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.
Not really comparable
James Thielman's letter on May 6, "Arlene's Hermaphrodites," brought up some interesting points. He quoted from a New York Times article written by biologist David George Haskell regarding various sexual diversities we see in nature.
He mentioned cherry blossoms that contain both male and female sexes, snails and fungi. There are a variety of species that are asexual, change sexes during their life span, or rely on other methods of sexuality. For example, Greenflies clone themselves once every 20 minutes. Whiptail lizards, aphids, some bees, wasps and hornets, some fish and water fleas, reproduce by parthenogenesis (no fertilization). So do Komodo Dragons, some sharks, and some snails. The list is long.
However, all of these wonderful creations of God (my personal choice), natural selection or whatever method you happen to believe in have one little thing they can do that two gay men or two lesbian women cannot. Well it's really not a little thing; in fact, it is extremely huge. All those other nontraditional parings reproduce. They propagate their individual species. They do not engage in their respective acts simply out of desire, so you cannot compare the two concepts.
LOUIE D. SMITH
Food stamps a win-win
As I leafed through the Herald's excellent supplement, "State of Ag," in the May 3 edition, I found an interesting item titled, "Fiscal Year 2013 Farm Bill spending." It showed an $82 billion federal expenditure for food stamps, which to my mind was great because it demonstrated a classic win-win situation in which we not only feed America's poor but concurrently support a vital sector of our economy by creating a huge market for America's farm products.
Then I noticed that this was not a news item; it was a paid advertisement by a group called the "SBC Republican Staff." The ad was not boasting; it was complaining. "Why are we spending all this money to indulge a bunch of slackers feeding at the public trough?" was the essential message. I was, to say the least, disappointed but not surprised by this example of Republican cold-heartedness.
Our region's farmers have been the beneficiaries of a federal bet -- construction of Grand Coulee Dam -- that has paid off the equivalent of thousands of Solyndras. Spare me your self-righteous rebuttals with anecdotal tales of food stamp abuse; I might match you with tales of abuse in every corner of every public, private and religious organization.
U.S. culture change
Which of the following is the non sequitur?
1. Plan B pills available over the counter to "women" 15 years and older.
2. HHS contraception mandate.
3. Washington required abortion insurance.
4. Roe v. Wade legislation.
5. Justice Department challenge of Defense of Marriage Act.
6. U.S. president blesses Planned Parenthood.
7. American Civil Liberties Union and state attorney general sue Arlene's Flowers.
8. U.S. president salutes gay NBA player.
9. Government limit on caffeine consumption for those under 18.
10. Pornography on TV, movies and internet.
No. 9 is the non sequitur because all of the other items are related through promiscuous sexual behavior, illicit sex, sexual orientation and recreational sexual behavior.
Considering the list carefully, we have to be pleased that our federal government is focusing on trying to protect our children from caffeine.
As a curious observation to President Obama's blessing Planned Parenthood, it must be noted that in 1967, the Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP accused Planned Parenthood of promoting birth control in minority neighborhoods in order to drastically reduce the black birth rate. The term "black genocide" thus came into use. One must now wonder what the NAACP thinks of the high abortion rate among blacks.
Heal by unplugging
I am thankful that I found a successful program for those who are addicted to drugs. Search the internet for Cenacola Community to learn more about how it helps drug addicts overcome their problem with work and prayer.
The youth who join this program go of their own free will. When they go there, they are unplugged from computers, phones, etc. They start their day with prayer, breakfast and then do manual labor such as building houses, baking bread and more.
This program founded by Sister Elvira Petrozzi is 99 percent successful. So give it a look if you or a loved one is dealing with drugs or drug-like preoccupations such as computer games.
It is better than having one's nose eaten off with meth and one's teeth destroyed. Or burning up a building by free basing cocaine. Or getting a dread disease because one is too busy with war games on the computer to eat properly.