Letter: Read 'More Guns, Less Crime' to be informed

May 22, 2013 

Most Americans believes gun crime is increasing, probably because media coverage of the subject misleads them. The historical record shows the opposite is true.

A recent Pew Research Center report informs us that the firearm homicide rate was 49 percent lower in 2010 than in 1993. Other violent crimes involving firearms (robbery, assault, rape) were 75 percent lower in 2011 than in 1993.

During this same period, many states liberalized their laws to conform with the Second Amendment. Right-to-carry laws are now the standard in all but a few states and localities. Gun ownership has increased dramatically and continues to do so. Gun crime is down.

Interestingly, cities with the strictest gun control (Chicago and Washington, D.C.) have the highest gun crime rates. No surprise. When the law makes a city into a "gun free zone," criminals arm themselves and feel safe. Disarmed law-abiding victims don't.

Correlation is not causation. But, it is certainly more probable that widespread gun ownership makes a positive contribution to crime reduction than the opposite. This subject is examined thoroughly in economist John Lott's book, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. Read it and be informed.

DAVE BERGLAND, Kennewick

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