The Norman Transcript

Opinion

January 31, 2013

Firearms can be safe if handled as such

NORMAN — To Julie Pace:

I am in support of anti-gun control but with President Obama issuing 23 executive orders on Wednesday, Jan. 16, this country is about to fall apart. All we hear about in the media is all the bad that firearms have done in this world.

What about the good that firearms do for our citizens? They protect our homes, property and family.

Let us take Switzerland, for example. Switzerland trails behind only the U.S., Yemen and Serbia in the number of guns per capita.

Between 2.3 million and 4.5 million military and private firearms are estimated to be in circulation in a country of only eight million people. Yet, despite the prevalence of guns, the violent crime rate is low. Government figures show about 0.5 guns homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010.

By comparison, the U.S. rate in the same year was about five firearm killings per 100,000 people, according to a 2011 U.N. report.

Yet as a nation, we want to ban firearms? Should we ban semi trucks instead? On average, semi trucks cause more than 50,000 accidents each and every year.

Of those 50,000 accidents, there are an average of 5,000 deaths from these accidents. Semi truck accidents cost more money and create more emotional distress than firearms.

In 2011, there were an astounding number of deaths caused by firearms. In fact there were 32,163 deaths by firearms.

Now that sounds like a lot, but let me break it down. The number 32,163 includes accidents, police, murders, etc. Yes, there are accidents by guns, but only when the handler of the firearm is improperly trained. When properly trained these accidental shootings and discharges are 100 percent avoidable.

Handling a firearm is just like handling anything else in life: With the proper care and amount of attention that is paid, it is completely safe to handle, carry (open or concealed) and discharge a firearm.

Steven Freeman

11th grade

Little Axe High School

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