Editor

Alan Leavitt’s Jan. 8 letter needs scrutiny. Leavitt claims that the states of Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming have much higher gun death rates than states with stronger gun laws. Leavitt claims that average gun death rate in the mentioned states is 50% higher than California. The Gifford Law Center, whom Leavitt grabs his data from, is an anti-gun organization which uses skewed data. FBI data says California has a gun murder rate higher than Wyoming and Idaho with the exception of Nevada.

Leavitt’s claim that 36,000 people are killed by guns yearly. Gun prohibitionists lump suicides and self-defense shootings to deceptively inflate that number and therefore is not a true representative number.

Another deceptive claim is that the United States leads the world in annual gun deaths. Government sources point to other countries having much higher gun homicide rates, good example is Venezuela and Mexico which, incidentally, have much stricter gun laws.

Leavitt claims that the United States leads the world in gun-related suicides, while this is partially true, overall the U.S. clearly does not lead the world in suicide rates which tells us that gun or no gun, a person who is determined to end their own life will do it.

Leavitt also claims that gun control laws exist to reduce gun violence. We all know shootings occur despite the existence of gun control laws. It’s time to start realizing that gun-related violence is a symptom of a more complex root cause that gun control cannot fix.

Jerry Avalos,

Valley Springs

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