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Letter: Gun, crime correlation often misconstrued

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Paul D. Alexander

North Vernon

To the editor:

I am replying to the letter from William Scarbrough on Feb. 7 titled “Action needed to stop guns, tragedies.”

Crimes drop as gun sales climb. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) acquired a list of facts comparing guns and crime Americans, both firearm owners and non-owners, may be interested to know. What the facts reveal varies from common misconceptions prolonged by the media. The NSSF report mentioned that since the 1990s, homicide rates and other crimes involving firearms have decreased dramatically. Key statistics include:

  • Homicide with firearms dropped 39 percent between 1993 and 2011.
  • Other crimes with firearms have dropped 69 percent within the same time frame.
  • Between 1993 and 2011, the snowballing number of firearms bought by private citizens has grown by 120 million.
  • 56 percent of Americans believe gun crime is up even though numbers show otherwise.

One reason for that perception is that stories about crimes trail only traffic and weather on local television broadcasts.

To offer a broader perspective beyond crime where guns are concerned, unintentional firearm fatalities are down 58 percent since 1991. Thanks to improved training and safety programs, they have decreased 80 percent since 1930. Forty-three percent of Americans claim to have a gun in their homes.

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