I’m writing regarding the June 15 commentary, “Learning to live with assault weapons.” I’m once again disappointed, but not surprised, that the News-Post has chosen to print an obvious anti-gun hit piece only weeks after a very similar article was printed doing the same thing. The targets of the articles in both cases is the AR-15 and a specific federal judge.

Judge Roger Benitez of California has ruled that California’s ban on AR-15s is unconstitutional. He has in the past also made favorable firearm rulings which are all being appealed by California. No surprise there.

The thing about most anti-gun pieces is that the vast majority are long on half-truths, falsehoods, and/or complete omissions of facts so as to bolster their anti-gun position, and short on facts. The writer says Benitez’s decision, which indicates that laws of this type would be no different than the government entering your house to seize you or your guns – as if this doesn’t happen now. Red Flag laws are already a perfect example. Nowhere in any of them is the Fourth Amendment considered. So, the judge is right to be concerned.

There were many confusing or misleading numbers in the commentary, so to set the record straight, I offer the following: According to the FBI, in 2019, there were a total of 13,927 homicides in the U.S. — 10,258 of them were via firearm. Of these homicides, rifles of all types (not just ARs) were used in 364 of them. Further, 600 were via personal weapons (hands, feet and fists), 1,476 were knives or sharp instruments, and 397 were blunt objects. I hope this helps to clarify exactly where this “weapon of war” fits into the firearm homicide statistics.

One other important clarification I’d like to make regarding firearm related “deaths” as opposed to firearm related “homicides.” The anti-gun community often, if not always, includes firearm related suicides in the same conversation with firearm related “deaths,” and they don’t bother to separate them from homicides. The very simple reason for this is that of all firearm related deaths each year, approximately 66 percent are consistently suicides. When included, this presents a much larger, and more dramatic, number of deaths. For example, an accepted number of “deaths” each year is 35,000 and to drop 66 percent of that number, leaves a much smaller (still unacceptable) number of firearm-related homicides. Let’s just talk facts.

Rick Godfrey

New Market

Former Mount St. Mary’s basketball coach Jim Phelan, who died on June 15, was a great basketball coach who never got all the recognition that he deserved. Years ago Phelan should have been selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the ultimate honor for a basketball coach.

He won 830 games, more than many members in the Hall and still has the ninth most wins by a college coach. He won the NCAA College Division championship in 1962 and was named National College Division Coach of the Year. His teams made 14 NCAA Division II Tournaments and two Division I Tournaments. I don’t know why he isn’t in the Hall. It’s probably because he coached at a small, rural school that didn’t receive a lot of publicity. He apparently didn’t have the high profile contacts to help get him in the Hall.

People don’t realize just how much this man accomplished by himself. During the early portion of his career, he continually won in basketball despite also coaching baseball, teaching classes and being the school’s athletic director. Unlike today’s coaches, he did not have a number of assistant coaches to help him out. For years, he was a one-man show. For many years, the team played in antiquated Memorial Gymnasium, a facility that would hardly impress recruits. But he managed to recruit good players and he won with them.

As a former sports editor of the News-Post, I got to know Jim and his family well and always enjoyed my time with them. Jim was a good and humble man. He loved his family and Mount basketball. He never sought the limelight in his 49 years at the Mount. He deserves to be in the Naismith Hall of Fame. He deserves to be recognized for all he did.

Stan Goldberg


(9) comments

Another whiny letter from Rick about his fears…..and insecurities. Me I couldn’t be this vulnerable but that’s me.,,,,

Just because we check the guns at the door

Doesn't mean our brains will change from hand grenades…..this is me being vulnerable…. We start changing our brains from hand grenades when we stop listening to letters like this!


Here is a simple question: of all the weapons on the market now that you can buy legally (knives, baseball bats, hands and feet, screwdrivers, etc.), which one would you want if you wanted to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible? An AR-15? A knife? What?? Thank you.




“The very simple reason for this is that of all firearm related deaths each year, approximately 66 percent are consistently suicides.” Harder to have those if they’d had no gun. We practice with rented guns but don’t own because we have bad days.




FNP: Please make sure my previous post is formatted so that it is readable.


Oh well.


US 2020 statistics, according to Readers Digest. Sources provided in link below.

Gun deaths: 43,551

Gun Homicide: 19,395

Gun Suicide: 24,156

Gun Mass murder (four or more killed or injured): 21 (Note that mass murders were way down in 2020, probably due to Covid, as there were not many large gatherings. 2019 included 58 people killed in Las Vegas, 49 in Orlando, and 27 in Newtown.)

Mass shootings: 611

People shot: ~ 115,000

Car deaths: ~39,000

Breast cancer deaths: ~43,000

Guns per person in American homes: 1.2 (Second in the world is Yemen with 0.5.)

Homes that have at least one gun: 44%

Average number of guns per gun owner: 8

Gun owners that have at least one gun that is never locked up: 63%

Of the top ten states in gun ownership, five are in the top ten for gun deaths per capita. Most states in either category are majority Republican.

Costs of gun violence: ~229 billion

Legally purchased guns without background checks: 22%


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