To the editor:
I just finished reading a letter in which, once again, the National Rifle Association is to blame for thousands of youthful deaths, children and teenagers. I admit the death of a child is a terrible waste. However, the author does not share with us the source of her statistics, nor is a breakdown included.
My brief foray into the wonderful world of statistics shows that contrary to the author’s statement, “we are in the midst of an epidemic of violence fueled by the gun industry,” the opposite is close to the truth. From the website abcNEWS (no friend of the Second Amendment) I read, “the latest report (July 24) on deaths in the United States shows the number of firearm deaths for youths under the age of 20 fell by 10 percent in 1998 and 35 percent since 1994.” I would also note that violent crime has been on a downward trend in the past 20 years, and that includes especially gun violence.
I also learned that many of the gun deaths reported by an author were gang-related by a large percent. Many deaths were the result of suicides, more than I expected, actually.
But the important issue here is the author’s statement: “they (gun deaths) are the direct result of the NRA’s perpetration to sell more guns, to make guns more accessible, to reduce the restrictions on gun purchasing. It is all about selling of guns and creating new markets for guns.” I take strong issue with that erroneous statement. Have you ever anywhere seen and advertisement sponsored by the NRA trying to sell guns? I haven’t. Have you ever seen an advertisement by the NRA prompting one to go out and buy a firearm? I haven’t. Indeed the NRA really doesn’t care if you want to own a firearm or not. What that organization does care about is preserving the right of the American citizen to enjoy the constitutional guarantees afforded to all citizens. If their website is accurate, they were founded in 1871, with preserving the Second Amendment of the Constitution as their aim.