Letter: Guns and numbers

Sunday, August 13, 2017
Guns and numbers

In his letter criticizing Debra Marshall’s powerful column (Monitor Forum, Aug. 6) on gun ownership – thank you, Debra! – Walt Carlson asserts a “significant reduction in rape and armed robbery” in Florida in the year after that state passed a concealed carry law in 1987 (Monitor Letters, Aug. 9). He says, “You can check that on the FBI’s annual crime report.” I did just that, and found that for the years before, of, and following that legislation, the statistics reported by the FBI were as follows (I also include murder stats):

1986: Rapes, 6,152; robberies, 42,822; murders, 1,371

1987: Rapes, 6,032; robberies, 42,869; murders, 1,371

1988: Rapes, 6,154; robberies, 49,916; murders, 1,416

My math suggests that the numbers in all three categories increased: rapes by 122, robberies by 7,047, and murders by 45.

Carlson also asks, “How often does the news report someone . . . shot in New Hampshire? I can’t remember any this year.” He might want to look at the July 29 Monitor: “An adult male was transported to a local hospital Saturday afternoon after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.” Or Oct. 18, 2016: “A man . . . told police he shot a 33-year-old Laconia woman, but it was an accident.” He might also read the PolitiFact article (Monitor, June 17): “A study in the American Journal of Medicine . . . found the gun homicide rate in the United States is about 25 times greater than in other high-income, industrialized countries such as Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada.”

You made your case, Mr. Carlson, and it pales in comparison to Ms. Marshall’s.