This is a link to a recent letter to the editor in the Finger Lakes Times: https://www.fltimes.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/letter-everyone-must-be-accountable-for-how-we-use-guns/article_0cfbc9ff-9ff5-5e0d-aa97-4e224cdd150d.html
My response to the editor was as follows:
Finger Lakes Times
218 Genesee St.
Geneva, NY 14456
To the Editor:
A recent letter to the editor stated that “Everyone must be accountable for how we use guns”. I agree with that statement but caution against a focus exclusively on deaths from gun violence. It is not the “public health crisis” some would have us believe.
Obviously, any unexpected death is a tragedy, but by comparison consider these major causes of deaths and their percent of total deaths in 2019: 1) Heart Disease: 635,260; 23.1%; 2) Cancer: 598,038; 21.7%; 3) Accidents (unintentional): 161,374; 5.9%; ..... 12) Gun Violence: 38,730; 1.4%
Please keep in mind that the commonly used modern sporting rifle or AR-15 is cosmetically similar to a military rifle but is a semi-automatic rifle. The military rifle is fully automatic and prohibited from citizen ownership by the Firearms Act of 1968 since it fires more than one round of ammunition when the trigger is pressed. Statistics provided by states to the FBI show AR-15s to be used in 1.4% of crimes involving firearms and 0.25% of all crimes.
I disagree that politicians do not care about gun laws but rather that it’s the criminals who do not care. Consider this statement by State Senator Pam Helming: “It is time to stop playing politics and pass legislation that is clearly written, has been vetted by the public, and will truly protect our citizens without stripping the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Finally, though well intentioned, proposals for gun liability insurance misunderstand a fundamental principle of insurance. It is designed to cover fortuitous, or accidental events, “...not intentional behavior such as criminal acts...”, said Willem O. Rijksen, vice president of public affairs for the American Insurance Association. This applies to guns, cars or any instrument that is used to deliberately harm a person.
NRA spokeswoman Stephanie Samford reminds us: “Insurance is not needed to exercise any other Constitutional right”.
Wayne County S.C.O.P.E.
PO Box 454
Ontario, NY 14519