Sunday, May 19, 2013
Letter to the Editor
The shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was a terrible tragedy. But the National Rifle Association's proposal of having armed guards in every school in the country makes such horrible events even more likely, not less.
The U.S. already has by far the most guns per capita of any country in the world, and one of the highest murder rates, higher than any other comparable Western country. Many European countries have fewer than half as many guns per capita, and rates of homicides with firearms that are much lower.
In 2009, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, for each 100,000 people, Switzerland had 46 guns and 0.7 homicides with firearms; France, 31 guns and 1.1 homicides with firearms, Norway, 31 guns and 0.6 homicides with firearms. The United States has 89 guns per 100,000 people and 5.0 homicides with firearms. We have a gun culture that promotes using them against other humans.
While security guards might prevent a mass shooting, they are more likely to be shot or killed by an armed intruder.
The additional guns also are likely to cause more accidental deaths and suicides.
The best way to stop the mass killings is to get the guns out of the schools, out of workplaces and out of the hands of everyone who can use them to go on a rampage. That includes people with mental illness, gang members, members of hate groups, people considered "normal," the police and those in the military.
Whether you believe our Constitution should allow all guns, some guns, or none at all, it should be clear that, in our shoot-to-kill culture, more guns equals more shootings and deaths.