Gun violence

Our country has nearly one privately owned gun per citizen and just more than 10 gun-related deaths (murders, suicides and accidents) per 100,000 people annually. France and the UK have much, much lower rates of gun ownership and gun violence. Japan cannot even usefully be added to this graph because all the numbers are essentially zero.

I would like to comment on the Aug. 2 guest commentary, “What happened in U.S. while we were away?” by Bryan L. Brinkley.

Apparently, Mr. Brinkley, “What happened while you were away” was you forgot that facts are important to overcome hyperbole and overreaction.

According to the National Institute of Justice ( and the Justice Department (, gun violence in America has DECLINED over the last 20 years. (There’s a pretty chart here:

In the words of John Adams, “Facts are stubborn things.”

Perhaps in Europe, where you say you and your wife spent the past 20 years, folks invent any reality they wish in order to push a particular agenda.

But here in the U.S., we grew wiser, while you were away.

Rick Burress

(3) comments


Hey Rick,

Bryan's claim is that the US has more gun related deaths than other countries.

I applaud your attempt at "fact checking", but have a link to a site that shows information about the US only.

You have not provided any "facts" to dispute his claim at all.

And that, sir, is a fact.


Chet, I was disappointed too that a letter was published which rebutted a point I had not made. I find it often the case that gun rights advocates do not address the points raised. In this case, there are two: 1) the US has gun violence rates more akin to third world countries than developed democracies and 2) heavily armed populaces are not necessary to enjoy freedom and democracy as the British, French and Japanese prove. As Japan is in Asia, and enjoys a constitution very similar to ours based on the form of government adopted during the US's post-WWII occupation, it is not just a European comparison as the letter writer misunderstood.


"It's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have one".

You could say the same thing about a sandwich.

The gun-fetish crowd loves to change the subject whenever facts are presented.

A few months ago I watched a nice lady who owned a gun shop explain to a local TV reporter that the two rifles on her counter both used the same rounds, and that there was no difference between them other than their looks.

I got my safe hunter badge over 40 years ago, so please... one of the rifles was a military style semi-automatic assault rifle and one was a bolt action hunting rifle. Slight difference.

I'm sure she had a good laugh afterwards about how she fooled that college boy with the TV camera, because sadly she did fool him, he never followed up with the obvious. But what an honest woman, huh? She's a Patriot, not a liar, right?

I support everyone's right to own an appropriate gun for home defense or hunting, but if you need a 30 round clip to defend your home, just try not ticking off so many people. It's cheaper.

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