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Letter: ‘Gun slayings’ reported in story included suicides and homicides

‘Gun slayings’ reported in story included suicides and homicides

A Dec. 9 article in The News presented some very misleading information. The page 2 Washington Post article was headlined, “Heroin deaths surpass gun slayings for first time.”

The article indicated that over 30,000 people died from opioids in 2015. Further on in the article, “In a grim milestone, more people died from heroin-related causes than from gun homicides in 2015.” The headline using the word slayings and the sentence with the word homicides are misleading. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), in 2015 gun homicides numbered around 12,000, far below the reporter’s figure of 30,000 heroin-related deaths in that year.

There were approximately 21,000 gun suicides in 2015, which would raise the number of “gun deaths,” not “homicides” or “slayings” to the 30,000-plus figure cited in the article.

If I could find this information so could the reporter.

Bill Hardie


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