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Your Views: Data on crime by gun owners is manipulated to fit an agenda

POSTED: May 2, 2014 1:00 a.m.

In his April 3 letter, Michael W. Parker used some questionable data to try to prove his point. He would do well to read John Lott’s third edition of “More Guns, Less Crime,” especially chapter 10.

As I recall, Lott originally began researching crime data with the assumption that more guns would equal more crime. The data, however, proved just the opposite and he was more interested in the truth than his original agenda. Some “researchers,” however, have an agenda and are willing to manipulate the data to fit their agenda.

The Violence Policy Center, for example, is more or less a mouthpiece for the Joyce Foundation, its largest financial contributor. He stated that a 2002 study by the Violence Policy Center discovered that 41 concealed carry permit holders over a five-year period were “arrested” for murder; not convicted or even officially charged, but “arrested.” It is likely standard procedure for the police to arrest anyone who is involved in a shooting until they can sort things out. This is about as good a demonstration of massaging the data as it gets.

In actuality, from 2002 to 2006, the number of Texas permit holders who were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony was 0.04 percent. This is about one-eighth the conviction rate of the general adult population.

He chose to compare Chicago with Atlanta on homicide rates. For 2012, Chicago had a rate of 18.5 and Atlanta 19. If the number of guns were the problem, why are they virtually equal? Since 2000, Chicago’s homicide rate is down by 15 percent and Atlanta’s by 40 percent. It would appear that Atlanta is doing something right.

How about Detroit with a homicide rate of 53 in 2012, or New Orleans with a rate of 54? Neither is exactly gun friendly. Why is it that large cities have such high crime rates? What is the common denominator? It is not guns. The common denominator is gangs and drugs. Factor out the gang- and drug-related crime and the rates drop dramatically.

He made the assertion that “permit holders, as a group, commit murder more often than any similar group selected at random.” Get real. We could make another, better founded, assertion that people who go to hospitals die more often than people who do not go to hospitals and assume, therefore, that hospitals kill people.

I would challenge Mr. Parker to go to the nearest prison and interview convicted felons asking what they think of gun control and concealed carry. This has been done before and the answers were unanimous. Gun control is highly favored among criminals as it is like health insurance for them. They have the guns and their victims do not.

Concealed carry, on the other hand, is the one thing that they fear most. Even the dumbest of criminals can figure out that attacking someone who is carrying a gun can be hazardous to their health. And since the weapons are concealed, they can’t tell who might be carrying one.

Jerry Callahan


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