Editor's note: The following letter responds to the letter "Those pushing red flag laws show no concern for the real causes of gun violence" by Pierre Tardy, published in the Feb. 14 edition of The Courier.
To the Editor:
Americans are 25 times more likely to die from guns than people in other wealthy countries. We are the only country in the world that has more guns than people. We have twice as many guns per person as the next leading country, Syria.
In 2017 nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. died from firearm injuries, more than eight times the number of the U.S. military who died during Operation Iraqi Freedom between 2003 and 2010. More people kill themselves with their guns than are murdered by someone else's.
Bringing up the Parkland shooting, Mr. Tardy conveniently glosses over the presence of an armed security guard (so much for the claim of a "gun-free zone") by second-guessing his actions and ignoring the four deputies that arrived at the scene moments later that did not engage the gunman. This entire episode was about 5 minutes of chaos. Teenagers, any one of whom could have been mistaken for the gunman, running everywhere.
The possibility of mistaking an innocent teenager born out by how easily the assailant escaped by walking out with his classmates. Mr. Tardy also assumes that good guy bullets are somehow magically more accurate than bad guy bullets. The gun laws in Florida are among the most gun-friendly in the nation which can easily be argued as the cause of the tragedy.
Mr. Tardy's claim that Democratic mayors run cities overrun with single mothers and drug addicts spawning all the gun violence ignores the facts that gun violence is correlated to population density, not political affiliation. Even if his arguments were true, the answer would be providing mental heath and drug rehabilitation services as well as help for unwed mothers, all Democratic causes.
Space and commonsense preclude addressing the claims that defunding public schools is a good idea or giving women a choice when faced with an unwanted pregnancy is infanticide. The former being bad public policy and the latter being a matter of personal beliefs protected under the Constitution.
To evoke history against supporting commonsense regulation of guns is ironic. Historically the right of the government to regulate firearms has only recently been challenged. Lest we forget, it was a bunch of liberal extremists that fought and died for the second amendment, not the conservatives who steadfastly defended the status quo.