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Letter: Laws that help save lives can’t be considered ‘dumb’

Laws that help save lives can’t be considered ‘dumb’

In a recent letter to Everybody’s Column, a past officer of a gun rights group applauded a column by Rod Watson where Watson apparently referred to the New York State SAFE Act as a “dumb law.” I personally don’t read Watson. I seldom agree with him. But flaws in the argument in that letter should not be overlooked.

The writer states that “a gun isn’t dangerous unless it is held by an evil or deranged person.” Tell that to the parent of a child who is shot by a sibling because a gun was not safely stored in the home. Is the parent or the sibling deranged?

Tell that to the loved ones of a person who takes his own life by firearm as the result of grief or depression. Is that person evil or deranged?

Tell that to the family of a hunter shot by an accidental discharge of a firearm. Or to the hunter who accidentally discharged his firearm. Is he evil or deranged?

And then, let’s look at statistics with respect to firearm deaths by state in this country. Since the SAFE Act, the firearm mortality rate in New York has continually gone down. In the last two years of completed statistics regarding gun deaths, New York State has been ranked third and fourth lowest in the country. In addition, reliable statistics over the years have consistently indicated that the states with the strictest gun laws have the fewest deaths by gun. This is not rhetoric. This is fact.

The writer refers to the SAFE Act as a “dumb law.” Just because one does not agree with a law does not make it a dumb law. We have speed limits on our highways. Statistics bear out that reasonable speed limits save lives. Are speed limits dumb? We have laws that govern drug abuse and laws to keep our children safe. Are they dumb laws? The SAFE Act saves lives. Is that dumb?

Don’t listen to the rhetoric of overzealous gun rights individuals. Think for yourself. Think about your children, family and loved ones. Common-sense gun laws are not dumb. Any law that saves lives is not dumb.

Johnstone Reid

Lancaster

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