there and confront the 17-year-old as he was walking by the man’s house.
It would be good to know how many people in Florida own guns, how many people have permits to carry concealed and how many times this kind of thing happens in a year. I would be willing to say that these kinds of deaths make up a very small percentage of deaths in Florida.
People get worked up about it because they hear about it in the news and don’t stop to think of how many people own guns and how infrequently things like this happen.