NY SAFE Act is a good first step

Nearly every day, there seems to be a letter in this space from a self-described gun supporter calling for the repeal of New York’s SAFE Act. To support this position, the writers consistently cite statistics on murder rates in various cities, claiming that these numbers prove that more guns create increased safety. Piquing my curiosity, I have searched the Internet and found reports that indicate the exact opposite.

If you search such topics as “gun deaths by state” or “gun deaths by country,” a far different story emerges. States with lax gun control laws and higher average gun ownership have significantly higher rates of gun deaths than those states with stricter gun control laws and lower gun ownership rates. The key difference is gun supporters speak of gun murders, while the more significant statistic is total gun deaths, which include suicides and accidental deaths. A life saved is a life saved.

I urge readers to do their own research. There is a well-financed, well-orchestrated campaign under way to change public opinion. Ask yourself if a gun in your home would make you feel safer or more nervous? Ask yourself who has profited from the pro-gun campaign? Look at the recent profits racked up by gun and ammunition manufacturers that bankroll the National Rifle Association. Do you think they are more concerned with your safety or with the profits generated by assault weapon sales? The SAFE Act is not the total answer, but it is a step in the right direction.

Robert McGowan