The Norman Transcript

Letters

January 26, 2013

Fallible argument of ‘more guns, less crime’

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

In her Transcript letter on Jan. 21, Allison Lee Palmer argued that the “benefits of gun laws outweigh the gun hazards.” This is the same tired argument that people have made for decades.

Palmer’s conclusion is not supported by any objective statistics or facts. On the contrary, the evidence suggests that more guns in the right hands results in less crime (www.gunfacts.info).

Palmer compared guns to cigarettes. Yes, both cigarettes and firearms can be hazardous. The difference is that cigarettes offer no benefit to society. In contrast, guns have a variety of useful purposes. If there were no benefit to be derived from firearms, we would not equip our police and military with them.

The Founders of our country considered civilian gun possession to be so important that they guaranteed our right to keep arms as “necessary to the security of a free state.” Guns in the hands of civilians are also commonly used to prevent crime, and firearms are widely employed for recreational and sporting purposes. So much for the comparison with cigarettes.

According to the FBI, over the last 20 years, the violent crime rate in the U.S. declined by 49 percent, even as gun ownership soared. Do you remember the dire predictions that were made in Oklahoma and other states of what would happen if people were allowed to carry concealed weapons? We were warned of Wild West scenarios with gunfights on every street corner. That didn’t happen. We now have millions of people carrying weapons in nearly every state in the Union, and crime rates have dropped precipitously.

Palmer argued that gun rights should be restricted because the number of people killed by guns “far outweighs the number of lives saved by guns.” There are a number of flaws in this reasoning. First of all, Palmer lumped normal people together with criminals and the mentally ill. More than 60 percent of gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides. Of the remaining 40 percent, many gunshot victims are criminals in gangs shot by other criminals.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Necessary services may be reduced

    Editor, The Transcript: There were criticisms of the Oklahoma Senate bill for a test project to privatize management of Medicaid; however, no one mentioned a critical issue of reduced services for the more needy of our society....

    April 20, 2014

  • Enforcement not the issue

    Editor, The Transcript: The government is legally right in the U.S. Government vs. Bundy Ranch matter....

    April 20, 2014

  • Family thanks community, takes issue with photo

    Editor, The Transcript: As I write this, it’s been almost eight weeks since Feb. 17, the day my family’s home burned in a fire. We lost our 15-year-old cat, Misti; 7-year-old dog, Sully; 3-year-old rescue squirrel, Rocky; almost 2-year-old ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Frackers should use gray water

    Editor, The Transcript: As reported by Joe Wertz in the March 31 issue of StateImpact Oklahoma, Finley Resources, a Texas-based oil drilling company, has arranged with the city of Norman to buy Norman’s drinking water from hydrants to use ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Columnists have it wrong

    Editor, The Transcript: I typically enjoy Class Act (the Q&A with school counselors published on Fridays) very much. I think they bring a rational and empathetic response to parents’ concerns when it comes to the challenges students and ...

    April 8, 2014