Another view: Gun-control advocates don't have their facts straight


In a recent letter to the Caledonian Record, an anti-gun activist made some very bold statements about the facts and figures of violence in America, which are straight out of the Bloomberg playbook.

The letter writer stated that 297 Americans are shot every day; that means she thinks 108,405 Americans are killed or wounded by bullets each year. The latest CDC data on WICARS is from 2013; it shows a total number of 67,394. Her claim is 1.6 times higher.

The total number of accidental deaths by firearm according to CDC data was 548, a value of 1.5 per day, not the 46 per day as the letter writer claims (16,790 per year). A striking 3,000-percent exaggeration; you just can't make this stuff up. Oh, wait, yes, you can. The US Bureau of Justice reports that non-fatal firearm crime has decreased 70 percent since 1993, but that isn't good for the anti-gunners either.

The letter writer claimed that seven firearms deaths per day for "children and teens" under 20. This claim is a rehash of a 2014 Brady Campaign slogan, which was debunked in June 2014. However, the CDC shows that the reality is all assaults, not just deaths, by all causes, not just firearms. Misrepresentation again.

Why is the anti-gun crowd including 18 and 19 year olds in their statistics. Because they constitute 50 percent of the total numbers of deaths and injuries. An 18 or 19 year old is not a child; they are legally adults. But without their inclusion in the data, gun control advocates have to work with a 50 percent lower death number, which does not adequately promote their gun control agenda. And you know all those "youth" murders? Most are gang violence related. As a matter of fact, gang crime is the leading cause of all violent crime in the USA.

Remove those big cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, etc., and America is one of the safest places on the planet, but that isn't good for an anti-gun billionaire and his minions to tout. fear and money are the anti-gunner's only weapon, and they wield it well.

I am a citizen who defends the rights of fellow citizens from those who do their damnedest to violate that right. There is no Constitutional right to feel safe, but there is a Constitutional right to bear arms. In Vermont, Article 16 protects everyone's right to self-defense. It doesn't have the "militia" clause. If you don't want to defend your family from criminals or wild animals, that is your business. I know that I will. The only laws proposed in Montpelier and in Washington only affect the law-abiding citizens of our state and nation. Criminals don't obey laws. We already have laws against murder, drug use, driving drunk, child abuse, and on and on, yet these things still happen. Stop the "If we only had one more (common sense) law rhetoric ..." It is disingenuous.

Over 222 million firearms have been lawfully purchased since 1998 (over 400,000 in Vermont alone), yet murder and other crimes by firearm is at an all-time low. Yet, the cry heard from the anti-gunners is "As a nation we can do better ..." Could it be that criminals commit crimes with illegally possessed firearms? In fact, most crimes are committed by repeat offenders, not law-abiding citizens. The Vermont recidivism rate is 50 percent. Maybe keeping criminals off the street is a better idea than gun control, but that doesn't fit the agenda.

I will refute every claim of the anti-gun element. The general public should be told the truth, not these bogus numbers from the Bloomberg Anti-Gun Playbook. I have spent the last three years dealing daily with the anti-gun forces in Vermont. The only consistent thing I have encountered is that the anti-gun forces twist the truth, misrepresent the numbers, cherry-pick their data, and outright lie to suit their needs. That is a fact.

Vermont has a very high gun ownership rate, yet, Vermont is the safest state in the nation according to FBI data. I'm sorry you don't like the fact that our gun laws work, but, there are 49 other states to choose from.

Bob DelPino is the Vice President of Gun Owners of Vermont. He lives in Westminster West.


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