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Letter: Owning guns does not make the person safe

Letter: Owning guns does not make the person safe

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Recently, two of my friends applied for pistol permits assuming a gun will make them safe. News reports indicate gun buying is a national trend.

My father was a federal prosecutor. In the 1970s, he told me New York City police were told to bring home their handguns to reduce crime. A study of that policy found that when those guns were used, the results were: 60% suicides, 37% murders, 2% accidents and less than 1% used to prevent crime. When he told me that, it shocked me, so I remembered.

I was shocked again when I read statistics provided by the Giffords political action committee. The numbers provided in their Gun Deaths Breakdown were nearly identical, more than 40 years later.

The Jan. 27 Buffalo News article titled “It was a violent 2020 in Buffalo…” should have been “Gun violence increasing here and nationwide.” The article excluded suicide deaths for 2020 which may not be compiled yet. My guess is suicides increased by the same proportion. The numbers don’t change.

Nancy Lanza was a responsible gun owner. She practiced and taught her son gun safety. She was the first victim in Sandy Hook. Her son killed her, then 20 children and six adults.

Since Sandy Hook, sensible gun laws like the SAFE Act were enacted in several states, not in others. They saved many lives. The federal government has not followed suit. New York has approximately three times less gun deaths per capita than Pennsylvania or Ohio.

Having guns doesn’t make you safe.

William O’Connor

Grand Island

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