Readers Write: The tyranny of America's pro-gun majority; Do guns make us safer?
Letters to the Editor for the April 1, 2013 weekly print issue: Those who want more gun regulation may be in the minority, and those who are anti-regulation in majority, but each must accommodate the other. If more guns means more safety, why does America – with the highest gun ownership rate in the world – have the second highest rate of gun deaths among industrialized nations?
Beachwood, Ohio and Kirkland, Wash.
Tyranny of US pro-gun majority
The Feb. 18 cover story, "My gun," says that in 2008, America became a "majority pro-gun country" in which 44 percent of US households "stash firearms" and 8 million – many of them women – carry concealed weapons. We should step back from the gun-control debate to consider the "tyranny of the majority" from Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America." While the majority rules, there is the inescapable fact that every law is not always right and doesn't always equal morality.
Those wishing guns to be "well-regulated" as provided for in the Constitution may be in the minority, and those who are anti-regulation are the perceived majority, but each must accommodate the other and achieve a workable compromise that will prevent the tyranny or oppression of either.
Do guns make us safer?
If 53 percent of Americans feel "threatened" by the US government, they should protest the fact that, among other things, suspected terrorists can be locked up indefinitely without charge and US citizens can be killed abroad if the government deems them a terrorist.
And does owning a gun really make you safer? Studies have shown that homes with guns are more likely than others to experience homicide, attributed to people being shot by a family member. And there are both more accidental firearm deaths and criminal homicides in homes with guns than there are self-protection shootings.
If I went through an experience like the one shooting survivor Margaret Stroup went through, ("Why pack a gun for self-defense?," Feb. 18), I would probably get a gun, too. But would it really make things safer? Imagine if the gunman had tracked her down in the cafeteria instead of her office and they had exchanged gunfire across a crowded room.
If more guns means more safety, why does America – with the highest gun ownership rate in the world – have the second highest rate of gun deaths among industrialized nations? Guns don't kill people; people with guns kill people.