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This is in response to Mr Riecks’ letter in the 1/3/2013 issue decrying our calls for long overdue regulation of the massive amounts of unregulated guns and bullets in this country, holding the NRA blameless.

Scientific studies have consistently found that places with more guns have more violent deaths, both homicides and suicides. Women and children are more likely to die if there’s a gun in the house. The more guns in an area, the higher the local suicide rates.

“Generally, if you live in a civilized society, more guns mean more death,” said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. “There is no evidence that having more guns reduces crime. None at all.”

After a gruesome mass murder in 1996 provoked public outrage, Australia enacted stricter gun laws, including a 28-day waiting period before purchase and a ban on semiautomatic weapons. Before then, Australia had averaged one mass shooting a year. Since enactment of the new law, rates of both homicide and suicide have dropped 50 percent, and there have been no mass killings.

 

Robert Keilbach

Flushing

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