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Letter: Letter writer’s gun stats purposefully inflated

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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: Gregg Macklin


As is his habit, William Scarbrough is fast and loose with the numbers he is using in his June 27 letter, hoping no one would check. Well, sorry, but I checked, and they are not what he claims them to be.

First number of note: Scarbrough makes the claim that there have been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. CNN, not exactly carrying a pro-gun banner, drilled down in that report and thoroughly debunked the number. The actual number of school shootings post-Sandy Hook, up to the date of the report Scarbrough quotes, is 15, not the 493-percent inflated number of 74.

The fact that he used inflated numbers is a red flag to people looking for an honest discussion.

The next number used comes from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. I Binged the name and was taken to the home page for YRBSS, and no such numbers are reported. The charts are percentages, not numbers. Interestingly, the percentage decreases each year from 1993 to 2013, the last year listed, 7.9 percent in 1993 to 5.5 percent in 2013.

Note that the FBI’s National Insurance Crime Bureau site says that in the past decade the numbers of background checks has increased, putting more guns in private hands. If his numbers had any validity, the percentage would necessarily have to increase.

One last fact on his YRBSS numbers: No ages are listed on the percentages listed.

Yes, we had an accident at our local Walmart, and I will assume Scarbrough is truthful about the incident in Phoenix. That means that with 510 operational U.S. stores as Googled on June 26, there has been one accident per 255 stores.

It serves 200 million customers. One accident per 100 million customers. Seriously, how can anyone be afraid of those odds?

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are a package deal, and I support those who support it. The writings, speeches and recorded debates on the Second Amendment are clear: “That every man be armed.” Scarbrough has written that he supports the Second Amendment. Then he finishes his latest letter saying those 27 words and two commas are madness.

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