I’m writing in response to a May 12 commentary “At least 123 people were shot dead over 72 hours. Did America notice?” There are so many statements of “fact” in it, ahem, that I’m not sure where to start.

Let’s start with the purported number of 196 mass shootings this year. In 2013, Congress passed a definition of mass killing in which three or more people were killed in a single incident. There is no solid definition of mass shootings, and anti-gun forces use the highest number they can get to further their agenda. In this case, merely adding the injured to the list. There is a point on which we do agree, and that is that one mass shooting is too many. No one wants to see anyone injured/killed by firearm violence — least of all, lawful and respectful firearm owners.

The actual number of firearms in the country, individually, or as a group is immaterial other than being used to scare people. Most of the lawful firearm owners I know, which is a fair number, have more than one firearm, a few have about a dozen, and a couple have scores. They are all legally owned, safely stored and, to the best of my knowledge, the owners have never shot and injured or killed anyone. The anti-gun forces have, for years, had their sights, (Bloomberg’s) money and legislation aimed at the wrong target.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, firearm related murders have dropped in number in each of the preceding three years and for 2019 was 10,258. This a far cry from the 35,000 often quoted by the anti-gun forces who include suicide in their numbers.

There is one glaring omission in the column, any mention of a criminals committing these crimes. If this subject is going to be discussed, I’d like more information. Where did the shootings occur? (inner cities) Under what circumstances (gang, drug, criminal activities)? How many of the shooters were “previously known” to the police? (plenty) Were any of the shooters previously known to have mental problems? (yes) How did the shore acquire their firearm? (stolen or black market).

Lawful firearm owners as a group, are not now, nor have they ever been, part of the firearm problem. When the anti-gun forces and legislators start focusing on the criminals and not the guns, positive results will follow.

(28) comments

shiftless88

Here is simple fact to grasp. The UK has about the same violent crime rate as we do (meaning they have about the same rate of criminals). But the intentional homicide rate in the US is four times higher. What's the difference? Hmmmmmm.....

bosco

In the UK, the government visits all registered firearms owners every year to make sure they are storing it properly and haven't gone whacky since last year's inspection. Don't forget it was the British who wanted to confiscate the firearms of the colonists.

shiftless88

That is beside the point. The point is that we have a ton of guns and they do not. They have the same rate of criminality but a much, much lower rate of gun ownership and a much lower rate of homicide. So the premise of the LTE is incorrect; it is NOT the criminals and it IS the guns. High homicide rates, killing of police and the increased level of danger to both parties when police interact with citizens are all due to our high rate of nearly unfettered gun ownership. That is the price we pay. Of course, there are many things we could do Constitutionally and reduce these things and they have the support of the majority of the public but the Republicans are too chicken sh** to to them.

wran

New Zealand has a lot of guns per capita and shooting sports are very popular in New Zealand. Anyone who qualifies for gun ownership can purchase a gun. The Gun City store in New Zealand says it is the largest fire arms seller in the world. So, New Zeland has a lot of guns and little gun crime. So, I don't think one can prove that having a lot of guns in a county results in a lot of gun crime. There is something else at play than guns, most likely the society and criminals.

shiftless88

NZ has quite a few restrictions on gun ownership. I would be happy if we switched to their laws.

shiftless88

Plus they have nowhere near the guns we do per capita

Greg F

We have a lot of yahoos with too much testosterone who can't think very well about consequences of rash actions and can't also figure out how to settle differences without force.

Greg F

Brits also have big brother on every corner in camera surveillance that nearly rivals that of China. US is on pace to get there. We don't need house calls that violate our privacy to determine subjectively if we are "whacky" or not. What's next...a Chinese version of a numeric "good" score person so they can have freedoms? As a liberal lifetime firearm owner in the "owns a number of them" category...it's nobody's *@#$% business how many I have nor how much ammo anyone may have. I love the stories where someone says they found 1000 or 2000 rounds of ammo and consider that an arsenal. If one shoots trap or targets, they can blow through that in a couple days at the range or a match event. Given the as-late asinine pricing of ammo...I'd say when you find it and buy reasonably to get to any amount...that helps to stave off the doubling of pricing we have now. We still never got a good answer to why the Government bought 7 BILLION rounds of ammo not all that long ago that caused the last price spikes. As for insurance....that's a back-door registration effort and we all know it. Insurance can be obtained voluntarily, but unlike a car, it is a right to bear arms. Driving is a privilege.

gabrielshorn2013

👍👍👍 GregF!

shiftless88

I understand all of that but the point still remains; it is not the criminals, it is the guns. Now you may say "this price we pay with homicides, suicides and danger to our police is worth it" and that is your judgment. But the root of all this is not that we have more criminals, it is that we have more guns.

wran

Two of the largest gun stores in the world are located in Australia, Maills, and Gun Emporium, and they sell lots of guns in Australia. I think Gun Emporium is the largest gun store and seller in the world. Most anyone in Australia who wants a gun can qualify to get one, and shooting sports are very popular and common in Australia. Australia has a very low gun crime rate. Also, if you take away the US cities with the highest gun crime numbers: Chicago, New York, Baltimore, St Louis, Detroit and New Orleans the gun crime rate in the US lower than a lot of coutries in the world.

shiftless88

And again, their gun laws are far more strict than ours. It is not just the number of guns, it is the training and background checks required, the tracking by serial number and so forth. "A person must have a firearm licence to possess or use a firearm. Licence holders must demonstrate a "genuine reason" (which does not include self-defence) for holding a firearm licence[2] and must not be a "prohibited person". All firearms must be registered by serial number to the owner, who must also hold a firearms licence."

phydeaux994

More evidence that a National Gun Registration w/ Transfer Law is feasible and it works. Own all the guns you want, but make it known you are the person responsible for securing it and seeing that it is used appropriately.

gabrielshorn2013

Very good, fact-based response Mr. Godfrey. Unfortunately the FNP editor missed the typo, and your question ” How did the shore acquire their firearm?” lost its meaning. Regarding the criminal element that was left out of the previous letter, a bill was introduced by Sen. Hough that greatly strengthens Maryland’s gun laws for use of a firearm in the commission of a crime. Unfortunately, there was not bipartisan support, and it died at sine die. This bill, had it been made into law, would have put violent offenders away for a long time, rather than the current revolving door of “justice” that allows felons convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter with a deadly weapon, murder with a firearm to be released to violate or kill again (e.g. Radee Prince). The vast majority of firearm-associated crimes are perpetrated by repeat offenders. The Governor, and multiple Baltimore Police Commissioners have complained about this many times. The police arrest the violent offenders, the prosecutors negotiate the charges and penalties down to keep their conviction rate record looking good, and the judges under sentence the convicted for whatever reason. The Governor even vetoed attempts to weaken the laws. Why are State officials unwilling to enforce the laws already on books to their fullest, let alone strengthening them?

Ref:

https://trackbill.com/bill/maryland-senate-bill-852-crimes-penalties-and-procedures-violent-firearms-offender-act-of-2021/2021638/

Dwasserba

“...anti-gun forces use the highest number they can get to further their agenda. In this case, merely adding the injured to the list.” “Merely” might look different if you were recovering from an injury...

PurplePickles aka L&M

Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but, that all Rick's letter is, yeah buts....lawful gun owners become criminals once they fire their guns where and when they shouldn't so...this letter makes no sense to me at all. Most (probably all) mass shooters were not criminals UNTIL they pulled the trigger so??? What is the point to this letter, to advocate for gun people? Did not do a very good job at all...makes gun owners sound as nutty as ever...

Why is next to impossible for gun people to ague honestly and truthfully about the epidemic of gun violence we are experiencing in the United States ? That love of the gun clouds the mind....I am seeing that now.

Also I wonder if Rick has had any difficulty whatsoever amassing more guns with Maryland's gun laws? Something tell me he hasn't so why the whiny letter? I know gun people live in fear, fear of what I'm not exactly sure, but to see such a fearful letter from a gun owner is telling. I guess Rick is probably going to amass even more guns now, cause he's afraid.....

PurplePickles aka L&M

Why is it the ones with the guns are always the ones most afraid ? Could be I don’t own a gun, I’m not afraid.

Greg F

Who says folks with guns are afraid? I'm not. I'm a happy hunter who owns for sport....and who would not be afraid to use in defense if it came to that. The latter would be a last resort.

threecents

PurPic[thumbup][thumbup]

threecents

Rick, Just curious as a naïve non-gun person, for your friends who have a dozen or more firearms, what do you think will eventually happen to all those firearms? Will they never pose a significant threat to safety, law, and order? Does the current registration system reasonably ensure that?

Awteam2021

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that about 60% of all adult firearm deaths are by suicide. Are they criminals?

bosco

If that is true, then 40 percent account for other firearm deaths. What percentage of those deaths were caused by a crook with an illegal firearm?

At Bosco Manor, security is provided by Smith and Wesson and we don't call 911 until after firing a warning shot. The warning shot could be the last, but you never want to be in a stand your ground situation with a dead perp and only one empty round.

Greg F

I would not want to waste a shot with warning as the next you may hear is the return fire while figuring out if you want to pop off a second one. Someone being in my home uninvited should be warning enough. A warning shot simply lets them know you are there and where you are.

bosco

Make that warning shot the last one. In all the confusion you may forget if you fired five rounds or six. Do you feel lucky?

notconcerned

Does not clearly articulate a point. Maybe the FNP should have caught this, but sure does discredit the writer: How did the shore acquire their firearm? (stolen or black market).

Awteam2021

It happens a lot. I think the FNP leaves editorial corrections up to the letter writer. I don’t think the FNP notices typographical errors or factual mistakes on the opinion page. Trying to be impartial. Leaving it up to the writer to catch their mistakes, inaccuracies, and left to explain what they meant. He could have meant guns washed up on the beaches.🤷‍♂️

fjulia

Always nice to see a letter that attempts to shift the issue to something else. Which NRA "false guideline" did you script this from.

Greg F

NRA is a gun manufacturing lobby. It is certainly not what it was intended for nor what your pappy's NRA was and even further from what the founders intended. National Shooting Sports Foundation is more akin to what NRA used to be..about safety and the promotion of sports. It's been hijacked and funds embezzled for all sorts of personal uses of the top management.

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