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Letter: Different from drunk driving laws

Re “Hoell is wrong; we need sensible gun laws” (Sunday Monitor letter, March 24):

Gary A. Evans says that people got fed up with drunks killing people and that now we have “sensible laws that have saved countless lives.” The laws that we have only punish the drunks who drive while intoxicated. The laws don’t take away a person’s right to drink, they don’t limit the amount of alcohol a bottle can hold, they don’t allow confiscation and elimination of alcohol, there are no full background checks, and anybody can drink to excess if he chooses. I am not aware of a law that requires a “permit to carry” a loaded bottle of alcohol in public. Our laws prohibit driving while intoxicated. Many people out there abuse this law by accumulating numerous violations. Licenses are revoked, the right to drive taken away, but some people continue to drink and drive anyway.

If Evans wants to pass gun laws similar to our drunk driving laws, I’m all for it. Let’s not restrict anything to do with the guns themselves but instead punish the ones who abuse them. Let’s pass laws (or enforce the ones we have) to punish the criminal, not the gun.

The vast majority of people drink responsibly and are not a hazard to the public. Also the vast majority of gun owners use their firearms responsibly and are not a hazard to the public.

GARY A. BEATON

Loudon

Legacy Comments2

The number of false arguments that gun advocates employ is quite amazing. On a superficial reading, this one seems logical, but like most of these arguments, it breaks down if you think a little deeper. The number of traffic deaths and the number of firearms-related deaths in 2012 were roughly equal, both a little over 30,000. According to the CDC, only about a third of traffic deaths were alcohol-related. So about 20,000 people were killed by cars driven by non-impaired drivers. To suggest an equivalence between a "permit to carry" a "loaded bottle of alcohol" and one to carry a gun is just silly. Alcohol use is a factor in both traffic deaths and gun deaths no question - but it is not in itself the instrument of death. Killing is not the inherent purpose of alcohol - nor, in fact, of the automobile. It is the inherent purpose of the gun. Granted, the majority of gun owners will never wind up killing themselves or another human being; but their chances of doing so are vastly increased by the gun's greater lethality, and easy access to it in a moment of rage or despair. It is not only laws against drunk driving that help increase traffic safety. We also have laws and regulations that make the car itself safer for its passengers and others on the road. We have to register and license our cars, and get them inspected regularly. We have speed limits, and rules of the road. What I'd like to know is, if gun owners are such law-abiding citizens, as they frequently and self-righteously claim, what is their problem with abiding by gun control laws? Their argument seems to boil down to, "Trust me." Right. That's why there have been in excess of 2000 gun deaths just since Newtown. Remember Newtown? Oh, yeah - we were supposed to "trust" Adam Lanza and his mother, right?

There are about 55 million households in the United States with at least one gun. Gun deaths were 30,088. Of those gun deaths, just taking shootings in Detroit (388), Chicago (439) and Los Angeles (319) that equals 1146 deaths in inner city gang crimes who would have found a way to get a gun and shoot someone anyway. Add to that all other US cities and you have another innercity statistic of 1533 gun deaths, also people who would probably not register a gun but would find one. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and the highest crime rate. Accidental shootings? Well, that is 188 in 2012. Now, lets look at what the total of the population is killed by guns. That would be........ .0001%? How many fetuses lives are ended through abortion? That would be........ 1% of the total population. What about deaths per gun owner.......... .0055%

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